Cafayate, Argentina

Trip Start Feb 21, 2006
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Trip End Sep 11, 2006


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Flag of Argentina  ,
Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sun and blue skies welcomed us to our first morning in Cafayate, a small town of about 13,000 in the Calchaqui Valleys. The laid back atmosphere of this town lent itself to lazing around the flowery main square, playing chess, eating and drinking to wile away the hours. By evening we finally managed to drag ourselves out of town, up a couple of hundred metres to the top of a nearby hill and were rewarded with a spectacular view back over the town and the vast valley. Perched on a rock, sitting in silence, contemplating the contrast of the fertile green valley spread out below us against the desolate, vibrant red mountains in the background and the white clouds fading into effervescent oranges above as the sun set behind us was a reminder of why the great outdoors beats playstation hands down. The silence was only broken by the arrival of an elderly Polish man whose name translated into english as "Beat away your anger". Scrambling up the rocks, he settled down next to us and observed the great expanse in front before engaging us in a fascinating conversation about his occupation of seeking full enlightenment through meditation. Listening to this small, gentle man´s voice as if he were speaking through a wet tea towel had a calming, almost hypnotic, effect on us and we found ourselves fully imersed in his fascinating view on life, starting with a belief "I do not exist". Walking down from that hill I think we both enjoyed an unspoken sense of enlightenment, having gotten in touch with nature and conversed with such a profound human being.

The next day we woke up early to cycle through Quebrada de Cafayate, spectacular rock formations and deep canyons that boast many "perfect photo opps". Cycling along the windy desert road against the surreal backdrop, I kept expecting to see the Roadrunner whizzing around the corner with a coyote closely pursuing on an ACME rocket. We ate lunch by a river that appeared to be defying the laws of nature as we swore that it was running gently back up the valley (and NO, we weren´t sampling any of the psychedelic cacti for lunch). The 50km cycle back to town tested our fitness and the illusion that mine was far superior to Emma´s was disappointingly destroyed when we discovered a couple of kilometres from our destination that Emma had been riding the entire day with her rear brake jammed on.

Our final day in Cafayate involved more cycling into the hills, sampling wonderful Torrentes and Malbecs at some of the pituresque surrounding vinyards, followed by late afternoon tastings of a local specialty, wine flavoured icecream! We were in heaven and all in all, two thumbs up for Cafayate!
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Comments

suzannegeenz
suzannegeenz on

cycling fun
Hello Possums
Have just had a lot of fun looking at your flying fox and canopy antics - GO THE GREAT ADVENTURERS!!! Yahoo, whoopdedoo and all that stuff.
So glad to read the declaration - 'the great outdoors beats thumb pushing playstation buttons' Goodness me... I'm glad I lived long enough to read that.

Have printed out some of your pics for my wall. It feels real & exciting to share your travel experiences this way.

Moo & I were laughing about how when she was in Holland as exchange student (a mere 11 years ago) how a phone call was so expensive, we hung out for one every month but spent hours writing copious letters that only took ten days mailbox to mailbox.

Keep up the good adventures and have a bottle or three of the vinodaweeno on me. Think of Lyss & me painting, water blasting, packing and on the 30th actually MOVING to the wondrous and inspiring suburb of Mendlesohn. Take care. Luv yas both XXX Mum

ps jammed rear brakes I can relate to. My Cape Reinga cyling odessy was marked by one difficult leg, from Waipu Cove to Mangawhai Heads - not far, but took me a long time. Just rain, head winds, long hard hills and the discovery next day I had put the front wheel on backwards so the tread on the front & back tyres were working in counter directions. Well you may smile.

amicacarmilla
amicacarmilla on

A poetic post ...
Hi Both

I have been following silently along your amazing journey (sort of lurking.. is this the term?), and enjoyed all your entries. Your writing style is so evocative that it is a pleasure to read you. So, thanks for sharing this with us those moments.

I did particularly liked this post, written by Dave..

All the Best
Silvia

X

sazcarswell
sazcarswell on

Loving the tales
Wow-what a cool insight into Sth America. Its inspiring me to re-claim the inner traveller again. George and I have started planning our big trip-can't wait to tell you guys over a Carlton (Melbourne's local beer) and hear more of your tales.
Sarah xox

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