Travel Diary: 2013, Week #20

Travel Diary: 2013, Week #20

Monday 13th May

We got off the overnight bus before sunrise in Tucumán, I having slept more than I expected, but Zab still rather tired. We walked in to town and breakfasted and worked a little in a café, then returned to the station and caught the bus to Cafayate. The journey took us over some mountains up to 1700m, and the scenery changed dramatically from forest to steppe once we crossed the mountains. In Cafayate, we checked in to our cheap but pleasant hostel and bought a few things for a light dinner before an early night.

Tuesday 14th May

In the morning, we went to a café to work for a while as our the only thing our hostel didn't have was wifi. We then rushed back to change and headed out to join a tour we'd booked for the afternoon to visit the Quebrada de las Conchas, a nature reserve just outside of Cafayate. We were lead by a humorous Argentinian guy, Marcelo, who explained the geology of the landscape, the flora and fauna and lead us on several short hikes. He spoke no English, so I acted as inept translator for the group. We ended up making friends with a trio of Canadians, a guy from Singapore and a woman from Germany and had simple but filling dinner all together back in town in the evening.

us at the Quebrada de las Conchas

us at the Quebrada de las Conchas

Wednesday 15th May

We hired bikes in the morning and cycled out of town to visit Bodega Etchart, a winery known for its sweet white wines. We were shown a video, given a tasting and a short tour. Zab enjoyed the whole thing more than me, though I did find it interesting to learn how to taste wine, though I may not have liked many of them. We bought one bottle and tried visiting a goat's cheese farm, but it was closed. Back in town, we returned the bikes, had lunch and a rest then went out to work in another café.

Zab checking out the wines at Bodega Etchart

Zab checking out the wines at Bodega Etchart

Thursday 16th May

Checking out of our hostel, we were held up by the friendly owners and very nearly missed our bus to Salta. We arrived in the afternoon, surprised at how cold it had become, and walked to the agency we'd arranged to rent an apartment through. It was all very straightforward and painless and were happily in our flat within an hour. We spent the afternoon resting and working, then popped out to run some errands before a night tucked up in bed, warding off the cold outside!

Friday 17th May

Not wanting to go out in the 11ºC midday high, we stayed in and worked most of the day, though we did of course go out to a café. Later, we discovered the the heating wasn't working in our flat, and so we had to wait around for someone to come and fix it.

Saturday 18th May

Waking up late, we managed to go out after midday for lunch and then to take the chairlift up to Cerro San Bernardo for a view over the city. It was pleasant enough, though rather chilly. We ate popcorn on the way back down and then did a little bit of shopping for supplies before everything closed for Sunday.

view of Salta from Cerro San Bernardo

view of Salta from Cerro San Bernardo

Sunday 19th May

Another late morning and a bit of work followed by an outing to a very small contemporary museum and lunch on Salta's main square. Feeling too lazy to do much else, we returned home to rest and tinker a little before going out to a café then an early night.