And it begins: Salta to Cafayate

We’re 200 km and 2 days into the trip (3 counting our rest day here in Cafayate). We left Salta, traveling south on route 68, past dusty little towns selling coca leaves and empanadas. Pedaling through the Quedabra de Conchas, a canyon of wind sculpted rock formations and red earth, we saw nothing but a few adobe shacks selling artisania (the local artisan crafts) and more empanadas. They seem to be the only type of food in this part of Argentina and after eating them nonstop for 3 days, we need a break. Actually I think the breaking point was last night’s dinner when I accidentally ordered twelve. Not ideal. But the canyon provided a constantly changing landscape, from steep shrub covered hillsides to towering desert walls – and a few llamas (or they might have been alpacas).

At La Vina we met a Swiss couple from Berne who were biking from Bolivia down to Santiago, Chile. Alex named them Franz and Hans (I’m not sure which was referring to the husband and which to the wife). After trying to match their blistering pace for an hour, we gave up and stopped to take pictures. Oh and they were about 65. Maybe older. And they told us our route over Andes is the “easy” way, despite being over 4,000 m at the top of the pass.

We’ve spent the day resting at a hostel in Cafayate, the center of Argentina’s second largest wine producing region. We visited two different Bodegas (vinyards) for some wine tours and tastings. The region is known for its Torrontes, a white wine, but we can’t say much more than that because all the tours were in Spanish.

Tomorrow we start on the infamous Ruta 40, a highway running the entire length of Argentina.

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empanadas

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The road through the Quebrada de Conchas north of Cafayate

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Empanada stand in Los Cerrillos

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new friends

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “And it begins: Salta to Cafayate

  1. Molly O

    Love it – the always hard core Swiss. Glad you are on the road and getting this crazy party started. Look forward to following your journey and taking your Argentine wine advice!

  2. Donny

    My favorite part is that you accidentally ordered twelve!

  3. Katie White

    So cool guys!! I’m going to continue commenting on as many posts as I can even if I’m the sole responder. Bain–adorable pic of you and the llama. You look good together, congrats ;)

  4. SARAH and Alex! Amazing blog guys, just love it! Thanks for the posts. I hope your kidnapping insurance doesn’t need to come in handy soon. Looks positive right now :). I think I might just pack up and join you soon! AHHH that would be amazing. Anywhoo hope life is as awesome as the blog suggests!

  5. will hansen

    Love all the pictures – the architecture in Salta , the mountainous road through the reddish brown cliffs that remind me of southwest Colorado, and the llama/alpaca. Also laughed out loud at your understated comment on ordering 12 empanadas – definitely “not ideal”. I hope you don’t run into too many more macho Swiss bikers – there are no “easy routes” where you are going.

  6. Guy Tweed

    Great adventure – look forward to hearing more. Striking resemblance, Alex.

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