Click here for pictures from Cafayate. Ahh Cafayate. I´ll remember that place for a long time. I may even have to re-visit. It was just that nice! There is no way I can truly do justice to any of the places we are visiting on this trip. To really appreciate it, I recommed that you start booking your own trip very soon. It´s the only way to go. Perhaps the >1000 pictures we´ve taken will help convey the thoughts, but really, it´s pointless to explain. I´m almost at the point of stopping writing for the simple fact that there´s too much to tell. But I digress (btw, did you notice I gave up flash-blogging? that wasn´t fair to you all either, you deserve the benefit of my sometimes long-winded stories). Now back to our tale.
Cafayate is a unique micro climate ideally suited for growing certain varieties of grapes. This region is best known for its white wines, particularly a type known as Torrontes. As such, shortly after arriving in the city, we were booked for a wine tour of various wineries. I´ll get to the point of this story. We shouldn´t have booked it. In order to get the wine tastings, you need to do the whole wine tour. They are too long, were all in spanish (yes, I´m learning it fairly well, thank you very much), and the same everytime. After two tours (one big winery – Etchart, and one small – Las Vines de los Nubes), we decided to cut it short. We determined it would be far cheaper, and more enjoyable, to simply buy about a dozen bottles of wine, and sample them ourselves at the hostel. So, we got our guide to drive us to the local Queso maker (cheese),and picked up fresh Cafayate cheese, then to a market for chorizo, pancetta, and baguette. We then headed to our beautiful hostel, and had an amazing night of international wine and cheese as a group. Our hostel had this amazing 3rd floor (towering in this small town) sitting room for breakfast. We comandeered it, and prepared all our food, then drank and ate into the late hours, learning all about each other while enjoying the local wines. It was an amazing memorable night. Did I mention how well all of us get along. I´m really going to miss everyone at the end. On the plus side, We now have places to crash all over the world ;-
The next day was to be our personal trip though the canyons of the area. NOt till 3pm though for a bunch of us, so I had an unusual night of sleep. This was the first night where we had true peace and quiet. And a king sized bed! Unheard of so far… A few fools opted to tour the gorge by bike, which meant a 4am wake up call to catch a bus out of town, to then bike back in. Jody and I had orginally planned to do that, but the chance for sleep changed our mind and allowed us more time for fun at wine night! Only two people and the guide ended up going.
When morning rolled around, I felt guilty enough that I went for a solo 2.5 hour hike up a local peak of sorts. It was great. Although very hot. Have I mentioned how hot it´s been? Still no change, hot, and very very sunny. I´ve mainly avoided sunburn, but finally sucumbed this day on my legs anyway. Took lots of pics, nearly fell off a cliff, nearly got attacked by four large birds of prey… enough about that. On to the next tale…