Wine country #2 - Happy in Cafayate!
Trip Start Jun 13, 2011
57Trip End Jun 12, 2012
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Because of the near-disaster in Chilecito, we’d booked ahead at a top rated hostel (Rusty K), which was great, although I think the standards in general are pretty good as the town is a bit of a tourist hotspot (and with good reason considering all it has to offer). However, in spite of that, it still retains it’s own character and vibe. So it was a pretty easy decision to extend our original 2 night booking to 4 nights and spend a few days absorbing what the town had to offer - and catching up on some travel planning
The next day we took a tour to the Quebrada, which turned out to be one of the major highlights so far! We booked it through the Balcon Hostel, and at only P70 it was a total bargain! The driver (from Puma Tours) seemed really knowledgeable, but unfortunately didn’t speak a word of English so we only picked up bits and pieces, but he took us to loads of amazing spots, including a vast array of multi-coloured mountainous mineral formations (some of which looked like the moon), a natural amphitheatre (where some local musicians performed a brilliant impromptu concert) and a rustic llama farm (where Lou fed a baby llama - and got chased by a goose - very funny but actually pretty scary!). We also had the pleasure of meeting lovely Roeth (from Holland) who has become our travelling companion!
That night, as it was Saturday, we decided to head out on the town! We were accompanied by Roeth, French Vincent and Daniel, a local park ranger and all round wonderful person! We had some good wine and live music, then on to a funky bar, but we left way before everyone else (home for 3am) - we obviously can’t hack the pace anymore
Naturally, that meant Barry had a stinking hangover the next day, so I met up with the gang to hit the wineries for some tastings, guided by Daniel. At the end we picked our favourite (an organic Torrontes from the Nanni Bodega) and brought it back to Rusty K for a little afternoon picnic (including the most delicious, creamy local goat’s cheese), where Michelle from London joined us with a lovely bottle of Malbec! Once that was finished, there was nothing else for it but to head round to the Casa Empanada, where the have 15 different but equally gorgeous types to choose from (and at under a pound each you could eat as many as you wanted!).
On Monday, our last day there, Daniel had organised a day of horse-riding and a visit to a traditional finca, which seemed like a lovely, healthy, refreshing way to start the week - until we got to our first stop - a local artisan brewery where we sampled to beers for breakfast! Then it was back on the horses, riding through rustic villages, gorgeous countryside, barren desert - all with the snow capped peaks in the distance while the sun shone down on us! We ended up back at the finca, which was unbelievably authentic, a real slice of a totally different way of life - and the family were so generous and warm. Inevitably, we spent the afternoon sampling their own organic wines (brewed right there) and just generally enjoying and absorbing the atmosphere - apart from a quick jump back on the horses to see the animals!
We could’ve easily spent much more time there, but Bolivia was calling out to us for the next adventure, so off we head……………..
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