Saturday, 3 November 2012

Road Trip

Nursing an achey back after a 3 day road trip from Salta along Route 40 across to Cachi (most of which was headachingly bouncing gravel road) then down to Cafayate, before heading back up the East road, through one of the deepest canyons in the world (which Jess has just claimed although she said she had, in fact, completely made it up) surrounded by the most enormous and amazing rock formations that no images can even do justice to; through landscapes which absolutely blew my mind and which reduced the 5 of us to stunned silence. This journey was carried out with the lovely Tash and Jess from the South somewhere, Willemeijn from Holland and Theo from Paris, all of whom I now love and do not want to leave! It was the first time I really felt completely removed from anything I know, any landscape I am familiar with, and was truly and utterly absorbed by the sheer size of the world. We were on roads which stretched on for miles, with miles and miles of desert either side inhabited by an army of cacti which are 3 times the size of your average Joe, which rose into giants of mountains, a sight which my eyes struggled to comprehend the size of, and yet these places were only a tiny, minute fragment of this enormous country, let alone the continent.

We stopped over in Cafayate on the way for a couple of nights, where we befriended (for life) the wonderful Niko and Manuel, from Buenos Aires, who introduced Jess and Tash to mate (which they loved) and Manuel, who had never played an instrument in his life, I managed to (very successfully) teach to play Chan Chan by Buena Vista Social Club on the ukulele! He was an enormously determined pupil (see images) and has promised me he will return home and buy a ukulele of his own. He made me realise that I am a much better teacher than I originally thought...interesting development in my exploration of career paths....

There was much practicing of Spanish and English (Manuel learned all of his English from films which astounded us), and drinking of wine (local wine nonetheless), and Niko saved our grumbling stomaches by cooking up a delicious meaty tomato pasta dish which all 9 of us tucked into in the outdoor kitchen, sheltering from a tremendous storm, with hailstones the size of chihuahas. It was a fantastic night, we didn't eat until gone 11pm (as is the Argentine way) and did our rendition of Chan Chan above the thunder.

In the morning we left our dear friends, gifted by Manuel with the travel mate cup which he had been drinking out of and which we all thought was incredibly cute and made us all cry a little inside. Then we headed on our way sharing the space with incredible natural structures such as el Garganta Del Diablo and the Amphitheatre (google them) which blew my mind. Me and Theo sat in the amphitheatre and whistled into the echoing hugeness, wondering how on earth this mad beautiful place came to be.

We are embarking on our second road trip tomorrow; (minus theo), this time following the trail of the Tren a las Nubes (train to the clouds) which will take us to an altitude of about 3774m above sea level, before continuing north to see the rock of 7 colours, finally heading back down to Salta for the last time.

But that's all for now from the travelling fox.
Pictures to follow. Use your glittering imaginations for now.

1 comment:

  1. Wow this journey sounds incredible looking forward to the photos my lovexxxx