La Gira Andina 2012 travel blog

Cafayete gorge

Cars at the gorge

The Devl's Throat

Cactus

Tafi del Valle lake

road in river valley


Shory after leaving S.S. de Jujuy the corniche road south over the hills to Salta became narrow and a continuous series of bends. Fortunately there was virtually no traffic in the oncoming direction as the road was very narrow. Cows, pigs and horses all grazed on the verge - seeming uncaring about the passing traffic.

We travelled with Charles and Jane, in their SL Mercedes, Gerry and Corrie in the open top Jaguar XK150 and Edmund and Desy in a 911 Porsche. After an hour and a half we arrived in Salta and drove past the monument to the battle of Salta and around the ring road to a coffee stop at a smart Shell station.

Soon we entered the Quebrada de las Conchas, rich with deep reds and oranges. We passed 'castles' and the 'obelisk' and made a stop for a walk and photos at the 'Devil's Throat'. All were truly remarkable.

We drove through the arty and wine growing town of Cafayate - resisting the appetising restaurants and headed for the mountain pass to Tafi del Valle. The climb was steep to begin with and with the outside temperature rising rapidly, the engine coughed once or twice as either the fuel or the coil got too hot. On the other side we were rewarded with a new road surface and a descent to a small hillside restaurant for late lunch of desserts and fresh lemonade. We relaxed in the lovely setting above the lake for an hour, but still had more than 200 km to drive, including the descent through the steep river valley before gaining the main road south.

Once through the road works in the river valley and the small towns, the road got quicker and we arrived in Catarmarca at 7.20 pm - nearly twelve hours after having set off that morning.

A long drive, but very rewarding.

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