We left Tafí del Valle around mid day on the 28th and haven’t posted since the 26th or 25th. On the 27th, Wednesday, we took a day trip to Cafayate, north of Tafí. It’s another great wine country area, though lesser known than the Mendoza region. On-line google maps indicated that the trip takes 2 hours by bus. Well, I guess that’s a direct bus. It took us 3 hours, what with stops all along the route to pick up and drop off people in small towns, and at times what appeared to be simply a shaded bus stop on the road. One stop was at a Museo Escolar and several students got on for a short ride to their next destination. School is not in session, so we assume they were engaged in a summer session of extra curricular activity.
By the time we arrived in Cafayate, most of the wineries (of which there are several in town) were closed for the lunch hour. So we tucked in ourselves at a local brewery. Many breweries in the north western part of the country only brew rubia (blond), roja (red amber), and a porter. This roja was not so great. I had the local white wine Torrentés which was OMG delicious. It’s crisp, fresh, fruity, not sweet. A delicate array of flowers on the tongue. Look for it!
Since it was still early after lunch, as wineries didn’t open till 3 or 3:30 we went to the Museo de la Vid (vine) y el Vino. It’s the most delightful mix of poetry and science that I have had the fortune to witness. Jazz music plays. Poetry explains the magic of the elements that come together to create wine. This photo gives a sense of the whimsy and seriousness with which the topic is undertaken. I loved these wineglasses suspended like hummingbird feeders.
Later in the exhibit there is a month by month delineation of the tasks that must be undertaken to have the results of a fine wine.
We enjoyed our first wine tasting at the Vid y Vino tasting room. The one wine we had not tried before, but did here, was a sweet after dinner wine to enjoy with dessert. In this case it was called La Boda de Caná. Too sweet for us. Reminded me of the Vin Santo of Italy.
We met James from the Bay area here. I helped him out with Spanish. Then we ran into one another again at the next tasting and continued on together through the rest of the tastings. He teaches preschool children in Berkeley and is traveling solo, driving. His mom lives in ABQ! We gave him our contact info but failed to get his. Hoping to hear from him when next he visits his mom. We were so enjoying our time together, and the last wine tasting had such generous pours, that we had to really walk fast to make our 6 pm bus. The doors had closed when we arrived. But unlike a plane, they opened to let us on. I slept the sleep of a wine soaked biscuit on the way back to Tafí.
I’m not sure when I took this photo, but I love it for the moodiness of sky, the clouds above and below, shrouding the mountains in mystery. It must have been the morning of the 28th because that’s what the photo log says. At any rate, the day turned bright and sunny. It would have been perfect for another attempt at climbing the Cerro.
This is Lago Angostura, created by a dam. I don’t understand why the water exits the dam as it does in the photo above the lake, but I think it’s pretty impressive.
And below is my attempt at showing what it’s like to sit in the upper level of a two decker bus in the front seats. Wow. It’s quite disconcerting not seeing a driver in front of you. When the bus takes the hairpin curves to the right it seemingly goes to the very edge of the road on the right. And when the hairpin curves left, it goes into the oncoming lane. My heart was in my throat a few times, even recognizing that the bus drivers know the route and they must have mirrors that allow them to see around the bend to know that a car is not in that lane. It was a beautiful drive through the mountains and I look forward to our next bus trip to Puerto Iguazu when we again have seats 1 and 2 on the upper level.
We arrived in Tucuman around 3 pm which gave us time to have lunch in the bus terminal, which was more like a mall. I had a dish I hadn’t seen previously on any menu: tarta de verdura con ensalada. The tarta whas made with squash and chicken in a light a flaky crust and was accompanied with cooked zucchini and beets, and fresh tomatoes, and red cabbage. Charlie had the albondígas portuguesas, (not that we saw any such thing while in Portugal) which are 2 really big meatballs on a bed of rice. The meat was well seasoned and delicious. Meals were served on real plates with real stainless steel utensils. We were quite impressed with this level of attention at a bus station. I pray that the US conglomerate fast food joints never infiltrate.
At 7 pm we boarded El Norte Bis, hereafter known as El Norte Beast as it was pretty much a POS. No ports for phones or head phones to listen to the movie. No blanket or pillow for a 12 hour ride. But, the seats are wide and recline a good bit. BTW, seats of this nature are called “butacas”. In the end it wasn’t so bad, but it certainly didn’t live up to the high standard that we received on Andesmar for the BsAs to Mendoza trip. We didn’t have much of a choice either; probably has to do with the rural nature of the trip from the northwest part of the country across a no-man’s land to Corrientes.
Right now, so excited to be leaving soon for Carnival at the Corsódromo! More tomorrow.
Much love, Paula
Hi Paula and Charlie, Many thanks for your openness in asking if anyone of us fallowing the blog wants/needs more specific info! A great job and wonderful photos taken throughout your journey. Rest up for more Carnival action…I’ll look forward to your next installment. Myron
Thanks so much! Carnival was a trip! More soon.
You have had an amazing journey and I have so enjoyed reading about it. I am quite envious as daily life is not as colorful! Thanks for making it real for us and I look forward to hearing more about it when you return. Continue to have safe travels. 🙂 We all miss you and everyone is sending love to you both.
Hi, Paige! Thank you GB or your comments and prayers. Thank everyone for me, please. Just about 2 more weeks! All is good, except I have a stomach issue today – something I ate last night? So hot today! And a big beautiful river, but they don’t let you swim in it. Just a shallow ropes off area. I still got in . Soon! Love you!
Oh this is Paige it says pea7pod but I realized you might not know that.
I’m so glad for your posts, Paula! What a fantastic way to keep us all informed of your adventures and to read about the beauty and magic of your travels! Sending you and Charlie hugs and love.
Thank you, Berta! I think of you and send easy writing wishes. May your thoughts flow smoothly from head to hand. And with heart. Love you.