Today I headed south through the “Quebrada de las Conchas” (Gorge of the Shells) on an excursion to Cafayate (not to be confused with El Calafate in Patagonia).

Once again, the drive was spectacular!  Well, let me rephrase, the scenery was spectacular, but there was another American woman on the trip that really ended up annoying me during the day.  She also decided to switch seats in the van and ended up sitting on my right side which just so happened to be where the best views and lighting were during the day. So, she has gone home with fabulous pictures were I was lucky to get one or two from the van!

We did stop at several points, though, as we traveled through the “Quebrada de las Conchas” and they are in the slideshow.  Those below are all natural features highlighted along the route:

  • Garganta del Diablo (Throat of the Devil)
  • El Anfiteatro (The Amphitheater)
  • El Sapo (The Frog)
  • El Fraile (The Monk)
  • Los Castillos (The Castels)

Just on the edge of Calafate, we stopped to visit a winery, Vasija Secreta, and tasted two of their Torrontés (white), Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Most of the vineyards around Cafayate are considered ’boutique’ as they are relatively small producers; for instance, Vasija Secreta only bottles 600-700 liters per year and they do little exporting, none to the U.S.

We then headed into Cafayate proper and had lunch.  Guess what?  I had steak!  Then we walked around a bit and enjoyed some wine flavored ice cream!  It was really more like a sorbet, but came in Torrontés and Cabernet Sauvignon.  It was interesting, but can’t match a good Italian gelato!

One funny thing about Cafayate is that instead of dogs, donkeys roam free in town!  There was one German Shepherd that seemed quite put out about this, though, and was barking incessantly at one donkey and charging at his ankles, etc.  The donkey took no notice of him.  He’s lucky he didn’t get a kick in the face!

We headed back to Salta after lunch, stopping at a few more vistas.

Two of the other tourists in the van were on my trip to Cachi yesterday (both women traveling alone), then there was the American, and lastly a guy from London.  They all made plans to go out for dinner tonight but I bowed out as the American annoyed me too much.  Plus, I have a super early start tomorrow!

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About Sophia la Vespa

Seattle by Vespa!
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