Calchaquies Valley and Cachi

ihana.com - big trip - diary - argentina - april 2003

Easter festivities

Angastaco, igloo...

...church

Friday 18 April

Good Friday festivities were underway in some of the places we passed through, not being regious types (theres a surprise!), we continued on to enjoy yet another day of interesting scenery on the way to the provincial capital, Salta.

Even the adobe houses have columns...

...and wasps...ouch!

Following Valle Calchaquies to Cachi the landscape is dry desert with a green strip in the middle where the river meanders along. The adobe houses all seem to have relatively sophisticated architecture with columns and arches and are very photogenic, so long as the photographer doesn't get too close to the wasps! In Angastaco there was a set of igloos too.

Chilies drying in the sun

Arrow head rocks

Where the river flows is green

Just before Cachi we had our 16th puncture,another one due to dirt inside the tyre rubbing the inner tube. A well practiced change had us back on the road in no time. Coming into the village we spotted a gomeria, dropped off the punctured wheel and went for lunch and a look around. The city of Salta isn't too far away and it seems that Cachi is a weekend tourist trap, looks nice though.

Cachi

Another puncture to mend

On the way out and over the pass

Donating our fuel for the Ford Falcon cause

The road to Salta goes over the 3348m Piedra del Molino pass and the tarmac gives way to corrugated gravel near the top. Coming down the other side dry valleys are left behind and replaced with lush cloudy slopes. It was getting dark but we managed to see poncho wearing cowboys herding cattle down off the mountain. We seem to have had bad luck with these spectacular passes recently, always coming down the last part in the dark.

We stopped to help a lad who's Ford Falcon, the most popular Argentine-made car, had run out of petrol. Only meaning to let him have half of our recently filled stove petrol, he accidentally syphoned almost all of it into his tank as we were chatting. He tried to suck it back out but ended up swallowing almost more than he got back.

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