Today was my last full day in the Salta region here in Argentina. I’ve stayed here as long as I did in Patagonia for due reason. The scenery here is simply amazing. Today’s trip was up into the mountains southwest of Salta. The trip was more about the journey than the destination though.
We drove along the bottom of the valley to our first 2 stops being old bridges, with great views of the valley. In some ways I’m glad i walked across the bridge and was not in the bus, just in case the bridge finally decided it had “had its day”.
After a short but compulsory coffee stop, where the coffee was actually pretty good, given the place looked a bit dodgy. Anyway it was good and it was apparently cold, even though I had a t shirt on, while others had three layers of clothing and still were shivering.
The bus began the ascent of the Cuesta del Obispo. It has a name like those ascents in “Le tour de France” and if it was sealed and in France it would be on the schedule every year. Instead it was a dirt road that wound its way up the mountain. The views were amazing and we stopped twice on the way to see eagles and condors, plus just take in the views. We finally got to the top at around 3300 metres.
It was more a plateau than a mountain though, with little descent on the other side. As we drove along the plateau, wild guanaco and donkeys were grazing in the Cordones National Park. This National Park is purely here for one reason, giant Cordon cactus, and they are here in their thousands. Across a vast plain they were visible as far as the eye could see. Apparently they grow as tall as 7 metres with most well over 2 metres. I maintained some maturity and did not take a photo of myself with a big cactus for a penis. Others however much younger in years, couldn’t resist.
We then stopped for lunch. I had a sensational Roast Lamb with roast sweet potato. Roast goat was on the menu, but I was told the lamb was pretty good and I should have that. It was all washed down with a nice Salta negra beer.
We then drove on to Cachi. A small town and really not worth visiting. You could tell the lack of visitors by the lack of craft stands and markets around the main plaza. There was a now standard museum and church on the plaza. Another 30 minutes lounging in the sun and it was time to go. We stopped again for coffee as well, so that made me happy.
Now in some parts of the world it is actually my birthday, but here I still have 5 hours to wait. However as I have a time machine and you will read this on my birthday spanish phrase of the day is indeed, just happy birthdaqy or “Feliz cumpleaños”.
Tomorrow I fly on Andes air to Iguazu Falls. I have no idea what they are like, but its too late now to change my mind. I should be having a fantastic weekend and hope you all do to. Only a week to go now. What will you all do for your daily morning coffee break?