Posts Tagged Cafayate

Quilmes

Posted on August 24, 2011 by 3 Comments

After staying far longer than we expected, we finally left Cafayate. Great place. Definitely a  highlight of northern Argentina for us so far.

The town itself and has lots to offer, with plentiful restaurants, bodegas and heladerias around a peaceful town square. But, as usual, the best parts were the experiences and the people we met.

We met a nice family from Arizona who had come down here to find some land, get some cows and chickens, and live their Argentinean dream. More power to ‘em. I found a great butcher – always important, especially when you look under the counter and most of the meat is unidentifiable. We met some nice locals, cool campers,  and hung out with some of those notorious Argentinean hippies. Even our regular camp site dogs were cool – our favorite we named Dye Job. He looked like he had accidentally sat down in some bleach.

But, when the hot sand storms started, we decided it might be time to get moving. The first one was an interesting experience. The second one was an inconvenience. The third one… time to go.

We headed south and stopped to see the ruins at Quilmes. It’s interesting enough for a stop and is in a beautiful setting, but don’t go out of your way.

We kept rolling and eventually decided to stop in Tafi del Valle. A formerly small farming village that seems to be suffocated by modern weekend homes. The huge number of vacation homes here seems comical. Weird and out of place – haven’t seen anything like this since Mexico.

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Nut Whacker

Posted on August 23, 2011 by 3 Comments

The most unfortunately named tool in my bag is also one of the most essential. I rarely use it, but when I need it, nothing else will do.

Lately, we’ve been hearing all sorts of noises coming from the right-rear side of the car. After we fixed the noise from the loose muffler, we still heard it. After we fixed the noise from the wobbly battery tray, we still heard it. It would come and go, but we eventually isolated it to the wheel bearings.

Pulling the wheel off, slapping in some grasa, and re-tightening it seemed to have bought us some time – multiple times.

But, I think we’ve now reached the end of the game and need new bearings a little more urgently. I just wanted to give credit to the axle nut whacker for helping us get this far.

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Commitment

Posted on August 20, 2011 by 13 Comments

Have you ever seen one of those giant jugs of booze, and then thought, “Nah, that’s crazy!”

Today, we thought “Perfect!”

The winery that’s bottling this stuff – Hermanos Domingos – is exactly two blocks away from our camp site. We could have walked an extra block to the next winery, but we decided to keep it local.

Drinking 4.65 liters of the stuff is a bit of a test, though. It’s not too bad, but it’s not all that great either.

The price? About 10 bucks. That would work out to about $1.60 USD per bottle. We’ve set the bar even lower (higher?) for Two-Buck Chuck – and the wine is WAY better.

And, for anyone counting… this is our 500th post. If you’ve read them all, then… you deserve an enormous bottle of wine too.

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La Casa de Empanadas

Posted on August 19, 2011 by 3 Comments

Bode’s favorite food now: empanadas. This is the best place in town to chow down, and we’ve already been here a few times this week. Each visit, ordering a few more pastries than the previous trip.

Besides that, graffiti is actually encouraged here. Want to keep a kid occupied while waiting on lunch? Give him a marker and tell him to go write on the walls.

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A Little Taste

Posted on August 18, 2011 by No Comments

It took us a little while to figure out how to take advantage of all the wineries around us. We eventually figured it out – load the kid up with ice cream. There were at least 6 wineries and 6 ice cream shops all within stumbling distance.

The organic Bodega Nanni was a highlight and offered 4 tastes with lengthy English commentary. Good stuff.

By the time we hit the last one, Bode just couldn’t take it any longer.  We left him pretending to sleep in the lobby while we went to the tasting room and tried a few more.  Perhaps our behavior would be frowned upon in Sonoma or Napa (we recall seeing quite a few frowns the last time we were up there), but it’s a different ball game in Argentina. He wasn’t the only exhausted kid waiting for his parents.

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Cafayate

Posted on August 17, 2011 by 4 Comments

Angastaco was a strange place. We hardly slept and were pretty eager to get going by morning. Some weird architecture here too. That’s the thing about desert communities anywhere in the world – there’s always some guy who thinks of himself as a visionary architect.

We ticked off another stereotype while we were at it. Any where in the world you see Rastafarian hippies drive up in a vehicle painted in rainbows and peace signs, pile out in a haze of smoke, and start playing bongos and didgeridoo. Well, you know the vehicle.

Anyway, we just had a few hours to drive south to get to Cafayate.

Cafayate is known for 3 things: torrontes, tannat and malbec. We knew we were going to like it.

And once we got there, we did immediately like it. We found a camp site 3 blocks from the main plaza and set up. The Argentinian camping facilities have not disappointed so far. They are usually centrally located, have grills, hot showers, laundry sinks and lots of space. This one even had wi-fi and a hot water vending machine for your mate. And, the nearest winery was 2 blocks away.

In town, we also found plenty of ice cream stores with sorbet, so we figured Bode would be happy here for a while.

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