May 20, 2012

Dear Friends,

I am curious, so I stop in at the Via Guemes Viajes y Turismo (Travel Agency) on Alvarado Street in Salta.  Agente de Ventas, (Sales Agent) Alejandra presents me with a menu of local guided tours: Cachi, Cafayate, Salinas Grandes, Humahuaca, San Antonio de Los Cobres and a City Tour.

I am tempted by three of the tours because the guide books are overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the beauty of this area of the Argentina.

And, OMG, I actually book one!

The van driver picks me up first so I sit in the passenger seat in the front.  After about an hour in town picking up other tourists, we head out of Salta, through three small villages, on our tour of Cachi.

I manage to take photos from the moving van, and a few of them are actually presentable.  We do stop at a bridge over a river in a lovely valley.   We also stop at Piedra del Molino, the high point of this area at 3348 meters above sea level.   We pass through the Parque Nacional Los Cardones and across a road built by the Incas on our way to the tranquil colonial town of Cachi.

In Cachi I stop for a coffee in the town square and meet a charming young woman and fellow traveler.  We decide to adjourn to an outdoor restaurant for a BBQ-Buffet lunch.  We select goat salad, goat stew with beans and potatoes and grilled goat ribs.

If I take a vote with myself, it will be a close call: Do I choose the striking Cachi scenery or the piquant goat luncheon as the high point of my tour?

More tours?  We’ll see.


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