Home > Argentina > 11 hours off-road – 11 hours of wonder

11 hours off-road – 11 hours of wonder

October 22, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

As we only have the car a few days, we feel compelled to make the most of it, but this time we have really gone for it. As part of our route back south, we have decided to go to Cafayate via Cachi. On the map, this looks about 3 inches away, so on that basis we head off before dawn via Salta, a nice a quick paved 3 hour drive, before we turn west and start heading back up into the mountains through the eternal hairpins, this time levelling off around 3,500m (10,000 feet).

 

 

the road was shared by many

After an hour or two more, we dropped into this enormous plain, surrounded by snow capped mountains that are around 6,000m high, but more remarkable still, was that the whole plain was forested in giant cacti, many 6 metres high and more. This plain stretched  as far as the eye could see, and we were completely alone. No-one for miles around, possibly a passing car every half hour at most. Not the place to break down, but certainly the place to get away from it all.

We drove for another hour or so before reaching Cachi, a small and very pretty little mountain town. This milestone signalled the start of 130 km and five hours of back breaking rough tracks; poor little Corsa hire car! But it was still well worth it, mile after mile of amazing surreal landscape that the photo’s do no justice to – a geologist dream.       This part of Argentina is a must – far better than Buenos Aires and a real place to get an immediate sense of the wonders of the world, it is also only an overnight bus ride from Buenos Aires.

the forest of cacti high up on an Andes plateau

the road across the plateau went on for ever

lovely town of Cachi - we should have stayed here!

after many hours they just crashed

driving into the river saves having to carry a bucket to wash the car

the road just got more and more remote - 5 hours on this particular one!

wild landscapes

going south, the landscape gets more jagged

the "Flechas" - stone feathers

the rutted road was a car killer

another couple of hours south and it all goes red

some interesting architecture in a little village

 

 

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