Did you ever have the feeling the universe was conspiring against you? No matter what you do, things just keep going wrong like some spirit of all the bad karma in the world was suddenly in control of everything that was happening. Is this what being in mercury's retrograde felt like? If so, it described our first days in Esquel perfectly.
I was looking forward to going to El Bolson. I heard it was a beautiful town surrounded by majestic mountains, colorful flowers, homemade beer, artsy stuff, fresh organic berries and had a general laid-back vibe. Yeah, it was kind of a hippy place. But honestly, deep down, I must be one too. I'll come clean. I love this stuff. And I loved El Bolson.
Doesn't every country need it's own Switzerland? Snow capped alpine vistas surrounded by striking azure lakes and greenery, wooden chalets with wood burning stoves and delicious chocolate. Did we somehow fly to Europe? No, we are just in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina. I have no idea why it looks like Switzerland here but it does. It's like you stepped into the fifth parallel or something.
From the northwest of Argentina we traveled south to Argentina's other (and more famous) wine country in Mendoza. Mendoza is a fairly large city in Argentina, located in the north west part of the country. It's also easily reachable from Santiago in Chile. Mendoza is located in the desert Cuyo region making it an arid, hot place and even though it's a desert, a startling number of trees have been planted all over the city, providing some much needed shade especially in the summer months.
1. Ruta 40 from Cachi to Cafayate
This easily takes the #1 spot. What Route 66 is to the USA, Route 40 is to Argentina. Stunning scenery, cool hippy history, biker dudes heading out into the open road. What more could you ask for out of a route?
Cachi is another unmissable spot in the Andean northwest of Argentina. Cachi is located in Salta province and is southwest of Salta city. Below is the church located in the plaza of Cachi:
Ah, wine. I love wine. Who doesn't love a great wine? If you love wine like me and are interested in learning more about a grape you probably haven't heard of, well listen up!
When most people think of wines from Argentina, immediately they think of the lovely Malbec. But Argentina has more to offer than just this red grape. The north of Argentina is home to one of the most beautiful wine regions in the country, Cafayate and it's shining star, the Torrontés grape. What the malbec grape has done for Mendoza, the torrontés grape does for Cafayate.
So we made it back from Antarctica alive! No monster wave came and gobbled the ship up nor did I fall in some deep crevice at the top of a glacier. It wasn't easy at times being on the sailboat, we both got pretty seasick and sometimes we had to wake up in the middle of the night to do watches or steer the boat in the freezing cold but the payoff was huge. I experienced things I could only dream about and saw scenery and nature like I never have before. I felt like I was dreaming most of the time. And I promise to tell you all about it and share some photos too.