Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Wining and dining in Argentina

As we had initialy planed to fly straight to Buenos Aires from La Paz we were now well and truly off our original itinary. Instead we were working our way down Argentina by bus.

Our first stop was a town called Salta. One of the most famous sites in Salta is the museum holding the findings of archilogical digs at the top of the sourounding mountains. The Incas used to burry offering at the top of the mountains to unite the different communities and appease their gods. The Incas used to pick the child who they considered the most pure and beautiful from each community send them to the capital in Cusco to get married with a child from another tribe. Unfortunately once the children returned from their communities the incas used to get them drunk on beer and then bury the poor children alive at the top of the nearest mountain. Because the mountains are so cold, the children were perfectly preserved and one was on display in a specially sealed cabinet. It was really freeky seeing the little kid with his hair and skin looking just as it would on the day he was burried. You just have to hope that he never woke up to realise what was happening to him.

While that might sound all a bit morbid our next stop in Argentina was much more cheery. After being told, when we were in Bolivia, by a couple of drunken Australians that we would love it we decided to go to the small town of Cafayata. The town is in the heart of Argentina´s wine country so we thought it would be rude not to sample what they had to offer. We started off going to a wine museum so that we could know a bit more about what we were drinking. The museum was beautifully put together and all of the displays were written in poetry. Off the top of my head, the one fact I can remember is that the wine is so good because the sun is always shining during the day but it gets cold at night. What we also learnt from the tasting sessions is that we like drinking wine, but I suppose I already knew that.

To have a break from drinking wine we decided to rent a couple of bikes and go on a bike ride that we had been recomended. We jumped on a bus with our bikes and set off to a local landmark to start our ride back into town. The bus kept going and going and I started to realise that a 48km bike ride was not going to be that easy for someone like me who has barely rode a bike in years. Fortunatley we met some nice people on the bus who were doing the same ride and agreed to join them . On the way back we stopped at a number of sites including a gorge where you could here your voice echo off the rocks and a giant rock shaped like a toad. Half way through the trip we found a little house by the side of the road selling wine in unmarked bottles and decided that we it was probably time to sample the loca drink again. Posing for tourists at the wine stop was the best looking lama we have ever seen. He had the funniest goofy and pomposs look on his face as if we were disturbing some very important work he was doing but he would deem to allow us a photo. By the end of our ride I was completly broken I felt far worse than after the Inca trail but it was worth it for a great day.

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