Thursday, November 29, 2012

2012, 19th – 27th November: Cafayate & Córdoba, Argentina

For the full complement of photos corresponding to this blog entry, use the following address for the set of photos in my Flickr pages:

2012, 19th – 22nd November: Cafayate, Argentina

Quebrada de las Conchas

After the lush and forested areas of the Yungas in the Calilegua National Park, I returned to the dry but very colourful terrain seen across much of North West Argentina with a visit to Cafayate. The area is famed for its wine production, particularly the Torrontés grape, but the highlight for me was Quebrada de las Conchas. This stunning valley runs north of Cafayate, with the national highway Ruta 68 following its course.

´Garganta del Diablo´

Rio Las Conchas in Quebrada de las Conchas

A fantastic way to see Quebrada de las Conchas is to hire a bicycle from Cafayate, load it into the luggage compartment of a bus early in the morning, then get off at ´Garganta del Diablo´ (´Devil´s Throat´), from where one can cycle the 47km back to Cafayate along Ruta 68. By travelling this way I could stop when and where I wanted and take the time to walk to some of the areas near the road where there a countless stunning photo opportunities.

Earth in Reds & Greens

´Garganta del Diablo´ and ´El Anfiteatro´ (´The Amphitheatre´), both near the start of my cycle tour, are large cavern-like features in the rock. After that, the day was all about the stunning valley vistas and incredible spreads of rock colours and craggy shapes in the earth in so many places close to the road. One juxtaposition that really inspired me was the smooth sweeping man-made form of the road cutting through the jagged and irregular natural landscape – this made for the chance to create some eye-catching compositions, (look for the series of photos in the Flickr set titled ´Nice Curves´).

A Stunning Juxtaposition

A Contrast of Smooth & Jagged Forms

In one location, the mixes of reds and creams in the rocks and cliffs some way from the road tempted me to walk and scramble across the rough ground, to be rewarded by the yet more wonderful photographic opportunities.

Layers of Creams & Reds

Variations on Red

The Bodegas

As there are many bodegas (wineries) close to Cafayate, one afternoon I took advantage of my hired bicycle and visited one to hear about their wine production techniques and enjoy some free samples.

A Vineyard Near Cafayate

2012, 23rd – 27th November: Córdoba, Argentina

After visiting many places over the last six weeks with no access to internet, or with poor internet speed, I spent a long time in Córdoba catching up with this blogging and uploading of photos, so not too much visiting of the museums and galleries of the city.

Córdoba was the first place I have been to in a long time that has a European feel. There are parts of the city that appear a little like Madrid. As I near the end of my 15 month tour of South America and feel the need at times for a ´little normality´, cities like Córdoba and Buenos Aires feel much more the European life I am used to; with decent architecture and being places where things are generally organised and generally work - a refreshing change.

Window in Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes
Dr. Genaro Pérez in Córdoba

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