Monday (Lunes) 17th May, 2010
Day 430

Cafayate, Argentina
Cafayate, Argentina
Miles: 44,121
S 26.08011°
W 65.97669°

No rain today - it dawned bright, clear and still. There was fresh snow on the surrounding mountains.

The first stop of the day was an abandoned fortified village, dating from 1000 AD, of the local indian people (the Diaguita peoples). This group of about 5000 people resisted the Incas and then the Spanish ( for nearly 200years). In 1667 they were finally conquered by the Spanish and all remaining inhabitants deported to Buenos Aires. All that remains is a series of walls giving a tantalizing glimpse of what must have been quite an impressive village.

In the town of Cafayate we went looking for a soldadora welder to fix the carrier on the rear of the Tiger. The added weight of spare tyre, full fuel can and gas cylinder finally broke one of the welds. Finding one turned out to be surprisingly easy - we happened to see a sign. The repair was not elegant, a few pieces of steel angle tying the carrier to the chassis - but it sure seems strong.

From Cafayate we traveled north along the highway towards Salta to look at the Cafayate Canyon. The road snakes through a river valley surrounded by multi-colored sandstone cliffs and hills that have been carved by wind and water in all kinds of weird shapes. The two most impressive structures along the way were

  • The Devils Throat, a large fracture in a rock cliff that has subsequently been widened by water. It was perhaps 30-50 yards wide, some hundreds of feet high and went back into the cliff face many hundreds of yards. and

  • the Amphitheater, this fissure in the cliff face was carved by water. Like the Devils Throat it is many hundreds of feet high with clear evidence that water sometimes cascades down the rear wall. At the bottom of the water course the fissure is over 50 yards wide and is almost perfectly circular.

After exploring the 60 kms of this canyon we returned to Cafayate for the night.


On the southern edge of town are a number of campgrounds. We picked the one that had other guests and was obviously open for business. Nice hot showers, electricity, tables and fire places.