It was hard to say goodbye to my Dad and admit that this trip we had been planning for so long was over. We were down to just us two girls, my Mom and I and our little “shopping” trip. My Mom is a weaver and I knew it was essential to take her to the north of Argentina where the artesanias abound. Llamas, guanaco, and vincuña wander the landscapes and their wool is naturally dyed and fills the shops and markets.
We took another 18 hour bus ride and at one rather bumpy point peered out the window to see that the road had fallen victim to a flash flood and had split right in half and washed away. Although we were happy to not be driving at that point, we didn’t hesitate to rent a car to venture to nearby Cachi, a small village we had read about as charming, full of artists, and possibly UFOs too.
The ride there offered at least as much eye candy as the village itself. Most of it is ripio, or gravel, and it bends and curves and turns and winds, up and down a gorge, like the most ambitious grape vine grabbing hold for dear life. As was I as my Mom relished the chance to be driving in a real life video game (albeit not admittedly), expertly shifting gears and flirting with cliff edges for four adrenaline filled hours of driving to get there.
The road conveniently passes through a national park, one that celebrates the colossal cardon cactus. This park showed off thousands of them, standing proud, peppering the hills and valleys with their stature. And the equally mighty condor continues to show itself in my life. This time there must’ve been 40-50 of them. I can’t help but repeat that their impressive wingspan is 9 ft/3m long and when standing on the ground, their height would be above my waist. They were close to the road and dining, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to crash the party for some close up photos.
Town itself was simple and lovely, especially at night when you felt transported in time, into an old fashioned photo of golden tones. We realized with dismay that the actual weavers were in the next town over that we wouldn’t be able to get to in the short time we had, and so we settled for long lunches, hilarious dinners, and time to meander the streets and shops of lovely Cachi.