After one well deserved rested night in Cafayate we went with our new Argentinean friends to explore the surroundings of the city. We rented some bikes and headed to the beginning of a trail that would lead us to the 7 cataratas (7 waterfalls) of the Rio Colorado. This point was just 6km from the centre but the dirt road was continuously uphill. The inclination was not that stiff, but the burning sun, the altitude and our own lack of bike preparation made this road strenuous.
Once we arrived, we left our bikes with the park Ranger, registered our names and hired a guide to get us to the cascatas. This we already knew and already been advised to us. But it was only along the way that we realised how necessary the Guide was!!! We immediately started to climb some rocks with the help of our guide that seemed to have springs on his feet. There was no trill after all and this first segment was just a teaser of what we would have to climb.
We headed along the river, making some short brakes for rest but keeping on a good rhythm when walking. We continued our way altering from walking a very narrow path, climbing rocks and jumping across the river. The climbing and the jumping are literal and not figures of speech. We found ourselves hanging on rocks with several metres of ravine under us. Our guide Sebastian came from a native community that lived around. He was very helpful, always giving instructions how to cross the next obstacles and making incentives. He had literally our lives in his hands in certain parts where he hold us from falling down the rocks. The way to the waterfalls was definitely difficult but it sure was thrilling and exhilarating. The adrenaline was floating all the time and we didn’t have time to think or to be scared.
After 2 hours and a half we finally reached our prize: the first two of the waterfalls and a natural pool where we could swim. It felt like a well-deserved piece of paradise. Unfortunately we didn’t stay long because we still had to make our way back and the weather seemed to be changing to rain. We were in a place where we didn’t want to be if it started to rain. The river can quickly flood and turn to very powerful rapids.
The way back was done through an easier way. The whole hike took us more than 3 hours and it was exhausting (I actually had a cramp during our descent). But the experience was more than worth it!
After a quick snack we still found some time to cycle to a goat farm just next to Cafayate. We’ve learned about the goat cheese making process and tasted some very ‘powerful’ cheese.
All four of us were devastated but happy at the end of the day. The day called for some rest while drinking and sharing some mate. Thank you to our friends Anahí and Sofia for being such good travel companions and for joining us in all these adventures!!
This is the story of a couple who fell in love and traveled together around the world for 10 months.
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We finished our trip!
We are now back in Portugal and new posts are heading this way! (Aug 2015)
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