quilmes and leaving cafayate

  • get started
  • the ruins from far
  • intro to the history
  • some more history
  • ruins
  • the long road back
  • ruins from the top
  • snow capped mountains
  • rock shaped like spear head
  • view of the valley
  • sun shining off cactus
  • cool sunset part 1
  • cool sunset part 2
  • sunset and mountains

Yesterday, May 18th was my last day in Cafayate. I decided to visit the ruins of Quilmes. Quilmes is an area that the local indians fought for, for over 130 years not allowing the Spanish to remove them from the area that is rightly theirs.

The day started a bit sketchy as I was up til about 5am sipping some of the local wine with an Australian surfer girl called Tara. We even ventured into the local nightclub, and were met with some pretty odd looks, as everybody in there was full on local. Tara had to fend off a few locals who when they found out we weren't together, were all over like a fat kid on a cup cake. The only bus option leaving to Quilmes was at 11am, and with a bit of a hangover and 5 hours sleep, I managed to board it with about 5 minutes to spare.

When I got to Quilmes, I realised the ruins were a 5km walk from where the bus drops you off, and with no water, the already mentioned wine hangover, the sun beating down and nowhere in site to buy water I considered waiting on the side of the road for the next bus outta there. But I figured I'd go anyway.
I was glad I didn't back out. After the 5km walk I saw the start of the ruins and they were really impressive. Also there was pretty much nobody around except for the odd single traveller, so the silence combined with its history made it a very solumn place. I hiked to the top of the ruins, which took about another 45 minutes and was a steep uphill - see photos. The views from the top were spectacular, with the canyon river in the distance, the 5km dirt road I had walked and snow covered peaks further in the distance.

Took a few snaps and headed back down so that I wouldn't miss the next bus back to Cafayate - missing the 4pm bus would mean another 3 hour wait on the side of a road with nothing around. My hangover thirst was ragin by now, and when I met some locals I aksed where I could buy water. They told me the local canyon water was excellent for drinking and pointed out a tap that gets it's water from the canyon. Sweeeeet!!

Got back to Cafayate just in time to catch the bus back to Salta from where I hoped to catch tis morning's 7am 12 hour bus ride to San Pedro de Atacama - missing this bus would mean another 3 days in Salta which I wasn't keen on. I had about 5kg extra in my back pack cause the Italian dude, Roberto, who was in my dorm room, had 2 days before decided to go hiking in the canyon for about 5 days, and seeing that he was carrying about 5kg worth of books, I offered to take them off him and then leave them in a hostel in Salta from where he could collect them later.

Heading out of Cafayate, I saw a pretty amazing sunset, but the photos didn't come out as well as I hoped as they were taken from the bus and the windows were filthy.