When we arrived in Cachi, it looked like a sleepy little town. The place was very quiet with few people around.
We had booked a guesthouse, Hosteria Cachi Pueblo Hermoso, via Booking.com. We don’t usually recommend places we stay, but this place was lovely, clean, quiet, and the owner was really nice and helpful. Once we had settled in we decided to stretch our legs and check the village out.
The weather was quite hot and so we decided to sit in the shade in the square and have a beer and people watch before expending too much energy in the heat and altitude. We met up again with the lovely family from Buenos Aires. Unfortunately they couldn’t stay for a drink as they had to be back on the road to head back to Salta. They had a long drive ahead.
We walked around the village. We were unimpressed by Cachi, but first impressions are not always the best ones. The village is clean and Spanish looking and there are not many restaurants, bars or cafes. I dragged Bob down a few side streets on the edge of town where we found some beautiful properties that had some amazing views. I am always doing that, going down streets off the beaten path.
While sitting outside our restaurant and finishing off our wine after dinner, we noticed a fair amount of activity on the main street. There were cars, motorbikes, and scooters cruising up and down the road. I suppose not an unusual sight on a Friday night. We got to chatting with the waitresses (we were the only customers) and found out that the town is surprisingly large and most people were employed in the area either in farming/agriculture or in local government/schools. In fact, the older lady was a retired headmistress of the local school and the younger one was one of her pupils.
Considering that the wine we were drinking wasn’t the best we had in Argentina, where the wine is consistently very good, it must have been quite strong because we were so relaxed that even Bob was talking in Spanish! We chatted for what seemed hours and learned a lot about these women, their families, and the area, while being able to share information about ourselves too – all in another language. It is moments like these that makes one feel less like a tourist and more like a traveller.
The next morning was just as sunny and warm as the previous day and we had a fairly long drive along the Ruta 40 to Cafayate. However, before we hit the main rode, I wanted to check out a few roads in the town to see where they went and where all the people we saw the night before came from. The town is deceptively small to look at and the little hills hide many houses. We were pleased to see how well kept the area was as this has not always been the case during our travels. Sometimes it is a good idea to go off the beaten track!