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February 05, 2006

From Rio Juramento / Salta to Tarija

After over a year, I finally picked up my gear at the Salta Rafting camp. Grillo had taken good care of it all, and gotten some good use from it. The overflow was even used in his first descent of the Rio Tarija (which I missed, unfortunately). The cataraft frame showed clear signs of not having been moved in a while... the white thing in the center of the picture is the seat.

After spending the morning playing with Grillo's new "canopy" (a zip line setup named after the canopy tours in Costa Rica, but across a canyon instead of from tree to tree), we packed up and drove to Salta for some coding and vehicle maintenance.

My favorite restaurant (Bosque la Cava) no longer exists - bummer! The place that is there now (Caseros & Cordoba) is decent as well, though. And it seems as though the previous owners passed on their collection of music to the new ones, since it is still just as cheesy and out of place, something that I fondly remembered about the place.

When we finally set off for Tarija, the following work had been done:

The drive from Salta to Oran was uneventful, except for the pouring rain and us spending half an hour searching the jeep for peaches that we had bought and that should *not* stay with the 2 week supply of canned and dry food we picked up for river trips. 

As we continued the next day, the rain stopped soon, and it was a nice drive up the Rio Bermejo gorge. The road is now paved all the way to Tarija, so it only takes about 3.5 hours. Still plenty of "geological instability" as the signs call it -- mud and rocks the size of my head, right on the road.

Robyn had some highly untable cream cheese, and we later had an incredibly cheap but good lunch at the junction to the road to Los Toldos (there is also a place to stay there that looks decent for its location). Wonderful people there... they were out of lettuce for salad, and so happily threw our leftover veggies into the salad.

Some day I want to paddle the Bermejo -- looks like it would be fun.


 The view from the bridge over the Rio Tarija made me jealous of Grillo's trip down this river a few months ago.  He put in right here and spent 10 days on the river, paddling from the desert into rainforest, complete with monkeys etc. 
It was nice to see the Tarija valley green -- last time I was here was in the dry season. There are quite a few tiny vineyards here; surprising in this kind of terrain.

In Tarija, the people at the Hotel Costanera actually recognized me, after 1.5 years. Nice to be back.

Posted by rick at February 5, 2006 05:26 PM

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