Part 15: Cafayate to Salta (Part 2)


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The Trip

We continued our trip up the Quebrada de los Conchas toward Salta.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

The locals call this structure "El Obelisco".  This is a siltstone structure produced by erosion.

The tilted strata produced interesting shapes when eroded.

More small hoodoos.

Mud curtains that have evolved due to soft strata and intense rain.

Looking across Rio del Conchas to cliffs on the other side of the river.

Rich red cliffs were visible across the river.

Complex shapes evolve in soft mudstone.

Everywhere the mudstone was exposed resulted in deep slots in the strata.

The deep red rock reminded us of southern Utah and western Colorado.

In some areas, the sandstone was capped by harder rock resulting in more complex shapes.  Note the warping of the strata in the center of the photo above.

Side canyons opened up to yield beautiful panoramas.

Beautiful hoodoos carved from soft stone.

The uplift that produced the Quebrada also exposed large slabs of rock producing deep canyons between the layers of rock.

Mini-hoodoos right next to the roadway.  These also produce hazards due to falling rocks.

Note the warping in the bedding.  The forces required to do this are almost incomprehensible.

A whole field of hoodoos.

The Quebrada area was crossed by faults resulting in deep canyons and heavily distorted zones in the strata.  At least three different blocks of material are visible in the photo above.

The higher areas were softer material than the lower producing curtains on the high cliffs.

An isolated mountain.

The river valley was quite broad in this area of the Quebrada.

Steep sections of cliffs were visible in some of the side canyons.

We nearly missed this iconic feature called "Gargantua del Diablo" (Throat of the Devil).  This is a narrow side canyon created by the erosive power of fast-moving water.

Even after seeing it many times, I am still surprised by epiphytes living in the desert.  These epiphytes were spotted high up on a dead tree trunk in the arid side canyon.

The violent nature of running water has reshaped the road system through the Quebrada multiple times.  In many places we saw evidence of the original road, a newer road and, of course, the current road.  The stone bridge in the photo above was the newer road, but this section of road was isolated due to land slides resulting in a change in the path of the road.

Directly across the canyon from the stone bridge, the side arroyo has recently run with storm runoff.

More beautiful red rock cliffs.

This is a Caracara, a local raptor that prefers carrion.

Kathleen was working while we drove and found an open room at an estancia close to Salta.  The place was called "Houses of Jasmine" and it was beautiful.  Above is the entry path from the road through a line of old-growth eucalyptus trees.

The main building of the estancia.

One of the common areas in the estancia.

The dining area.

The bar area with staff in local attire.

The pool was visible from our second story room (note: here, the first floor is what we would call the second floor; the ground floor is "piso 0")

The estancia is about 250 acres and was previously owned by actor Robert DuValle as a vacation home.  He sold the estancia to the current owners who turned it into a hotel.

This is the dining area and "cook shack".  A shack it was not.

The Quebrada del las Conchas was, to put it in a grossly overused term, awesome.  The road was in pretty good shape but there was plenty of debris on the road from falling rocks.  Happily for us, all the debris was small and we were able to drive around it. did us "a solid" act and led us to House of Jasmine, a great estancia with nice rooms and a beautiful dining room.  We are planning to stay only one night, but we may stay here again before we depart from Salta to Buenos Aires.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2018, all rights reserved.
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