Late on a Monday morning, Gaston’s parents and I headed toward Cafayate, a relatively small town at the edge of the sierra which grows some of the best wine grapes in the world. It is a long drive through incredibly varied landscapes.
One of the first towns we drive through is Jesus Maria. As in many Argentianian cities, trees line many streets. Here acequias provide water for the trees.
Except where cleared for farming–giant soybean and corn fields, much of the land through which we drove looks like this.
Taken as we sped along, this photo show soybeans in the distance. Since it seemed relatively dry here, I asked if they were irrigated. Gaston’s father told me no, that they had developed a type of soybeans that require much less water.
When I first saw this out my window, I thought maybe water, but no, this was the beginning of miles and miles of salt.
Another photo taken looking through my window.
And then we speed into the cloud forest. I was astonished my whole time here. I had to idea there was such a thing in Argentina.
We climbed higher and higher and stopped at a visitor’s area where displays explained the flora and fauna which live here.
This area is a subtropical jungle.
Often we drove through clouds or along the side of rushing mountain rivers. And then as suddenly as we arrived in these mountains, we were on the other side where it was dry. The selva–jungle–stopped almost as suddenly as it began. One side of the mountains lush and green with ocelots, all sorts of other wildlife, and on the other semi-arid country, equally beautiful but so astonishingly different only a few miles away.