Sunday, February 7, 2010
PAGING DR. FREUD!
Mixed in with the mountains in the Cachi gorge are stretches of cactus plains.
Careful where you sit!
Pablo also took us on walks through the rugged countryside.
And into cattle canyons.
But the real point of this post is to show you the fun we had driving. Remember how I told you that drivers here are crazy? I mean outside Buenos Aires, even cities like Salta with oiver 600,000 people have almost no stop lights or stop signs. Cars race up to an intersection. If there's a hole in the traffic flow they floor it. Otherwise -- AAA!!! As a pedestrian, it feels like being in a carnival game of Whack-A-Mole where you're the mole!
Same craziness here in the mountains. A single dotted line means, feel free to drive on the wrong side of the road -- in fact, we insist! A double solid line when approaching a hairpin turn where you can't see what's ahead means, "Hey, it's up to you, bro." On the few occasions Argentinians are serious, they actually paint huge exclamation marks in the lanes, and then it's kinda like, "Don't say we didn't warn you!"
Here Pablo shows us the happy-go-lucky driving spirit that makes traveling here so much fun.
1) Talk to passengers in the backseat to make sure they're happy. Use your hands to make your points.
2) At curves, take your eyes off the road and flash a smile out the window at pretty girls hitchhiking. Or just check yourself out in the side mirror.
3) As you sail through the air over the cliff, reassure the screaming passengers in the back seat.
4) Leap before the crash and have lunch ready for when your passengers climb back to the road. (If they're kinda dead, make them a nice stone marker. Flowers optional.)
Next stop Cachi, salt flats, and pre-Incan settlements!