Another short 3 hour bus ride (anything under 8 hours is considered short now) and we arrived in the small town of Tafi Del Valle.
Tafi is a very small mountain town, not too dissimilar from a European ski resort (without the snow). We are here out of season so it is currently mostly old people and horses roaming the town. However peak season is a different story where the rich folk from Tucuman come up to populate the amazing houses that fill the surrounding hillsides
This was the start of our hostel experiment. Up until now we had mainly stayed in hotels but in order to meet new people, get ideas on where to go and to actually cook a meal rather than going to a restaurant, we are spending the next week or so in a series of hostels, whilst travelling west to Santiago,Chile.
Our home for the next 2 nights was the Hostel Nomade, aptly named because a) Nomad – it had recently moved locations (thankfully they met us off the bus) and b) No made – they were still building it!. Our room itself was finished and came with a double bed, breakfast and an en suite bathroom with hot running water – all perfectly acceptable for the £8pppn we were paying. More importantly the staff and other guests were lovely and cooking our own dinner (even if it was only pasta in a tomato sauce) was a welcome change.
For our one full day here we decided to go for a hike to wear off some of the steak and malbec from our Cafayate blowout. So, armed with the vaguest map in the world (see picture), we went to climb the local hills for a day. 7 hours later (and after only getting lost once) we returned completely worn out (in a good way) and in need of a couple of cold cervezas which we found and promptly devoured
In the hostel we met Katrina, a lovely Australian school teacher who gave us some info on things to do in Cordoba, our next stop and also a few other must see places. (What is it with australian teachers travelling South America? we have met several – are there any left in Oz?)
Maybe this hostel thing will work out as we planned?