South America

High desert elixir (Drive Day 203: Jan 18, 2004)

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I am not a proponent of drinking and driving, so when we discover we have entered Argentina’s northernmost wine region we curtail our road time to the hours between breakfast and lunch. There is no sense buying bottled water when Torrontes white is just as clear and infinitely more delicious. Instead of motoring on to cover more ground by dinner we set up camp after the first bottle and then rent bicycles to continue explorations – and buy more wine.0118c.jpg

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Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa. Like travel anthologies? I’m in a brand new one called Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America which you can get here.

The colors of Cafayate (Drive Day 202: Jan 17, 2004)

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Whoever thought to dot the towns of northwestern Argentina with municipal campgrounds must have been a fan of westerns. The drive to Cafayate passes through technicolor splendor – mountains slashed with a cinnamon red glow as sunset turns the sky a heavy blue silver. At the campground the wind, rustling through the poplars, sounds like old men sighing.

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Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa. Like travel anthologies? I’m in a brand new one called Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America which you can get here.

Desert displays (Drive Day 201: Jan 16, 2004)

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First Argentina felt like a time warp. Now it’s like a flying carpet ride transporting us to what I imagine the American southwest looked like a hundred years ago. Rock formations peel and twist into revealed canyons and up-thrust formations with names like Devil’s Throat. The soil is painted with mustard, burnt cayenne and hazy purple colors. Then the terrain, just as suddenly, flattens out with formidable cacti in lieu of signposts or mile markers. Look don’t stay, they seem to warn and we keep driving.

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Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa. Like travel anthologies? I’m in a brand new one called Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America which you can get here.

Colonial camping in Salta, Argentina (Drive Day 200: Jan 15, 2004)

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The northwestern city of Salta is called the best preserved Colonial city in Argentina – even the communal campground is stunning. For two dollars a night we can take showers and swim in tree-lined pools the size of lakes. Everything is bigger and cheaper here – six full bags of groceries cost the equivalent of ten dollars and a box of red wine eighty cents, less than bottled water. A quarter kilo of fresh shaved ham? Sixty cents. It feels like we’ve slipped back in time – the campgrounds are filled with teenagers hitchhiking from town to town, families vacationing together, grilling great slabs of meat on charcoal grills and passing gourds filled with steaming mate tea from friend to new friend. And every other vehicle seems to be a Ford – from farm trucks to elegantly maintained Falcons. It’s breathe easy relaxing and for the first time in months we don’t feel blatantly out of place.

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Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa. Like travel anthologies? I’m in a brand new one called Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America which you can get here.

To Jujuy (Drive Day 199: Jan 14, 2004)

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I’m not sure if we are technically following the Pan-American anymore – we are pouring over maps for routes leading to a town large enough to fix the side-view window smashed by a too-close truck in Bolivia. Which we find in Jujuy, along with traffic and hassles that threaten to unravel the mellow we now associate with Argentina. So we do our business and retreat to the surrounding countryside, letting the river be our guide.

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Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa. Like travel anthologies? I’m in a brand new one called Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America which you can get here.

Decompressing, Argentina style (Drive Day 198: Jan 13, 2004)

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I’ve read the headlines. I know Argentina’s economy is in the tank. But it is still a world apart from the desolation to its north. We stop for supplies and camp at hot springs, the first bonafide campground we’ve found since leaving Mexico. I feel Sundance Kid lucky, like I’ve gotten away with something and need to enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts.

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Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa. Like travel anthologies? I’m in a brand new one called Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America which you can get here.

The final frontier (Drive Day 197: Jan 12, 2004)

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Crossing into Argentina is an attitude check I still need. However rough we think we have it, a border reminds you how lucky you are.

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The crossing point into Aguas Calientes, Argentina takes three hours to negotiate, and that’s if you’re an American with valid papers and cash to spread around. We’re the only ones with the luxury of choice, not forced to make this crossing just to survive. I’ve written about borders before and hope this little video is a window on human strength and courage.

 

Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa. Like travel anthologies? I’m in a brand new one called Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America which you can get here.