We left Villa Unión towards a small town in the west part of the Catamarca Province called Fiambalá. As usual we started driving after breakfast, so we left Villa Unión around 10am (we’re practising slow living here!) to stop in Chilecito to have lunch. It was a surprise for us this part of route 40 between Villa Unión and Chilecito (approximately 111 km) – it was a very scenic route that deserved several stops on the way.
After having lunch in the city centre we drove until Tinogasta (around 200 km) where it was supposed to start the famous Ruta del Adobe. This 50 km route between Tinogasta and Fiambalá has several buildings in adobe, a material made of earth mixed with water and an organic material such as straw or dung. To be honest we didn’t find this route very interesting, maybe because we were expecting better… anyway we saw some of the houses, churches and public buildings and it was a way of learning a little bit more about this region’s life in the 18th and 19 centuries.
Fiambalá town is known for its hot springs with medicinal waters that used to serve ancient people but nowadays, young people visit it too. At least that’s what we read before visiting the place but then we only found senior people there. Since the place has a unique natural beauty we took the opportunity to make some pictures but we didn’t stay longer than that.
The town has an interesting museum (although very old-fashioned!) called Museo del Hombre (Man’s Museum). We found a very good archaeological collection with several pieces from indigenous that inhabited these valleys. We also discovered two mummified bodies, which reach an age of 500 years old. There’s another room dedicated to high mountain climbing, specifically to the six thousands picks in the region with plenty of documents, photos and articles used in the expeditions.
We also visited Dunas del Tatón (Tatón dunes), one of the top attractions of Fiambalá and only 40 km from the town. The dunes are endless and for us it was strange to see it right between several mountains and peaks (some of them with snow!). It is a great place to take pictures!
Next stop: Cafayate (Argentina)