Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Argentina 2

Tafi del Valle was very exciting because it marked the first stop in the part of the country that we came to see: the Andes.

Unfortunately, at this point in the trip my camera was not working yet so I was not able to capture the amazing trip up the mountain, following a winding white river rushing in the opposite direction, switching back and forth on a narrow road while overloaded trucks rushed past, finally over the pass and down into the valley. It was a trip worth doing over again just for that.

Upon arriving in Tafi, some friendly people from local hostals were waiting to welcome us to town, and invite us to their hostals. We thanked them, took their fliers, and struck off on our own. Pretty soon we met up with our Eurpoean friends Carlo and Sara. Not wanting to waste any time, we dropped our backpacks off at a hostal, ate some empanadas (and a delicious bowl of humita) and went out to hike the nearest peak. We were told that from this peak we would be 8530 feet above sea level, and 1000 feet above the town.

After we got back from the hike, Carlo made us a pasta dinner to celebrate Brandon's birthday. He had been craving pasta anyway, saying that back home in Italy they never go more than a day without eating pasta.

The next day, we went for a long walk/hike that looped way out into the country, through a tiny community, around through a larger community where we had a look at a bunch of "huancas" or big rocks that have been carved with faces or symbols. I don't have any pictures, but here are some excerpts from the handy (english) pamphlit I got.

"Huanca" is a Quechua word that broadly translates as "the benefactors or guards
of the place they are in". In this case we refer to the monoliths as "huanca
protectors", who are favorable to the crops and the cattle. They were
probably idols representing different Gods, and placed strategically so as to
provide benefit to their immediate surroundings. Archaeologists say that
the stones found in this area were probably created around 2000 years ago.

Here are some pictures from that day.

After two nights in Tafi del Valle, we were ready to move on. An easy bus ride took us to our next stop: Amaicha del Valle.


Mariam's Blog said...

I thought you weren't gonna put any more photos in your blog?? It looks like a good entry...I'll read it.

Flip said...

If there is one thing I have learned down here, it's how to lie as much as possible.