Valle de la Luna

Trip Start Apr 02, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Campo Luna, Valle de la Luna

Flag of Argentina  ,
Friday, May 16, 2008

St. Agustín is a very small town where many of the locals travel around on bicycles. Itīs got that tumbleweed feel to it. The Hostel was grand. We were in a dorm room with an Israeli guy and an American girl..waving across at each other from opposite bunks! Valle de la Luna (San Juan) was the destination the following day. Itīs basically an arid landscape which apparently looks like the moon, containing some of the oldest known dinosaur remains in the World. Rough Guide recommends visiting in the afternoon as it says the colour of the sunset on the rocks is impressive. So we requested that through the tour company, which descended upon us at the bus station like a bunch of locusts, and we got it. Itīs well worth the visit, lots of very strange rock formations, a geologistīs dream (Book your flight Clare!). Itīs a Provincial Park, so entry fees are a bit cheaper and part of the new James Bond Movie was filmed there in March. When we got back, we cooked dinner at the Hostel and were in bed early. We turned into one of those insular couples at that Hostel..hung out with each other, cooked dinner, read our books and went to bed early. Sad, but not much going on in St. Augustin in fairness!
The next morning we were the only two people on the mini bus from the Hostel to Parque National Tampalaya..thatīs the low season for you. A National Park, so a bit pricier and in a different province to Valle de la Luna (La Rioja), so the competition between the two pārks is fierce! We were put on a bus with a bunch of Argentinian sightseers, the majority of whom were in their late sixties, early seventies. We became a bigger attraction than the park itself and weīd a great time chatting in our broken espaniol to the bunch. Seventy-one year old Gabriel took a particular shine to us. He was so cool, spoke seven languages; a wealth of knowledge. Tampalaya has petroglyphs and ceramics belonging to the inhabitants that occupied the area before colonisation. Itīs got a canyon which is about 3km long and we all had to scream īArgentinaī to hear it echoing three times in the distance. People laughing after the scream resulted in rows among the more outspoken members of the group, because they couldnīt hear the echos. Priceless! We said goodbye to them and they thanked us for visiting their country. They all thought we were students, must have been our scruffy appearance, it certainly wasnīt down to an emaciated look anyway!  
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