Cueva de las Manos to Estancia La Angastura

Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 18, 2011

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Where I stayed
Estancia La Angastura

Flag of Argentina  , Santa Cruz,
Saturday, November 5, 2011

So with our dreams of another full day walk gone we got up early for an amazing breakfast and got in the car to drive to Cueva de las Manos. This turned out to be quite the experience.  The drive itself was through the hills and provided great views over the area, but the most interesting thing was the wildlife.  We saw loads of guanacos, which must have been in mating season as there was lots of chasing going on and males trying to prove they were the best!  As we came over one hill with a view over a small lake we saw a dot in the water and realised it was a flamingo.  As we got closer it flew off so we got a great view of the colours.  No time for a photo but definitely one for the memory banks.  We saw 3 when we were driving back from the caves and spent a while watching them with the binoculars, still too far away for a photo.  We also saw two choiqua which is a local bird that looks similar to an Ostrich.  I think our guide in the caves was impressed with our luck.  We finally got to the end of the drive and parked up opposite the caves, with only a huge canyon standing between us and them.  It was a really nice walk down into the canyon and back up the other side, and we took our time taking it all in. 

The caves themselves are really cool.  It has the name Cueva de las Manos (cave of the hands) because alongside some other paintings the vast majority of the paintings are outlines of people's hands.  They used straw like tools to blow paint over their hands and create the paintings you will see in the pictures.  Different to other rock paintings from 8000 years ago it felt really amazing to think some humans from that long ago actually put their hand there and their hand looked like that!  Some sections look really cool with loads of hands interspersed with paintings of guanaco.

On the way back we took in more scenery and wildlife and then made lunch at the estancia before moving onto our next location.  Basically from here we knew it would be 2 days of driving to get to El Chalten but we weren’t 100% sure where we would stay.  The natural mid-point is a town called Gobernador Gregores where we could also get petrol, however staying in a town didn’t seem so interesting so at the risk of running out of petrol we took the old Ruta 40 to a tourist estancia marked on our map.  We knew this could waste a whole load of time given that the 2 estancias we tried the day before were shut, but why not?! Luckily it was open and because of the extremely high cost (which we’re still not too sure how the estancias get away with) we took a camping spot….but did decide to have an expensive dinner cooked for us.  So glad we did.  Three huge courses of amazing food, especially the main course which was a stew of lamb and the best vegetables we’ve eaten in a long long time!  
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Liam O S on

A wet Monday morning in Mullingar will be some change from all the exotic places you are now visiting - regards from a wet Thursday in Greystones !!!

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