Soaring with the condors

Trip Start Nov 27, 2009
Trip End Oct 26, 2010

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Flag of Argentina  , Central Argentina,
Monday, September 20, 2010

On the recommendation of the hostel owner we left Cordoba for a night to visit the small town of Minas Clavaro out in the country to try and see condors. Getting there was a bit of a mission because we almost ran to the bus station only to find out that the bus was sold out and we had to sit and wait there for two hours for the next bus – Kate was adamant that this was the last 'side trip' that we would take. Minas Clavaro was a quiet little town and there wasn’t much to do especially when the restaurants only opened for supper at 9pm. We stayed in an old, dark hotel which wasn’t too bad – the owners were the ones that took us on the tour and were really friendly, when we arrived we got a huge hug and a kiss on each cheek.

We took a jeep up into very rocky mountains the next day to look for the condors. The guide seemed to know everything about the countryside, birds and plants but unfortunately we probably understood about a tenth of what he was rattling on about in Spanish. He had brought two huge pieces of meat and placed them on the rocks for the eagles, vultures and then condors. At first a black chested buzzard eagle arrived and it was amazing because it recognised the guide and would listen to him and was quite happy for us to get right up close – it was beautiful and very, very impressive. We then had to wait a while for the condors to arrive while the other vultures came in for a meal. Eventually the condors came in but unfortunately they wouldn’t land because the wind was not strong enough for them to take off again. They flew right over our heads, leaving us speechless as we heard the wind rustling through their feathers. They were hugely impressive, with a wingspan of over 3 metres, as they gracefully glided through the air. We also stopped at a cactus museum to end the day, which had some archaeological artefacts and was surprisingly interesting, before heading back to Cordoba.
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