Another slow car trip....!!

Trip Start Nov 09, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Argentina  , Central Argentina,
Monday, December 12, 2011

Today we decided to go the east side of Capilla to Ascochinga....this trek started at La Cumbre and was a 93 km trail on unmade roads on a loop back to Capilla.....

it was similar in many ways to yesterdays trip so steep in places hard to drive in places and very uneven etc etc... but we had a few extra experiences here... after travelling for 30 mins we caught up another car....that was new...and then a 4 x 4 overtook us  !!! ...  interesting...

we continued to follow the first car for a few kilometers before we got to a 50metre long deep dip in the road which was full of muddy slurry. ...not knowing how deep it was, we watched closely as the other car slipped and slid through this deep reddish mud bath...he was finding it hard to get a grip and his car was now covered in mud but he made it and so our turn came... we took it carefully and I believe Robin enjoyed it, acting like an experienced rally driver skidding and sliding all over...hehe.. we had to keep going or I reckon we would have got stuck and I had no wellies with me to get out and push fun...

a little later we passed a monkey sanctuary which is where the car in front turned off leaving us alone on the road again..interesting the santuary was not sign posted until we got there and no advertising anywhere else...!!..

another 15km further on we arrived at las tres cascades... which was actually mentioned a couple of times along the way ...  it is a valley with an area of picnic tables grass and guess what, yes three waterfalls....there was no one else there so we avoided the entrance fee...hehe..a whole 8 pesos..we parked the car and followed the path through trees and shrubs to an awesome open area of river and waterfalls..the valley was hidden from the road by tall trees so was very interesting and beautiful..after eating our lunch and taking pictures we continued our journey...knowing we were now half way so only another 45km or 3 hours travelling to go...

the next part followed winding tracks around small mountains which seemed very similar to scotland with rolling hills of heathland for miles, no trees, very little grass and just a few scattered buildings ... even some cattle and horses grazing on what little they could find, but still no more cars or people...

we then descended into Ascochinga and a tarmaced road for a few miles, at last relief from the endless shaking of my bones on the bumpy track..the village is in the montains and larger than we thought but it is halfway between the two main roads up the Punilla valley ... so probably used as a cut across..

the road soon changed back as the tarmac stopped at the end of the village and we continued on a slightly better track as Robin managed to get up to 40km/hr in places..!! we headed off to Santa Catalina a village founded by the Jesuits in the middle of nowhere.. the church was spectacular, sadly it was closed but the detailing on the stonework and the sheer size of the building was awesome..

24 kilometres later, after passing many tiny settlements with very basic housing, beside cute river beds with tables and chairs laid out ready for potential customers, to their make shift cafes and a few hostel signs, we arrived in Ongamira. an outcrop of very red looked like something out of Arizona and Sedona or Ayres rock...on a smaller scale of course.. so unexpected..huge great red cliffs rising 100s of feet through the heathland forming large caves at the interesting..more people were here, though as the tourist information hut was shut we could not gain access to the caves..a shame..

moving on we drove past rivers and gorges until arriving at los Torrones which apparently is a picnic tourist area on a river with large rocks carved in the shape of animals..sadly this too was closing as we arrived so we could not go in... but Capilla was now just 4kms away ..and I was so glad to get back onto the main road again....5 hours on unmade roads is really hard going...!!

another super day with loads to see... Argentina is so interesting...!!

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