Thursday, January 13, 2011


Ok, back to Argentina :)
The next day we rent a car and drove to Uspallata: The final stop would be the Cerro Tunduqueral, a rock art site not far from Uspallata.

(c) 2011 Google Maps
 While we worked our way towards the Andes in a nice comfortable car we could see a group of people  rafting. The river was so full of sediments that it took on the colour of the surrounding mountains:

We came across military areas
passed quiet alleys

encountered curious boulders

looks a bit like an Indian chief in profile, doesn't it? Finally we reached our goal, the Cerro Tunduqueral, a hilly top where we would hopefully find some petroglyphs. There was actually a parking lot and a comfortable short walk to the cerro:

There was even a sign explaining a bit the site. As you can see, Tunduqueral is about 2000 m asl and most of the engraving are supposed to be from the Early Ceramic Period. The sign says from AD 700 - 1000. But they might well be a bit earlier

Just to give you an overview, after all you had your fill in archaeology yesterday ;)

In any case, we had a fantastic view of the Andes and their snow covered passes:

On our way back we stopped shortly at a group of shrines which are very common here:

while some were still accumulating glass bottle-offerings, most had a pile of plastic bottles next to them. Plus all the other 'offerings' including plastic toy figurines, plastic flowers, candles, food remains and cloth preferably red dyed one:

There must have been an active rail road once, but now the tracks are quite deserted:

since it was getting late we rushed home (here you can see our rental, flashing provocatively at the camera):

But the trip wouldn't be complete with a short stop at Lake Potrerillos, an artificial lake formed by a large dam and now a major recreation area for the locals:

But wait, didn't I say something about nandu feet? Of course, and here they are:

If you don't believe me, have a look at an emu track on a salt lake (the emu and the nandu are both ratite birds):

Want to see a live nandu? Then stay tuned in for the next blog post. We are visiting Mendoza zoo....


  1. FYI
    an Argentinian guy told me that they worship local saints at these shrines not ppl that passed away, as I would have thought

  2. Did you ask him why they are offering empty plastic bottles?

  3. according to my work colleague, these holy ppl are dedicated to travelling and by giving them water you allay their thirst

  4. Here you can read the story and the reason for the offerings of bottled water