A Travellerspoint blog

Salta and the mummies of sacrified Inca children

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I travelled on a overnight bus and under thunder and lightning which was quite impressive over the Andes. In the bus I meet 2 young Canadian girls who are staying in the same hostel as me.

13 November
As it is still raining on our first day, we visit a museum where we see an Inca child which was mummified and buried in the mountain.

The Inca had rituals and ceremonies aimed at merging a sacred place with ancient times and the best and most important possessions were offered with the hope of being equally rewarded by the gods. These were not just pottery and jewels but human offerings too. They offered and mummified their best looking children and buried them in the mountains. In 1999, 3 children were excavated, a 15 year old girl, a 9 year old boy and a 6 year old girl. They are all still preserved in special conditions in the museum and rotated for public viewing. I saw the 6 year old girl. She has hair, eyelashes, skin and everything. We were not allowed to take pictures in the museum so try google.

if that does not work, google Lllullaillaco children

I wanted to book a tour for the next day to see the mountain of 7 colours which is in Purmamarca in the north but I was told by one agency that the tour of that day had returned because of some demonstrators who closed the road in protest of something or rather (the Argentinians demonstrate a lot). I therefore made a lot of enquiries from the agent I had chosen, also making sure they had an English speaking guide. He made some phone calls and assured me that it was still going ahead. I booked my trip and went on in town with the 2 girls to visit places and eat.

When we got back to the hostel just before 11pm, the guy from the agency (with wife and kid in the car) was waiting for me (he had been waiting almost 2 hrs) to say that he was very sorry but he had heard back and the barricades where still there for tomorrow so the tour was cancelled. He offered me another tour but as there were not any I wanted to do he give me my money back without problem. I was said about the tour but amazed by his action. Not only that, as he knew it was my last day in Argentina, he insisted I went on another tour free of charge! So as I did not want to hurt his feelings after what he had done, I went to see some more coloured mountains in Cayafate and also visited a winery. I bought a bottle of wine which I delivered to him at his office on my return as I was so amazed at his action and kindness.

So here are some pictures of more coloured mountains (it is becoming a little like the Asian temples :) but the scenery and landscapes of the Andes are truly breathtaking)


So this is now the end for Argentina. Tomorrow I take the bus back to northern Chile to San Pedro de Acatama which is on the Bolivia border.

Posted by Lifeis4living 11:51 Archived in Argentina Tagged mountains english Comments (1)

The Moon Valley/ La Vallée de la Lune -

Pischigualasto National Park

sunny 30 °C
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11 November
Another early start for a tour to the Moon Valley with 2 Argentinian girls and our guide Flávio. First stop a place of worship called "La Diffunta". A young woman died of thirst whilst trying to cross the desert to find her husband but her baby survived by feeding on her breast. People now consider this as a mirale and there are shrines everywhere as people come and make wishes and if the wish comes true they come back and put up a plaque to say thank you.

La Difunta Correa est un personnage mythique qui fait l’objet d’un culte au même titre qu'une sainte en Argentine, au Chili et en Uruguay. Elle possède un sanctuaire dans la localité de Vallecito, dans la province de San Juan, mais la majeure partie de son culte est rendu au bord des routes, dans d’humbles sanctuaires.


Valley de la Luna

Most of the park lies within the Valle Fértil Department, with a minor part in the Jachal Department of San Juan, at an altitude of about 1,300 m (4,300 ft) amsl. The park is part of the western border of the Central Sierras, and it features typical desert vegetation (bushes, cacti and some trees) which covers between 10 and 20% of the area. The climate is very dry, with rainfall mostly during the summer, and temperature extremes (minimum -10 °C (14 °F), maximum 45 °C (113 °F)). There is a constant southern wind with a speed of 20–40 km/h (12–25 mph) after noon and until the evening, sometimes accompanied by the extremely strong Zonda wind.

Le parc provincial d'Ischigualasto ou Valle de la Luna, en Argentine, est situé à l'extrême nord-est de la province de San Juan, dans le département de Valle Fértil, à quelque 330 km de la capitale provinciale San Juan. Le site a été inscrit sur la liste du patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO le 29 novembre 2000. Sa superficie est de 63 000 hectares ou 630 km2.


Posted by Lifeis4living 11:03 Archived in Argentina Tagged mountains french english Comments (1)


The city of wine

sunny 35 °C
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Mendoza is the capital city of Mendoza Province, in Argentina. It is located in the northern-central part of the province, in a region of foothills and high plains, on the eastern side of the Andes. Known mainly for its wine, there are hundreds of vineyards to visit where you can taste the wine. However as most of you will know I am not a wine drinker so I decided to go and visit the thermal baths at the foot of the mountains instead.

Seven Years in Tibet was also filmed in and around Mendoza.

Beautiful hot day (around 35 degrees) I join Lou (London) and Hanna (Germany) from the hostel. There are lots of differents pools, varying in temperature from 0 to about 40 degrees. Nice relaxing day!


9th November
Unbelievably Isabelle, who used to work at Kenwood and with whom I have kept in touch with since her departure in July, sends me an message to say that she is also in Mendoza! I didn't think we would be able to actually meet up as we seemed to be travelling in different places till now.
So we spend the afternoon together on a hop on hop off city tour and have dinner on a nice restaurant terrace.

In the park there is a replica of the French "Fontaine de l'Observatoire", a monumental fountain located in the Jardin Marco Polo, south of the Jardin du Luxembourg in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, with sculpture by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. It was dedicated in 1874. It is also known as the Fontaine des Quatre-Parties-du-Monde, for the four parts of the world embodied by its female figures, or simply the Fontaine Carpeaux.


Posted by Lifeis4living 18:59 Archived in Argentina Tagged mountains english Comments (1)

Crossing the Andes

No words needed, just awesome landscape Admirez le paysage

sunny 25 °C
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Chile side - 30 hairpin bends


Argentinian side


Posted by Lifeis4living 19:14 Archived in Argentina Tagged mountains landscape french english Comments (1)

Santiago and chilling in Vińa del Mar

sunny 27 °C
View South and Central America - Sept 14 on Lifeis4living's travel map.

So I said goodbye to Argentina and hello to Chile. The most striking difference at first is the speed of the internet, super fast in Chile.
After one night in Punto Arenas (where I saw the Magellan straight) I took a flight to Santiago. I didnt fancy a 30 hr bus journey (or thereabouts) and seing the Andes from the air is was a bonus.


5th November
After breakfast, I decide to do the free walking tour as it is always a good to get to know the city. Incredibly I bump into a young couple from Essex who I first met in Paraty in Brazil! The tour takes us to the several markets, fish, meat and fruit /vegetables. We also visit a cemetary which is the size of 17 football pitches and currently has 2.5m souls resting there (not really sure why all walking tours seem to include a visit to the cemetary). It is so big they have a TV at the entrance with details of all the burrials for each day with names, times and location so people can find their way).


6th November
Vina del Mar
I decided that I needed to chill for a couple of days before heading back to Argentina to travel north, so I take a bus to Vina del Mar, a lovely beach resort about 1 hr from Santiago. I spend an afternoon just resting on the beach reading my book. It is just lovely. My only concern is that my right foot is still bothering me a little.


Tomorrow I will cross the Andes back to Argentina, another detour from my original planned route but after careful consideration, there are a lot more striking landscapes on the Argentinian side on my way to northen Chile and then Bolivia.

Posted by Lifeis4living 19:36 Archived in Chile Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises beaches animals english Comments (0)

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