28 Feb 2019

The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors

Just over half way through and we are back in Maipu at the Posada de Cavieres just in time for harvest there are a few pictures below of our journey back up Argentina, much of it we did last year (with a few variations, including a side track to visit some dinosaurs) but this time in fabulous weather.

The night before we arrived we camped at a wild camp by a dry river bed, that the first person staying there called the Pirate Camp (still no idea why). We stayed there twice last year and arrived just before the sun went down, but there were 2 cars there. Whilst we considered what to do a German couple in a VW Combi that were camped next to us in our last camp site at Malargue rolled up beside us and whilst we were chatting the people from the cars turned up and drove away.

It was a little windy when we arrived, but once dark it was very still and quiet with an amazing display of stars. Then, in the middle of the night this incredible screeching started! We have no idea what it was but it sounded incredibly loud in the absolute silence. I've not heard anything like it since the Howler Monkeys in southern Mexico. That night certainly was dark and full of terrors.

The Neuquen area is famous for the largest dinosaurs in the world being found within 20k of each other. Gigantosaurus, the largest carnivorous dinosaur, bigger than T Rex and Argentinasaurus (vegetarian) 40m long an over 100 tons in weight.  But first we visited some dinosaur footprints on the beach.

I think this is a Doyuthinkesoraus (do you think he saw us planting the prints before he came)

This was a model of Giganotisauru atthe entrance of the camp site we stayed at next to the museum.

The museum was only small but very good as everything was in English.

and in many cases had a model of what the dinosaur looked like next to the skeleton.

This is one of the vertebra of Agentinosaurus.

This is what it looked like.

And this is the actual skeleton of Argentinosaurus - this was in a different museum about 30 miles away, unfortunately the museum was closed for renovation, but I managed to snap this through a window at the back of the building (after I had cleaned all the fingermarks off).

A few shots of the scenery on the way up.

This is the remains of a lava flow, all the black lumps are black lava.

On the way we pulled in at a working salt flat, much smaller than Uyuni in Bolivia, but this one was still producing salt and they had a little museum showing the history (that's Chris in the distance).

A couple of the machines that scraped off the salt between 1930 and 1955 (like snow ploughs). I was originally trying to work out how they were pedalled, but they were actuary pulled by horses.

Then another detour along a canyon south of San Raphael.

The Pirate Camp with the Combi. 

The arrival of the grape picker.
An amazing machine that ran slowly along the vines and removed pretty much every grape but little else!


and After!

Then it turned into a transformer and tipped all the grapes into a truck.

About 4 hours and 2 large truck fulls of grapes later its all finished!

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