Argentina: Difunta Correa and La Rioja
We leave Mendoza for the townso f La Rioja and San Miguel de Tucumán. We are about to hitchhike again. Eventually, a truck driver recommends us to visit the town of Vallecito known mostly for the place called Difunta Correa.
This tourist point of interest is quite peculiar. It was built upon the legend of the woman named Deolinda Correa who was founded dead thanks this wasteland. However, her dead body was able to feed her son who survived because of this. The legend has it that between the years 1835 – 1840 the country was troubled by struggle between "unitarios" a "federales". Guerilla fighters left La Rioja for San Juan to draft new recruiters including the husban of Deolinda Correa. She knew that she would be territory commissioner's concubine. Hence she fled with her child. Exhausted she reached Vallecito where she died. The legend of her became instantly popular. People come there to prey and she is credited with any miracle that happens there. There are many license plates, pictures, and many wedding dresses! Single women come here to pray for the right one. If their wish comes true, they come back to leave their wedding dress here. Also, you may spot here a scooter for "difunta" helped its owner to win a car. A museum was foudned there in 2011. It shelters the most interesting and crazy gifts. It consists of large themed displays – fire arms, sport, music, etc. There are over 600 gifts on display. „Cabalgata de Fe“ is the most imporant even around here. Thousands of horse riders gather here to ride from San Juan to Vallecito. The Gaucha then show their folk traditions. The event takes place in the beginning of April.
This place is heavily tourist crowded. There several hotels, restaurants, and souvenir stores. Often, trucks pass through for truckers come here to ask for safety. Otherwise, there is not much to see. The hostile land is full of wandering dogs and garbage. And accommodation is costly. Therefore, we set out to La Rioja on the following day. It is quite difficult to hitch a ride here. It is cold in here, windy, and only handful of cars. Yet we are lucky. Mission accomplished. We are in the town.
La Rioja is a small and peaceful town. Hotels also feature heating ass winters are cold here. Next to winter jackets we bought winter gloves as well. Argentinians told us that siesta applies only to places with high temperatures, preventing people from doing anything in the afternoon heat. However, here as well people go for a short nap after the lunch as well. Juan Ramirez de Velasco founded the city of Todos los Santos de la Nueva Rioja in 1591. In 1894, earthquake destroyed many buildings, still you may see some colonial-style houses here. Start off your tour on Plaza 25 de Mayo, the main square featuring General San Martin memorial. This green square with many trees has Catedral Basílica Menor de San Nicolás de Bari in its front area, the Greco-Roman Casa de Gobierno (Palacio de Gobierno), and Convento de Santo Domingo, a church made of stone in 1623, making it the oldest building in the country. The Dominican order administers the temple at the present. A museum is housed inside the church.
Museo Folklórico is also worth your time. There are mythological ceramic figure reproductions; or Inca Huasi museum which displays artifacts made by Diaguita tribe.
La Rioja is a beautiful stop on the road from Mendoza to Sala – historii, pár koloniálních budov, to vše si obejdeme za jedno odpoledne a můžeme směle pokračovat dál.
GPS: (La Rioja) 29°25'39.3"S 66°51'54.7"W
Text and photos: Tomáš Novák
Port Puerto Madryn is situated on a cliff making an edge of a plateau. From there you may enjoy the vista over the endless Atlantic ocean. Whale observation is the main attraction over there. However, keep in mind you can do this activity only from June till December. Local cliffs make observing whales so much easier.
Trelew is situated in the lower part of the Chubut river valley. The town was founded during a colonization wave in the 1884. Then the Welsh settlers were searching for a way to a port so they could bring their agricultural production. Construction of a railroad connecting the valley and Puerto Madryn was allowed. Trelew was founded as a railway terminal.
We leave Tierra del Fuego for north. In a bus we cross the Rio Gallegos and then we hitchhike again. Now we would ride along Ruta 3 along the coastline up to Buenos Aires.
The name Tierra del Fuego possibly came to be when some explorers spotted the coast of unknown land with fires scattered around and smoke clouds from the fires of the indigenous people. The fire must have lookd like the island floats in haze above the sea.
The town was named after Calafate fruit, sweet berries used to make marmelades. Legend has it that he who tastes the fruit will never fullfill his taste. What makes El Calafate a popular destnation today, is Perito Moreno, a melting glacier. Los Glaciares national park covers an area of 500 thousand hectares and features 47 glaciers.
As we arrive in El Chaltén, steppes seem to be replaced by forests. Mountain rise high up into the sky. But the wind stays the same. Tourists love El Chaltén for beautiful nature. Glaciers, mountains, lagoons, waterfalls, and forests. Great temptation to take a walk to. Moreover, you can drink right from a river or a lake.
The further south we get, the worse the weather is. Constant wind, clouds crossing the sky, and cold. There are almost no cars to hitch. But we try our luck still.
Patagonia is an exceptional place. You won't experience anything like it anywhere else in the world. Only in South America. The Andes create a tall tall wall in the west, in the east there is the blue waters of the Atlantic ocean, it is the land of pines and lakes, and there is huge plain in its central part. And in the south there is the Tierra del Fuego and the town of Ushuaia. It is true end of the world.
Bariloche is am Argentinian town situated in Rio Negro amidst thousands year old forests, snow capped mountains, and crystal clear lakes. The town is situated within Nahuel Huapi national park (which neighbors the Andes). Local nature gives plenty of oportunity to do many adventurous activities throughout the year. In 2012, Bariloche was declared the capital of adventure tourism and the national town of chocolate in 2015.
Salta, a town hidden in Lerma valley, one of the most fertile and pleasant places in the area. Situated at 1187 meters, its weather is perfect throughout entire year. Hence, tourist industry has been on the rise here. The city is usually overcrowded with tourists all the time.
Leaving La Rioja we set out to San Miguel de Tucumán. We wouldn't have even thought that we would visit local folk dance competition.
The town is situated on the foothill of the Andes. It is a beautiful oasis made by man thanks to huge irrigation system supported by the rivers of Mendoza and Tunuyan. The town is the gateway into the Pacific Ocean. Climate is very pleasant, wind and rain are seldom here.
a is the second largest city in the country. Founded by Jeronimo Luis de Cabrere in 1573, the city was named by Cordoba, Spain. Cordoba in Argentina is the capital of the Cordoba province and also was Argentinian capital two times in its history.
Posadas is the capital of Misiones province. Before the Jesuites settletd here, the native inhabitants were the Guarani indians. Today, you can see them selling hteir handmade products. The province also features amazing Iguazu waterfalls as well as historic sights such as Ruinas de San Ignacio.
Upon several days in the large city of Cordoba we move on. Mendoza is our next stop. Once we find out that a cheap suburb train rides to the small town of Cosquin we take it. Moreover, the train rides in beautiful terrain. Sometimes even Argentinians who travel there with children are quite amazed by the beautiful vistas. They often get off the train at train stations just to buy breakfast. Before our stop, we get off the train by Lago San Roque lake. Opened in 1890,one of the largest submarine sinkholes in the world is the greatest attraction around. Only looking at it one gets scared. We hitchhike our ride from here to Villa Carlos Paz town.
Iguaçu waterfalls are our next stop on our journey cross 7 natural wonders of the world. Absolutely stunning spectacle of the largest waterfalls in general could not ignore and therefore was correctly included in the list of the BEST of, what nature created.
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