We were taking a detour to El Condor to see the parrot colony. It was nt something we had planned, but Esben read about it on www.ioverlander.com, and we decided, that we just had to go. When you live a life on the road it is easier to fit in an extra stop, or stay a few extra days, when you find a great spot. We did both since it was Easter weekend, when we visited El Condor.
The parrot colony
It is suppose to be low season for the parrot colony, but the parrot colony is here year around. The best to time to watch the parrots is at sunset and sunrise. So we watched the sunset by the parrot colony on our day of arrival. Since the parrot colony is turning east, there was no sun at it was impossible to get good pictures. So the next day we got up for the sunrise. The parrot colony is one of the largest in the world – if not the largest.
It was just amazing – so we will recommend watching the parrot colony at sunrise
Close up pictures
Sunset by the beach
Sunset and low tide – you can only walk on the beach at low tide. So if you want to watch the parrot colony, you have to visit at low tide to be able to walk down the beach, where the parrot colony is spread for several kilometers a long the cliff. We still recommend going at sunrise and not sunset, but if you can do both do that.
Finds on the beach – do you know what kind of egg, that is presented in the right picture?
Answer: It a sea snail egg capsule. Usually there will be several snails in each egg. But if they wash ashore they can not survive.
We arrived on Good Friday, the Friday before Easter Sunday, and the Easter celebration in El Condor started with a giant “panqueque” (In English: pancake). The diameter was 1,5 meters and served with “Dulce de leche” (milk and sugar, condensed milk, that is heated up to make a thick caramel sauce) or “crema con frutilla” (cream with red berries).
Esben enjoyed a beer from a local brewery “Hupulus”
The next day a giant seafood paella was cooked. They started with vegetables hen adding rice and bullion and finishing it with big prawns, scallops, mussels, octopus and squid. Together with our friends Ryan and Camille, we bought one portion each. Well you actually by a number we had 45 and 46. When the paella is done, they will serve you by number starting at 1 and finishing at 800 – YES, there was 800 portions in total. We were so glad to have a low number.
BIGGER IS BETTER!
The paella was amazing, and was loaded with seafood. Argentinian food is NOT widely varied. Argentina is known for meat and more meat. We don’t think they know the word spices, but instead they season their meat after cooking with “chimichurri” , a green salsa made of finely chopped parsley, oregano, onion, garlic, chili pepper flakes and a touch of vinegar or lemon. We have made our own, you should try the same. El Condor is a small local town.
After two nights in town we drove a few kilometers out of town to camp, where we watched the moon rise
In El Condor there is two low tides and two high tides during 24 hours. So when the moon was rising we had low tide, around midnight the water had raised 3-4 meters, and the next morning is was low tide again. The result was thousands of crabs was visible in the mud.
Semana Santa (the week leading up to Easter Sunday, “Holy week”) is a big celebrating in South America. The religious calendar in South America is dotted with saints’ days and every big or small town will hold a celebration on that day. Here in Argentina (also in Chile) the Gauchito Gil is a legendary character. Today: “Gauchito” Gil is thought to be a folk saint for many Argentinians. One can spot smaller shrines of Gauchito Gil on roadsides throughout Argentina due to the red color and the flags, many of which read “Thanks, Gauchito Gil” if the person’s request is fulfilled.
The legend tells that Antonio Gil was born in the 1840’s as a farmworker in a ranch and a devout believer in the folk saint San La Muerte. It is said that the owner of the ranch, a wealthy widow named Estrella Diaz Miraflores, fell in love, or had an affair, with him, but when her brothers and the head of the local police (who was also in love with Miraflores) found out about their relationship, they accused him of robbery and tried to kill him. He enlisted in the army to escape from them, fighting against the Paraguayan army. When the war ended, he returned home and was welcomed as a hero (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauchito_Gil).
Today people still stop at the red shines and leave bread, empty vine bottles and light cigarettes and candles. The people who believes in Gauchito Gil honk the car horn twice for good luck, when they drive by.