This was what we were looking for…
We were on our way to Mar Chiquita Lake located northeast of Cordoba. It is the largest of the naturally occurring saline lakes in Argentina, and had heard from other travelers, that the lake should be full of flamingoes. From Cafayate we drove east through the Tafi Valley the reach the great Chaco-Pampean plains. There have been native peoples in the area for over 7,000 years. Villages of farmers and gatherers were established 2,300 years ago, probably predating the Tafí culture. Rocks from the Tafi culture:
We where not impressed by the rock work from the Tafi culture, but the flowering cacti were beautiful
The Spanish presence began in the mid-16th century. However, the Spanish were unable to establish themselves immediately, due to the resistance mounted by the natives. In 1636 the valley was granted as a royal gift to the Spanish family of Leguizamo y Guevara, who founded an estancia (large rural estate). This was later bought by the Jesuits, who had been present in the area since 1617. The Jesuits introduced dairy farming, in particular the production of high-quality cheese. Visiting the dairy farm “Las Carreras”, which is the only daily farm in the Tafi Valley, that is open for visitors.
We went on a tour including cheese tasting. We had really hoped to find good aged cheese, but we were not that lucky. The cheese was okay, but for our taste it lacked flavor. At 5 pm the cows are milked.
In itself the Tafi valley is beautiful, and slow going due to the nice twisted road
The clouds were blocking the view, but we still stopped at se viewpoint, where we were greeted by this dog, with way to short legs
We found an mazing place by the Angostura lake. In 1979 the La Angostura Dam was built and slowed the lake was filled with water creating an environment especially favorable for nesting and the temporary establishment of migratory bird populations. The clouds were covering everything when we got there, but the next morning the sun was shining from a clear sky.
It is not everyday, you get to brush your teeth with a view like this
Back on the road the next morning we made a stop in Rio Honda – more precise at the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo
The circuit was created in 2007 (opening in 2008) and underwent a complete overhaul and rebuild process in 2012 to improve facilities and attract international motorsport. In 2013 hosted Rounds 15 and 16 of the FIA WTCC Race of Argentina of the World Touring Car Championship, and the first MotoGP and Moto2 official tests. The circuit is 4805 meters long.
Unfortunately we were visiting on a Monday, where the museum was closed (we didn’t know). Instead Esben got some photos of giant grasshoppers
Goodbye – Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo
While driving across the Chaco-Pampean plains we came across the Google Street View Car on a gas station
Today was the day were we would reach Mar Chiquita lake, and we did unfortunately the flamingoes were far out in the lake, but Esben could fly the drone . The lake measures about 50 miles/80 km (north–south) by 28 miles/45 km (east–west). It is also the largest lake surface in Argentina, the 4th largest endorheic salt lake (and lake) in the world. Birdlife abounds, with some 350 species (reaching 25% of the total of native bird species that now live in Argentina); highlights the large flocks of flamingos (Source: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laguna_Mar_Chiquita_(C%C3%B3rdoba)).
There were hundreds or maybe thousands of flamingoes – not more hunting for flamingoes on this trip. Still love flamingoes
We camped on the parking lot close to a view tower, and where a trail lead down to the lake. The camp spot was nothing special, but at least there was almost no bugs, not like the day before, where we had camped next to a river.
The day before… beautiful spot, but the bug where just killing us
For the last week I have been having problems with my right eye, and the treatment was not working. After contracting my travel insurance, we had to drive to Cordoba to visit a oculist (eye doctor). What happened at the oculist? Check out the next post.