Andean High Mountain life

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When we drive north from Auckland, we drive past a field full of Alpaca’s. They seem happy enough in the green paddock. But seeing their family roaming around in the Andes is something else. They fit in. They are happy. And so cute! They belong, as do the condors, the suri (a type of ostrich), the cacti, the pre-Inca historical forts of Tastil and colonial villages.

As does apparently “el condor pasa”, performed live, or suddenly being blasted through some speakers we didn’t even know existed for breakfast, lunch and dinner..

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Dazzling Andean colours


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The colours of the Andes in North West Argentina deserve their own post. It is like somebody has dropped pots of paint on the rocks and then brushed over them to maybe try and mix them so nobody would notice. Luckily it didn’t quite work, and you get treated to natural art wherever you go. The real reason for the incredible palette, are different levels of oxidation of the iron that is so prominently part of the mountain make-up here. It results in deep greens and purples, bright and dark reds, yellows, browns, whites and almost blue. Sometimes its just one part in the middle of a large mountain range,

and sometimes its a whole stretch like in the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Humahuaca Gorge.

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Totally bedazzling!

Can Brazil beat Argentina? Iguazu falls (2)

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Firstly, amazing to cross the border into another dream country, Brazil. Even if it is just for 1 day. For now.

The Brazilian side of the falls has been organised for public viewing a lot longer then the Argentinian side and is more structured. Less walking on tracks, more on well organised paths and you have to take a bus between entrance points. It is higher up and a bit further away. And that makes the view utterly amazing. You can almost see the whole stretch of the 2700 meters of falls in one go from there. You cannot get enough from it. The waterflow today is going at 3,000 m³/s, still double its normal rate. And it’s so easy to see from here that this is such an important ecosystem, all that water that gets moved. Constantly.

There are still opportunities to get close too. And wet. If you want.

Does Brazil win? I can’t decide!