13/10 Chilecito ou le retour aux Merveilles Universelles

Après un long voyage sans intérêt visuel particulier, nous passons la nuit à La Rioja, ville moyenne à tous les sens du terme, mais qui nous a permis de goûter, enfin, la fameuse viande Argentine, tendre et goûteuse.

Évidemment nous avons commandé  1 part pour 2 personnes car le filet servi est de 600g grillé  à la perfection (en écrivant ces lignes je salive….) arrosé d’un vin rouge puissant mais bien accordé, de cépage Malbec. Bref un régal.

Le lendemain nous prenons, sur le conseil d’Eva,belle-fille des Sallé et argentine de naissance, la direction de Chilecito où il fait très chaud. Cette petite ville, posée parmi des collines rocheuses,  fut une ville minière.

Rencontre avec Chantal, une jeune suisse sportive, avec qui nous formons trio pour quelques excursions.

De là nous partons 1 journée visiter les parcs nationaux de Talempaya et Ischigualasto . Nous retrouvons la fameuse Ruta 40 qui offre ses paysages fabuleux en guise de mise en bouche. Les 2 parcs sont classés au Patrimoine Mondial. Et ce n’est pas pour rien.

LE PARC de TALEMPAYA, d’abord, se trouve à environ 150km de Chilecito, on le visite avec guide  obligatoire.

C’est un feu d’artifice de couleurs et de formes. Il est remarquable par les formations rocheuses et les canyons de grès rouge  qui le composent. On circule en minibus à l’intérieur des canyons avec des parois lisses, verticales et hautes de 150m, formant parfois des cheminées. Pendant 2h30 c’est un festival de beauté à l’état naturel.

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DSC03571 Des piétroglyphes évoquent les débuts de l’humanité

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Côté faune nous sommes gâtés par des condors, des guanacos,des maras (très gros lièvres) et des renards.

Après quelques petits « Almuerzos » (sandwichs) nous reprenons la route, direction LE PARC des DINOSAURES, appelé ISHIGUALASTO ou VALLEE de la LUNE. Hélas le temps s’est couvert, le ciel est gris, et il fait un froid de canard (la semaine dernière il y faisait 40°). Cela renforce l’ ambiance de terrain lunaire. Sur lequel cependant se sont posées les merveilles de la nature. Ce vaste territoire nous propose aussi à sa manière, toutes les formes, toutes les couleurs.

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Nous pensons à Momo, notre puits de science, qui à cet instant nous serait d’un grand secours pour nous aider à comprendre ce qui s’est passé à cet endroit il y a…… très très longtemps.

P1000359 Visite au musée des dinosaures, avec des bestioles reconstituées effrayantes, mais qui ont existé puisqu’ils ont retrouvé des ossements.

Retour à Chilecito, avec les yeux remplis , mais plus de 400km au total

Le lendemain excursion à LA MEJICANA à 4400m d’altitude pour voir les mines d’or, d’argent, et de cuivre abandonnées, ainsi que la dernière station du téléphérique, véritable prouesse de 35km de long d’une entreprise britannique (ils sont vraiment fous ces anglais!!!!) On monte en 4×4  dans la montagne en croisant des rios aux couleurs ocres.

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Il n’y a aucune habitation la montée dure presque 3h. Le spectacle est grandiose, surtout lorsqu’on atteint les premières neiges. Le ciel est bleu pur, mais il fait très froid. La mine laisse un sentiment de désolation et on se demande comment des hommes ont pu travailler ici.

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Le retour est aussi merveilleux. Nous finirons la journée par la visite d’une Bodegas à Chilecito par une dégustation du vin fabriqué dans la région par la coopérative  La Riojana, qui vinifie  60 000 000kgs de raisin par an dans des cuves énormes. Nous nous sommes interdits de faire, pendant notre voyage, une quelconque comparaison avec ce que nous pouvons trouver en France……donc nous nous tiendrons à notre engagement. En tous cas un grand merci à Eva pour son conseil, Chilecito est une halte formidable.

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Ce soir nous reprenons le bus pour  720km plus au sud , 10h de bus de nuit.

Bernard

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