The Andes Mountains have lots of rocks. Lots. In southern Peru’s Corani District there are enough rocks together to form a stone forest. The same day Rocío and I visited Jaylluwa Stone Forest we also ‘rang’ a bell stone, saw the result of lightning and searched for uranium.
Jaylluwa Stone Forest
Near Aymaña in Corani District is the Jaylluwa Stone Forest (Bosque de Piedras de Jaylluwa), a large area covered in rocks. Approximately 4,000 metres high in a remote part of the Andes, Jaylluwa receives fewer tourists than other stone forests I’ve visited including Turkey’s Cappadocia, Bolivia’s Moon Valley, and Argentina’s La Leona. In fact, here we didn’t see another tourist.
Sign welcoming people to the Jaylluwa ‘Stone Forest Natural Ecotourism Sanctuary’Continue reading →
While in La Paz in mid February, I took a day tour to Mount Chacaltaya and Moon Valley. Little did I know what was to follow.
Mount Chacaltaya’s peak is more than 5,400 metres high. From La Paz the road is narrow and windy, passing landscapes both stunning and stark. The road ends at 5,300 metres where there is a refuge. My tour group experienced a bumpy voyage to the refuge in an ill-suited van. From the refuge one must hike to the top.
Chacaltaya was the world’s highest altitude ski resort until its glacier melted. Now the mountain hosts an observatory and is a tourist attraction. On clear days the views are amazing. The views this day were obscured by cloud, as is more likely during the summer wet season. In contrast, winter is colder and drier.
From Bariloche I took a 27 hour Marga late January bus ride south to El Calafate. For much of the ride I was the only person in the lower, more expensive cama level. The scenery varied throughout with the most interesting being between Bariloche to El Bolson and El Chalten to El Calafate. The food provided on the bus looked very average and I didn’t even bother unwrapping it. On a poignant note, Marga was also the nickname of my dearly departed maternal grandmother, adding extra meaning to the ride.
The highlight of a visit to El Calafate is seeing Perito Moreno Glacier and my two visits to the glacier are covered in a separate blog post.
Located in central Turkey, midway between Mersin and Ankara, Cappadocia (Kapadokya in Turkish) is an amazing area. In my opinion, it is one of the two absolute must-sees in Turkey, the other being Istanbul.
Although I have visited Cappadocia three times, I have never seen the sandstone chimneys, formations and caves under snow. Recently, friend C. Gizem sent me the following photo collage. The photos are of the town of Goreme under snow. One day I will witness this first hand…one day…