Photo Gallery from Argentina: Barreal, El Alcázar, Uspallata
A small photo gallery from my last visa run to Argentina in mid November 2014. This time I stayed a little over a week and went north of Uspallata into San Juán province, as far as the El Alcázar nature reserve, which is a little north of the small neat town of Barreal. Coming from Uspallata you pass a large dried out lake bed south of Barreal, called Pampa del Leoncito. I stayed there one night; during the daylight hours it was incredibly hot, almost reminding me of Death Valley in the US. Yet almost every night night storms moved through from the West and deposited fresh snow on the near-by Andean ranges.
El Alcázar (The Fortress) on the north side of town is a small area of incredible beauty: coloured rocks in red, green, aubergine, charcoal, and shades of ochre and beige. Some is sandstone, other brittle stuff, reminiscent of slate with a pearl-like glowing surface that reflects sunlight in a silvery sheen. Hardly anybody visited during my stay, so I spent an undisturbed night in the middle of this beautiful place.
Barreal itself is a neat and quiet town, relying on a mix of agriculture and tourism to survive. There are supposed to be some ancient rock paintings nearby, but when I finally learned about them on this internet page the tourist information was all locked up with nobody to ask. Our guide books don’t tell us much about this region at all, which is a shame considering its beauty.
You can find more photos from around Uspallata in the gallery from my previous visit .