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Day 87 – Cabeza del Indio Means Indian Head

January 5, 2011

Location: El Bolson, Argentina

Date: Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sometimes the journey’s what matters, not the destination. Other times the destination is what makes an tough journey worthwhile. And, now and then, both the journey and the destination just plain suck.

Which leads me to this: I’m not saying the Cabeza del Indio (Indian Head) rock formation blew chunks, but I can’t say it was worth the effort. It just wasn’t what I was expecting.

The trip to La Cabeza is sold by guidebooks and maps as a “hike.” This it most certainly is not. Hikes are nature and greenery and birds chirping and escaping from the hubbub of the modern world to commune with Mother Earth the giver of life and, like, stuff. One wouldn’t expect anything less of a “hike” in Argentina’s hippie capital.

I’m here to tell you this: expect less. This is no hike. It’s an uphill death march alongside a shadeless road that has a surprising amount of traffic, which is made worse by the road being made of dirt. Basically, in the hour or so it takes to get to the part of the “hike” that isn’t by the road, you’ll have inhaled enough dirt to fill a flower pot. Me, I’m a city boy; I ain’t no gardener.

Now, this might not be bad if the not-next-to-the-road part of the “hike” were all angels and rainbows. Of course, it’s not. It’s a short, fifteen minute jaunt to a rickety platform that has no sign to tell you that you’ve arrived at the “hike’s” highlight.

Not that the highlight is that awesome. It kinda looks like an Indian head. It’s pretty, but after the “hike” it’ll make you question your judgment. Did I just eat more dirt than an unattended two year-old just to see this? It’s all made worse knowing that afterwards you must trudge your way back down to town along the same dirt road and again ingest more than the recommended daily allowance of minerals and truck fumes.

My recommendation: rent a bike or a car or hire a taxi. Or better yet, hire a horse and guide to take you on a longer, presumably more scenic route through the hills. You’ll get to see La Cabeza without spending two hours alongside a dusty camino questioning your own cabeza. Regardless, dampen your expectations and hope that’s enough to make the journey, or the destination, worth a little black lung.

GALLERY: No bonus pics today.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Doug permalink
    March 25, 2011 9:57 am

    The same thing happened to us in Cordoba. So we climbed the attraction(an ugly white cross). That made the photo much more fun than the trip. That’s traveling in south America.

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