Wandering back through the Mendoza, Wine Region of Argentina we found a winery with a labyrinth. This was tucked into the beautiful gardens and nestled under some huge eucalyptus trees. The super bonus was that the dogs were allowed to join us for the maze!
We studied that map, and climbed up the overlook tower first. But neither of these efforts was much help once we were inside. The six-foot shrubbery blocked any attempt at cheating. So we spent the next hour-plus wandering around inside the labyrinth.
It was great fun for all of us. But we were tired after we escaped! Luckily there was a little cafeteria at the vineyard. We had some cakes and coffee while the dogs lounged in the cool grass. Then we were back to the highway for our next adventure. This section of highway is well known for the cyclists that use it to train. Curves, elevation change and wide shoulders make it perfect for bike riding. This wonderful artwork reminds us to be aware of the bikes on the right lane.
Just Northest of San Luis, Argentina lies a beautiful, mountain region. We drove into the village of Carolina to explore a labyrinth made of stone. This area was known for mining in the past. The streets, garden walls and homes are all made of small rocks in concrete. But the labyrinth was constructed of large slabs of natural stone and smaller, shaped stones formed into passages and pathways.
The region was also known for the many indigenous groups that have used over the decades. Nearby was the Inti Hausi Piedra Pintada (painted rock) cavern and formation. We drove down a tangle of dirt roads to find the flat valley below the cavern. From the valley floor, the stairs looked pretty intimidating.
But once we were up there, we found the rocks very easy to explore and climb on. Clearly this was a useful area for past peoples. The rock formed nooks and crannies to hide in. The rock was soft enough to create art or messages into. And the view of the valley floor allowed the possibility of watching for approaching danger.
Below on the valley floor there had been erected a huge, stone monolith with marker stones around it. A similar structure existed up on the hill, but it had been pushed over and broken, so it was not clear what it was. Such a curiosity, left us with no answers.
Up on the hill, the cavern itself was formed like a wave. This movie and these photos can show you the general shape. The overhang would provide protection from the elements and preserve the rock art from damage.
Although the art was preserved from the elements, it was not preserved from damage by idiots. Even the small fence did not prevent stupid people from damaging the ancient works.
We climbed back down to the valley floor, just as the sun was setting on the hill. It was a beautiful view from the truck, looking up at the rocks and knowing that there were many secrets hidden within the waves, walls, holes and curves.