Friday, November 29, 2013

Stairs in Argentino Hotel, Piriapolis

The Argentino Hotel was built in the late 1920s and finished in 1930 to cater to high-class tourism. It is still a very impressive building, probably very expensive to keep in good shape these days. Started by Piria himself. and almost finished by what came later.

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To me, it is those old stairs and vitrals what keeps the magic inside the place.Can you imagine the ladies going down to the ballroom in their gowns?

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I wish that the whole of the hotel was restored, but it will take time and a lot of paying patrons. In the meantime, if you go there, please take a look at those stairs.

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Olympus 35SP - FP4+ in DD-X. Every time I pick this old favorite I wonder why I shoot anything else.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Palace Caves (Grutas del Palacio)

About 50 km north of Flores there is a small national park area - Grutas del Palacio (Palace Caves). The caves were well known to natives. According to folklore, the caves were used as refuge by bandits (matreros) and revolucionarios of many colors.

After you get to the entrance building, a nice trail will take you to the caves area.

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The caves were made by erosion on the iron-loaded arenisk. The iron was carried by a giant river which flowed through this area in paleolithic times: it came from the ores in the Valentines area, and gives the caves a characteristic reddish color.

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Dinosaur eggs are sometimes found nearby - there are a few in the entrance building.  It is very old terrain.

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The water table was quite high, which made it hard to traverse the caves. The rock has nice textures, but erosion keeps working it and sometimes a cave collapses. Fortunately not while we were visiting.

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The columns look like the legs of a giant animal, frozen in time, struggling to hold the cave ceiling.

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There is always light at the end of the cave.

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The reception building was clean, well organized, with dedicated guides and a small museum. A pleasure to visit. I was tempted by the reflections in this old window.

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Thanks to the local government for keeping the place in shape.

The Chamang√° paleolithic drawings are not far from here, but are not very accesible yet. Marking those for the next visit to the area.

Technical: Autocord HP5+, Olympus 35SP FP4+. Developed in DD-X. Yes, it is film.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Artigas' Mesa

The "Meseta de Artigas" is a high bank against the Uruguay river. I believe this was a favorite place of Jose Artigas. It offers a nice view of the river, with Entre Rios province on the other side. Lots of water in the river these days.

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The Mesa is accessed through a longish dirt road from Route 3, about 60 km north of Paysandu. Along the road there were horses, taking advantage of the excellent grass fields.
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Cattle were around as well. This big bull had never seen a TLR before. He didn't tell me, but I know that look.
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In the top of the Meseta there is a very ugly monument. You can easily check it in other sites. Instead, I liked this entrance into the native forest, opening a trail from the Meseta down to the river.
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Tourists in the Meseta are protected from falling to the river by a nice, weathered timber fence.
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