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At Walichu we saw prehistoric (pre-Tehuelche people) cave drawings found on the walls of an escarpment on the shore of Lake Argentino. The paintings are 4500 years old (upper Paleolithic period) and include human figures, camelids (likely guanaco) and handprints. Francisco Moreno ‘discovered’ the paintings when he was surveying the lake.

Well laid out circuit with excellent audio tour.

Iron oxide and ferrite combined with guanaco fat, plant resin, gypsum, egg white and human saliva were all used to make red paint.

The guanaco image is thought to be a prayer to the gods to give good luck on the tribe’s hunt
handprint negative – paint was blown onto the wall around the hand using a slim hollow guanaco bone filled with ‘paint’
The puma was painted as a wish for the tribe to have the same keen hunting skills as the cat

We took a nice walk down to the Reserva Laguna Nimez, a marshy area of Lake Argentino. We saw black swans, ibis, flamingoes and quite a few other birds.

Dora the Explorer?
Several hundred Chilean Flamingo all relaxing in the water.
Their wings are such a deep pink colour.
We lucked out and saw a Short Eared Owl hunting. He flew around us quite a few times.
black faced Ibis

We had lunch down the street. By fluke we found gluten free bread.

Half a loaf of bread is a lot even when gluten free. Tasty sandwich though.
Veggie pizza had carrot on it. Different but good.
Argentinian poutine – Fries, cream cheese, ham and green onion. Yum
Dave ordered Pingüino Malbec thinking it was a winery. Nope, house Malbec in a penguin pitcher. It was good if a little large.

On the way back to town we visited the Glaciarium, a glacier interpretation center with documentaries on the Patagonian ice fields. We’ve never seen so much information about snow and ice! We watched a great video of the Perito Moreno glacier which enhanced our visit from yesterday. We intended to visit the Fernet Branca Ice Bar. Sadly it was closed (maybe permanently).

We’ve seen variations of this sign. Last fun one was in Churchill Manitoba.
View from the hill of the Glaciarum. Lake and mountains make such a beautiful vista.

Tomorrow we leave El Calafate and drive around the lake to El Chalten for some hiking in the mountains.

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