The 2 hour bus ride from heavenly Tafi Del Valle nestled high in a mountain-rimmed basin to the lower elevation of a valley floor that stretched along the eastern side of a mountains range was breathtaking! So green and fertile! And in the distance across the valley floor you could see white snow-capped peaks!
I was headed to Amaicha del Valle, a town known for its stunning Museo Pachamama as well as for being a jumping-off point to visit the Quilmes Ruins called Ruinas de Quilmes which are situated at the base of the mountains to the east.
My first destination was the Museum. I’d heard so much about it’s beauty and how it took 35 years to build! It was completed in 1987! It did NOT disappoint!
I simply had not been prepared for how incredibly massive and thoroughly artistic it was – outside and in! First I walked around the multitudinous courtyards! See the frog in the stone flooring below the building? And the tail of a large fish in bottom left? There was hardly a square inch anywhere that hadn’t been turned into artwork celebrating Nature and the Indigenous Cultures!
The Museo Pachamama (Pachamama means fertility goddess and earth/time mother) is perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking a camping park that has a large pool for guests only.
And then I stumbled upon King Arthur’s Round Table!! The Britains and Quilmes were in cahoots together? Who knows? It was all so overwhelming I needed to take a seat!
The outside walls of the Museum were also decorated with incredible artistic stonework!
Check the Dinosaur head on this one! …
… And the amazing ceilings to go with the stonework!
Entering the museum …
… I was immediately teleported in time back to ancient lands …
… and Tigers!
Then time reversed and sped quickly ahead to the ages of the ancient Indigenous Cultures!
A painting and reconstruction depicted early Native communities as discovered through archaeology.
The well-crafted pottery that was archaeologically excavated creatively depicted all types of early Native animals, life and art.
A collection of pestles and mortars, implements used for grinding grains, nuts and other food items into powder or paste were nicely displayed.
A hunter slept at night in the wild …
… and hunted during the day.
The first trailer ever invented!
A small river-side community!
Musical instruments, made from bone and clay!
Even a drum!
And then the Museo Pachamama displayed items that were incredibly large – made for Giants? This pot is a turtle lying on in its back! It’s HUGE!
Check the size of this mug! It was so large I decided to put my glasses case next to it for comparison. My case is six inches long, so that makes this mug over a foot high! Who would need a mug that large? Only a Giant, in my mind! A sophisticated Giant, no less! Drinking from a mug!
And look at this hunting stone! It’s enormous! To swing that thing and let her fly you’d have to be nothing LESS than Giant!
And another one!
And this is interesting – the handle depicts a man, woman and children all connected together!
Now you can see the size of the huge mug and hunting stone!
And then I came across yet another gargantuan mug! This one has a monkey as the handle!
This piece looks super modern, but it’s super old!
An interesting chart laid out the descendant order of the Indigenous Cultures.
And another chart displayed the time periods during which the cultures lived!
Yet another chart showed the regions they inhabited!
I had reached maximum capacity and stepped outside for some fresh air, head clearing and stunning scenery!
Stepping into the last building of the Museo Pachamama, an enormous relief map of the entire valley stretched over twenty feet across the room’s floor!
It showed in great detail the entire valley! Incredible!
The last feature in this room I hadn’t yet seen was a replica of an old mine shaft!
It even had the bounty in the cart!
An old photo showed the region’s mountains laced with mining roads!
With red lights flashing OVERLOAD in my brain, I stepped outside, breathed deep the fresh air, and tried to assimilate all I had just absorbed!
My mind fumbled with all the info. Let’s see … apparently King Arthur and the Indigenous Cultures were friends and mined the mountains together and then the Giants came and conquered them … No … no … perhaps it was that the Giants were here first and then King Arthur came over and killed them all and the Indigenous Cultures were so happy they let him mine their mountains!
Whatever all this history was about, it was good to be alive in the moment and realize that in many ways, while each moment is precious and is all we have, this show – this game on planet Earth – has been going on for a LONG, long time, and will most likely keep continuing … over and over again, into infinity!
Tomorrow I was off to visit the ancient Quilmes ruins known as Ruina de Quilmes! The Quilmes had inhabited this area as far back as 850 AD! I had heard so much about them there was no way I would miss this amazing archaeological site!