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The impressive Randofo’s Dunes.

The Provincial Route 43 connects the towns of Puerta de Corral Quemado, near Belén, and Antofagasta de la Sierra, a small and remote town in the middle of the catamarca’s puna. I already told you about this route in this other post you can read clicking here, but today I want to focus on one of the most impressive legs of the trip.

Halfway you can find the Randolfo’s Slope, a section of the road where landscapes are amazing. One after another, the dunes cover the slopes of the montains.

The old road was characterized by constant and pronounced curves, one after another. It was really dangerous. There were frequent landslides, and that’s the reason why the locals looked for cross country shortcuts.

The new road does not cross the slope itself, and their slopes are softer, but the landscape is still magnificent.

It is a desolate area where the wind blows strongly and moves the sand from one side to the other. So the dunes are constantly moving and are never in the same place, nor do they show the same shape. Sometimes, even the route disappears under the sand.

The highest point, at 3200 meters above the sea level, is highlighted by a small and precarious chapel dedicated to the Difunta Correa, a local pagan figure of Argentine folk religion. As per the legend, she died of thirst when she was looking for her husband, who had gone to civil war. She was with her baby, who survived by breastfeeding from her until he was found and rescued. That’s why you will always see lots of water bottles in chapels dedicated to the «Deceased Correa»

The views are wonderful. In places like this, words are superfluous. That’s why here below you can find a few photograhps, so you can better imagine how it looks like.

Whereever you look the landscape is just unbelievable. But if you pay attention, you will notice that even in those remote places, people protest against mining companies. «Mining companies out!», you can read on the signal.

At this point you should make a stop to enjoy the views. Of course, you will need sunglasses. If you want, you can climb the dune and then slide down on the sand, but you will need to do it slowly, because of the height. Just remember that you are in the puna, at 3200 meters over the sea level!

And once you enjoyed the dunes, you can now continue the journey through Catamarca!

Visit to the Niagara Falls (Canadian Side).

Located in the South East of Canada, the Niagara River drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario. At a certain point of the watercourse, which also is the border between United States and Canada, are located the most famous waterfalls in the world.

With a vertical drop of around 62 meters and a flow rate of approximately 2800 m3 per second, Niagara Falls have the highest flow rate in North America. On the American side there are 2 waterfalls: the so-called American Falls and next to them, a smaller one, the Bridal Veil Falls.

In my opinion, the best side to visit Niagara Falls is the Canadian coast. That’s so because there you can enjoy a panoramical view of the American falls, and you will also be almost inside the most impressive fall: The Horseshoes Falls, named so due to their semicircular shape. Just be careful, you don’t want to fall into the water!

An interesting thing about Niagara Falls is the fact that they are right in the middle of the city. You can walk down the avenue and enjoy the view of this natural wonder. You can almost touch them! This is amazing to me because in Argentina, to visit the Iguazú Falls, you need to drive about half an hour from the city into the jungle. Anyway, they are 2 totally different things, I invite you to visit both of them!

The city next to the Niagara Falls is commonly known as «The Canadian Las Vegas». I really didn’t like it too much, because it looks very artificially touristy. So many illuminated signs really clash with the natural beaty of the river and the falls. But of course, again, this is my own opinion.

You can enjoy the falls for free, just from the street. But of course, there are many paid options to live different experiences with them as a center. You can, for example, visit the back fo the falls and see the city through them. Or the option I chose: A boat ride, which is highly recommended because offers you the possibility of being really close to the flow of water.

The ticket price includes the nylon raincoat, which works properly on those bodyparts it covers. But you should know that your pants, and especially your sneakers will end up totally wet. Be very careful with your electronics too! Even when the boat seems to be far from the fall, the force of the falling water and the wind can suddenly wet your camera and damage it.

An interesting detail about the falls and the erosion generated by millions of liters of water every year: They seem to be «traveling» along the river. The average erosion rate during the last decade was about 0.91 meters per year, but due to technical improvements today this rate is at the 30 cm level. Around 10900 years ago, Niagara Falls were actually located near the current town of Queenston, around 10 km from the current position.

Niagara Falls are not only a tourist attraction and a natural beauty, but also an important power source for both countries, United States and Canada. That’s why they join forces to preserve the watercourse, and specially the bottom of the river was the subject of several studies. The most important of them took place in year 1969, when the flow was diverted during several months to avoid the American Falls, and scientists could work there.

A good idea, of course, would be to visit both sides of the Falls. You will need then your passport in order to cross the Rainbow Bridge that links Canada with the United States. You can even walk across it. But no matter how you do it, you will have to go through customs and immigration controls. Just be careful about time as there may be delays at the border. That’s why we chose to have a burger on the Canadian side after the boat ride…

Al least for Americans, Niagara Falls is a very traditional honeymoon destination. But of course, you don’t need to be about to get married to visit and enjoy them!