(Whoops, I forgot to upload the latest pages. I’ll make this post longer to catch up.)
I spent more time analysing the text of the bookmarks until I found one that I was fairly confident would bring me to Earth again. I was not mistaken.
I’m in Argentina again, near a city called San Augustin de Valle Fertil. There are two national parks nearby, with famous rock formations and -guess it?- petroglyphs. I’m going to see if I can join a tour.
It took me a day, but I did it. The guys at the hostel managed to fit me into a tour with three guys from the United States, so I’m now en route for Ischigualasto.
Okay. That was the ultimate scenic tour.
First of all, this place was a lake millions of years ago; you can see in the rocks where the water level was, and the difference between the erosion caused by the water and that caused by the wind. Reminds me a little of Age 233, actually. But, apart from the natural beauty, the importance of this place comes from the fact that, due to tectonic movement, the late triassic period emerged in the open, revealing some of the oldest dinosaur deposits in the world and turning into every paleontologist’s wildest dream.
To preserve both the fossils and the natural state of the place, the visits follow a strict tour with five stops, and you’re not allowed to walk outside the ‘fences’, which are actually lines of black rocks delimiting the uncontaminated area.
The most famous of the stops is the Valley of the Moon, for which the park is famous; this otherworldly landscape seems to come straight out of the lunar soil, and makes for a stark contrast with the great red mountain wall that divides this region from La Rioja, and that could very well come out of the planet Mars.
Now here comes the scary part. We were about halfway through the tour, going back to our cars from the Cancha de Bochas (a field of naturally formed round bowl rocks), and I remained a little behind the group to take some photographs. The wind and the water had modeled the rock into interesting smooth formations carved with holes and, suddenly, I noticed a soft glow was coming from one of them. I peered inside and there it was, a glyph drawn in the sand, almost unrecognizable were it not for the faint purple glow emanating from its lines.
I didn’t have much time to decide what to do; I was already behind the group, and they would leave soon for the next stop, so my absence would be noticed quickly. As a draft of wind raised the sand around my feet, I muttered a “What the hell” and made my choice.
I made sure I had my Relto handy, took a deep breath and touched the glyph.
(continues in next post)