North Neuquén: a place to explore
site: CHOS MALAL - NEUQUEN
"The magic of feeling that one is the first to arrive" says one of the brochures that present to this area, and it is really like that. If this is true for many places in Patagonia, it is particularly appropriate for northern Neuquén.
To say that it is a unique, unrepeatable, different, original land seems not enough. One has the feeling that he should say "more unique", "more different":
The sky, the colors of the hills, the grandeur of the Cordillera del Viento, the excitement of following a river to its springs ... like the Nahueve in the Lagunas of Epulauquen ... And the silence, the silence that is always present. But a silence full of rumors, because there are the streams between the stones, the passing of the transhumant shepherds with their animals towards the summer, the wind ... And the people, the wonderful people of the north, kind, helpful, knowledgeable of the places and the legends, always ready to receive and extend a hand to the visitor.
The north of Neuquén is a land of history, mysteries and legends.
History tells us that in Chos Malal, the capital city, the first government of the territory was established. Between its hills important battles were fought during the Campaign of the Desert, and by the passes of the mountain range a whole history has been woven in the relation with Chile, so close here.
It is also one of the last regions of the world where transhumance of the herds is practiced, which consists of the transfer of the animals in mid-November to the high fields of the mountain range in search of the pastures and water that will serve as sustenance to their animals. In March and April the return to the wintering fields, also in search of pastures to feed the cattle.
It is an old tradition of a lifetime. The great majority of the arrieros go towards the Andes Mountain Range. The time it will take to move your livestock will depend on the area where you live. It takes more than a month for some to travel.
They carry out an ancestral task in which these baqueanos are astonished when some interested person delves into the daily tasks, because for them the strange thing is that in which the cycles of mother nature do not intervene.
Raid del Viento will take place on the slopes of Tromen Volcano (4114 masl) and Domuyo (4709 masl), the highest peak in Patagonia.