Over the Punilla Mountain Range, we did not take long to get in contact with the sound and smell of nature. We went hiking for a few kilometers from the city center.
Our wish to get in contact with the mountain quietness and the wild sounds of Capilla del Monte led us to meet Fabio Cepeda and Mauricio. Not long ago, these two local guides decided to combine their effort in order to start Nahuan Aventura, a company specialized in hiking and trekking excursions with different levels of difficulty across the northern nature of the Punilla Valley. Fabio has worked as a guide for 10 years all over the province, enough time to gain a great deal of experience. It is always easier to enjoy it if you feel safe and confident, and Fabio seems to know about it.
That day, we planned a short walk to Los Mogotes area, located only 10 kilometers from the city center. As we reached the departure point, the endless collection of rocks spread all over the mountain range caught our attention. Our guides told us that those formations date from thousands of years ago, when the Andes Mountain Range emerged as it crashed against the Pre-cambrian fold of the central mountain range. Suddenly, a loud caw caught our attention. In a daring flight, a hawk showed us we were in its territory and, for a few minutes, we were mesmerized by the soft glide of his spread wings.
Over the Punilla Mountain Range
The mountainous peace
Connecting with the past
The natural action of the water and the wind
“The area we are visiting used to be dwelled by the native Comechingones. These natives who have almost disappeared, used to to protect themselves from high temperatures in the natural rock shelters and they lived underground in some kind of “holes”, explained Fabio as we continued walking.
As we were getting to a higher point, the overview widened up and we felt we were in control of space. Mounts Uritorco, Copacabana, Castilla and Las Gemelas silently witnessed our pace. A great carpet of red hardwood trees seemed to expand around us.
We soon reached the summit. We climbed from 850 to 1000 m.a.s.l. The perspective spread towards the four cardinal points. We could observe El Cajón dam wall, the Dolores River and some little houses over the horizon, especially the one which belonged to don Reginaldo Gómez, a scoundrel who managed to scape from a prison located on Martín García Island by holding a mare’s tail to cross the Río de la Plata. He looked for a new hideout in the mountains and it seems not even the police dared to look for him in these latitudes. It is said he died of old age.
As we gained height, we could listen to the fresh sound of the Dolores River, which runs through stone labyrinths, forming underground cascades and flowing through tunnels only to reemerge in its normal course.
As we walked, Mauricio and Fabio showed us different species of plants in the area. We walked through trails full of wild weeds, wild bells and apple trees. We also found air moss, various species of cacti, aloe vera, creepers, native mistletoes and ferns, which when used as infusion, help improve blood circulation. Among aromatic plants, we found mostly pennyroyal, palo amarillo, wild boldo and vira vira.
We got to Paso del Indio. After the necessary technical instructions were given, we could climb the narrow crack on the rocks without any trouble at all. As soon as we got there, we found the Indian face, which had been sculpted by the natural action of the water and the wind. We made ourselves comfortable on the natural terrace to rest for a while and, as if it were part of the schedule, we drank mate and bizcochos (kind of local salty scons).
Lost in the immensity of the Córdoba Mountain Range, we forgot about time and worries. Between laughter and silence, we realized we had achieved our goal: to get in contact with nature without much effort.
With the orange sunset colors on our backs, we started the way back. Granite, mica and quartz were left behind but, before leaving, we promised ourselves to come back whenever possible.
Marcelo Sola Pablo Etchevers
Contact of the excursion or tour
9 de Julio 509 (5184) Capilla del Monte, Córdoba
Cel: +54 3548-571222