At the end of the year, taking advantage of a relaxation of the Covid control measures in Salta, we left our quarantine and travelled to the Calchaquí valley  for a well-deserved break from the routine of the farm where we had been since March 2020.
We travelled to a small town called Payogasta where we spend three nights exploring the Los Cardones National Park  and then continued to Molinos, travelling on the well-known national route 40 (RN40) that goes from North to South of Argentina traversing almost 5200 km and crossing eleven provinces  through the most amazing and changing landscapes.
While in Molinos we visited the Brealito lagoon, a natural water reservoir, and the Acsibi caves, both near the small town of Seclantás. I will deal with these visits in due course.
We enjoyed our stay at the Hacienda de Molinos hotel and when we were due to depart, decided to enjoy an extra night and explore Angastaco, another small village 50 km further on on the RN40 towards Cafayate, the wine-producing area, towards the South.
We traveled to Angastaco with the expectation of visiting the “Quebrada de las Flechas” (the Arrow’s gorge), meant to be a spectacular sight. This northern section of the RN40 is a rather twisted murram road crossing mountainous terrain and we drove with care following the Calchaquí river on our left. Although along the river there is a green valley where agriculture is practiced (including vineyards), the dominating landscape is one of dramatic dry rocky hills of different colours that change with the light and where one hopes (against hope) to see condors after turning each corner.
Because of the Covid 19 situation, we were among the very few people moving through so our journey was very relaxed until, as usual, I heard Mabel saying “these are Condors!”. As usual, without seeing anything but the rather twisted road ahead, I stopped to look and I could see some tiny objects against the horizon on one of the hills that I took for rocks, until one of them moved and we got excited! There were indeed Andean Condors (Vultur gryphus) 
We stopped to watch them with the binoculars and to take a few pictures. There were about ten birds along the edge of a cliff and then she started spotting more flying above us until we realize that there were many.
We advanced slowly to get a better angle on the birds on the cliff and then saw a large number of smaller birds on the ground and on a tree. These were Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus). We also saw a few Southern crested caracara (Caracara plancus) and other smaller birds of prey that I could not identify as they were quite far. Among the Vultures there were a few more condors and more were discovered by Mabel all around the area. So, we had hit a “condor jackpot”!
To give you an idea of what we saw, below I include a slide show.
We saw the remains of a carcass under the tree and decided to have a good look. We found a number of dead cattle, probably disposed off there by farmers as a consequence of the dry conditions in the area and this “cattle cemetery” attracted all the birds we saw.
We watched the birds for a long while while feeding until it was time for them to take off. The condors started first, followed by the Black vultures. The latter are super flyiers and gliders but they are no match for the truly majestic condors that, after the first few wingbeats they can go for long distances without the need of flapping their wings.
We enjoyed observing both vultures and condors after they had taken off while they glided up until they disappeared and then we decided to continue to Angastaco and have a look at the Quebrada de las Flechas. This did not disappoint us. The road snakes through a very dry gorge made of large pointed rock formations that extends for several kilometres. As I am not good with descriptions, the following slide show hopefully will reflect what we saw.
Despite the drama of the gorge and the beauty of the landscape that we traversed, nothing will make us forget our first close encounter with the magnificent condors.
 See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calchaqu%C3%AD_Valleys
 See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Cardones_National_Park
 See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Route_40_(Argentina)
 See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condor
A short video to show you more “action”.