Published: June 10th 2010June 10th 2010
Just a quick blog for Northern Argentina. After the incredible Bolivia tour (see previous blog) we had a nightmare 2 day trip on trains, foot and buses across the border to the city of Salta. Salta is a really beautiful city and it was nice to be back in Argentina which really has a feeling of continental Europe about it. We celebrated being back in civilisation again by heading out to one of Saltas famous parilla (meat restaurant) and gorged ourselves on amazing food before sampling Saltas pretty decent bars and night life. Salta like all South American cities is built around an amazing square which is perfect for people watching with a cold beer. The region around Salta is famous for two things, one is oranges which grow everywhere the square is lined with orange trees and you can pick your own fruit from them. The other is for the Gauchos that live in the surrounding mountains. Gauchos are Argentinian cowboys that still live on ranches and round up cattle and horses the old fashioned way. We booked ourselves on a 2 day stay on a local ranch which was about an hour out of the city.
The ranch was beautiful and really peaceful, the gaucho family who ran the place were very friendly and inviting. We quickly saddled up and went out for a ride into the surounding hills. Everything was going smoothly until about 5 mins into our ride when my horse turned round and bit me!!! I don't think he liked me much as he spent the next 20 mins trying to bite me at every opportunity until the Gaucho noticed and offered to swap horses as mine has a history as a bit of a bighter (now he tells me). We had an really Amazing ride around the hills and returned for a BBQ (more meat) and some wine for lunch.
The wine flowed freely and when we went out of the afternoon ride with a bit of dutch courage in us we decided that a gallop race on the horses was called for. We had swapped horses from the morning ride onto faster horses for the afternoon ride and they seemed to have a competitive streak in them, they did not want to be at the back so you spent most of the time either galloping against each other or trying
to reign them in.
We spent the night at the ranch and had a really nice dinner with the family that owned the place before spending the evening drinking local wine and reading by the huge real fire. The next day was an annual Gaucho festival and Gauchos from the whole area were arriving on horseback in full Gaucho dress. They were expecting 500 of them to show up so when we were driving back to Salta the roads were full of them.
In Salta we got ready for our last huge bus journey 23 hours to Igauzu Fall which is on the Arengtina Brazil border and one of the natural wonders of the World!!
There are more photos below