Published: March 12th 2012March 2nd 2012
High over Salta
Cable car journey
We both slept really well as the bed was comfortable and went into breakfast for 8.00 am. A glass of orange squash, a cup of coffee and a mini Danish-type pastry and a triangular thing that was a little like a scone with butter and jam...
We walked towards the main square as we needed to change the little Chilean currency we had into Argentinian pesos. We stopped at a coffee shop (as only one cup of coffee at breakfast in the morning is insufficient). We each had a really nice latte which was brought with a big glass of soda water and a sample piece of cake.
There were really long queues outside every bank and we walked into one that changed foreign currency and asked why all these people were queueing. Apparently, they all wanted dollars and we were told there were similar queues on a daily basis!! Wandered around the main square. There were throngs of people everywhere. Salta is a lovely city. Our first thoughts of Argentina so far is that it is a far more sophisticated and richer country than both Peru and Bolivia with a far better infrastructure. There are Western-type shops, coffee shops and buildings and the people on the streets somehow look less threatening and less likely to do you harm than in Bolivia and Peru (although that may be purely our imagination!).
We went into the cathedral on the square. Lots of gold and icons and ornate bits and pieces and many people praying and taking confession. People were lining up to take confession from a couple of confessionals manned by priests in full view of everyone else - tourists and devotees alike! Shame we can't really understand Spanish as it might have been interesting learning what the ordinarly person in Salta has to confess!
We then found the Tourist Office and picked up a map of the town and walked to the main market. Found the habitual man with the juicer and we each had a yummy orange and banana juice without ice.
As we are in the cooking group tomorrow and need to organise lunch and make dinner for everyone, we looked around at what we might buy tomorrow. We previously had a discussion with our fellow two chefs (a Swiss vegetarian couple slightly older than us) and had decided to make a vegetarian curry with rice for main course. We saw curry powder so decided to buy it as the market we will be visiting tomorrow in order to buy ingredients will be much smaller. We bumped into the other two who had obviously had the same thoughts as us and they had also bought curry powder!!
We walked back down the road in the other direction to Parque San Martin and a cable car to take us approximately 286 metres up a large hill overlooking the city. The ride up was very pleasant as we were the only ones in the cable car (which was one of several going up and down in a continual circuit). There were several viewing points at the top, a shop which sold 'antique silver' and oddly, second-hand clothes, a man-made waterfall at several levels and a cafe with a spectacular view over the city. We sat and contemplated the view for ten minutes or so while having a cold drink (something called oh2 and made by 7Up - a lemony fizzy drink with no sugar and no calories - makes a difference from Coca Cola Zero or water!!) and then took the return cable-car to the bottom. Nice clean toilets with both paper, soap, anti-bacterial wash and paper towels at the Cablecar station - another pleasant change.......
We walked back towards our hotel and stopped at an ice cream parlour with a good selection of different flavours. A healthy lunch consisting of an ice cream cone and two scoops!
Reaching our hotel, we stopped at an internet cafe to update our blog.
Had our showers then decided to go to the steak restaurant everyone went to at 10.30 the night before as they all raved about it and it was number 2 or 3 on Trip Advisor. Argentinians eat so late! We got there at 8.00 pm only to find it didn't open until 8.30 pm so we walked around for half an hour and came back to be the first ones in! Food was good - a huge steak, salad and chips all of which we shared between the two of us. We also shared a nice bottle of red wine (minus a glass and a half which we donated to some of our group who turned up to eat at 9.30 pm). We then returned to the main square for a cup of good coffee before returning to our hotel to sleep.