Published: May 22nd 2006March 17th 2006
Day 41 - Wednesday 15th March
Buenos Aires Bike tour
Flight to Tucuman The Longer Version:
As we left the lush surrounds of our hotel, Ayres de Recoletta, we made our way through the streets of Buenos Aires (BA) to our meeting place at the Plaza. Here we collected our steel steeds and guides and departed on a death defying cycle tour of BA. Starting with a tour of the Falklands war memorial, we headed passed most of the famous landmarks in BA, in just a few short hours. We dodged traffic, dog poo and tango dancers as we saw the sights and learnt the history of BA. At the conclusion we walked back and to the Recoletta cemetery, one of the famous visiting points in BA, and eventually stumbled across the grave of Evita. Many of the graves were extremely impressive shrines, and the names were similar to many places seen on our travels.
Of to the domestic airport to Tucuman in NW Argentina! In Tucuman we had heard that it was likely to have horses and carts. Sure enough, before we even got to our hotel, we saw several horses
and carts along the streets clip clopping their way in the dark. Day 42- Thursday 16th March
Bus ride from Tucuman to Minera Alumbrera
Visit to Minera Alumbrera
Life and Death ride back to Tucuman The longer version:
Another early start as horse and carts clip clopped down the main street. We found the bus station and eventually the bus we were to catch to the Xstrata Copper mine- Minera Alumbrera. Until a week earlier we had been expecting to fly in / out the same day with a 45min flight. However we were advised that the mines airstrip was under repair and therefore we had a 6-hr bus ride. The bus ride was good in that we got to see a range of things we would not have seen otherwise. The lush fertile valley, the dry desert on the other side of the mountain range, council workers going to work in the back of a trailer, and the seller of coca leaves (to chew). At the mine we got to see the facilities, and heard that they have 2 soccer fields at the camp- one indoor and outdoor. A tour of
the mine, and meeting with the mine planning engineer fed Rogers appetite for knowledge about the operation, and we were able to catch a smaller shuttle bus back that evening. Then we really did put our life in someone elses hands and I think he was deciding what to do with our lives as we sped back towards Tucuman dodging animals, children and cars. Day 43- Friday 17th March
Bus to Salta The Longer Version:
A relaxed start to the day saw us chasing around town trying to catch the elusive horse and cart on camera. Fortunately we did so as we approached the bus terminal for the trip to Salta, 4 hrs north of Tucuman. The bus station had numerous shops allowing for a perusal of local wares. We finally saw some rainmakers, which Karen wanted to bring to Australia. Upon sighting them however we weren’t sure customs would like them. They are dried out cactus, hollowed, filled with stones and sealed, and made nice sounds when shaken or rotated. We felt they would have caused us grief at many border crossings.
The buses in South America are fantastic. On our
4-hr ride to Salta we had movies (in English), lunch and drinks provided free of charge. There was also plenty of leg room, although this wasn’t one of the best buses, in which you can fully recline to 180degrees in. In Salta we located our accommodation and wandered around checking out the town. Later at night we even spotted a fashion parade going on, showing the new season’s fashions one assumes.
There are more photos below