Published: October 20th 2012October 20th 2012
From Valparaiso I crossed the border into Argentina. This was a truly incredible bus ride, I am very glad I did it in good weather! The road goes straight through the Andes, as you stare at incredible mountains growing beside you, one look down shows the road winding steeply down what is almost a cliff face. I reached Mendoza in Argentina. On recommendation from a friend I asked at a hostel for a girl called Laura. This made my time in Mendoza amazing. I did a couple of touristy things, one of which was a bicycle wine tour. A good way to taste some of Argentina´s best wines. This day was full of photos, sun and pedaling. However Laura was why I really enjoyed my time in Mendoza. Hanging out in Plazas walking through the city and showing me the salsa night life. When I went past on my way from Marlargue to Salta, she was the reason I stopped by again. Thanks Laura!
Malargue came next after a 6 hour bus ride south! I really enjoyed my time in Marlargue, I stayed an hour out of town in an Eco lodge. Here I was truly at home; the country was a sight for sore eyes. The lodge had chickens, horses, dogs and beautiful sunsets. As the only guest, I had a great time practicing my Spanish and helping with the animals. All of this was outside the hours of 7am to 7pm. This time I spent in the nearby Las Leñas. Las Leñas is a ski slope in the Andes an hour away from Marlague. How lucky I am to have the opportunity to snowboard here! After a day there was powder, when sitting on top of the mountain overlooking the Andes, I can´t help but smile despite the cold.
My next bus took me to Salta in 19 hours. It was a fairly manageable 19 hours; my only major battle was with the overwhelming smell of coca leaves of the traveler next to me. Salta has many special memories for me. It is a place with incredible sights geology and also where I met Brenda! Brenda is now a close friend, after meeting in Salta and taking tour together, we ended up travelling together for two weeks. A long time in the travelling world. In Salta we did 4 days of tours. A little pricy but well worth it. We went to the 7 colour mountains first. This is I would say one of the world’s natural wonders! The mountain range is full of different minerals so that in one mountain you have orange, reds, blues, greens, greys and so much more. We also went out through incredible gorges, to Cafayte, pulmarmaca and the amazing Salinas de Grande. Just a prelude to what was to come in Bolivia, the salt flats here still blew me away!
After some debate, I decided to join Brenda on her way to San Pedro De Atacama. This was a change in course for me but I am so glad it was! In San Pedro De Atacama I had the most incredible time! We went Sand Boarding, saw geysers, went swimming in freezing water, saw the valley of the moon and went on an astronomical tour. I can´t go into detail because there isn´t enough time but truly this was an incredible experience.