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Published: August 5th 2008
Hi Everyone! Right now Dain and I are at the front desk of our hostel in the city of Salta waiting for our car rental to show up, its already a half hour late. We are going south to visit the cities and national parks south of the town of Salta. First we will head towards Cachi, making a stop halfway to trek and explore. Then we´ll move towards Cafayate again stopping at a halfway point to get a good look around. After Cafayate we head north back towards Salta stopping to see the dam. We have the car for 3 days and will make the most of it, I´m sure.
What´s been going on up to this point? We´ve had some lucky adventures getting from place to place. Of course, any travel in Argentina doesn´t properly start if it doesn´t include at least a 15 hour bus ride. On our last day in the city as usual frantically trying to get things organized we made our bus on time and arrived in Salta very excited to get to planning. We heard of some festival and headed toward a town called San Antonio de los Cobres. After a climbing bus
ride with stops only long enough to get me through the line for the women´s bathroom we arrived in a dusty... s##thole and wanted to leave immediately.
Now that our Spanish is much improved it took only one interview with a remis driver to find out there were no buses to Salinas Grandes and the only remis compnay did not have the proper vehicles. Commence begging for a ride. With some luck and the willingness to pay we found a ride with a lameo excursion group that took us to the great Salt Flats, then on the same highway that goes above the clouds towards Chile and finally to Pumamarca.
After the agressive French people sitting in front of us completely blocked our view from our scrunched positions in the back of the van and then preceded to vomit into a bag because of the winding road combined with altitude, I wanted off the excursion BS. We paid less than we promised and with that, even the guides were suddenly much more kind and smiling- yea you could say we were ripped off. But, we were now one day ahead of our plans and happily set camp for
two nights in the town renowned for its Cerro de 7 colores.
Dain and I did some exploring on and off the trails, at one point his camera bag and water bottle unlatched and went tumbling down the scree of a mountain side. So, down we went after them. We were soon walking along a dried river bed and checking out the interesting geology and landscape this place offered. Also managed to find some delightfully terrifying bouldering only to come to a dead end and have to turn around and go back down it all. It was great fun, I thank Dain for that adventure.
Also, I think Dain finally had a fullfilling view of a star laden sky. We got away from the small town lights into the dark mountains and just laid on our backs amazed by the perfectly clear Milky Way. This town was even greater than the famous seven colored mountain, we were happy to have the opportunity to spend some time away from the tourism and make friends playing rugby at our campsite and on the trails as well.
gotta run! we are very much enjoying this part of Argentina!
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