Adaptations and Elevations.

Published: May 2nd 2014
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Look, Dave caught a faery!Look, Dave caught a faery!Look, Dave caught a faery!

Having fun with perspective on the Salt Flats (Las Salinas Grandes). We were 3300 metres above sea level.
Hola para la ultima vez (para ahora).

Viajamos para tres dias en dos paises ir a las montañas en el norte oeste de Argentina. Nuestras corazones fueron en nuestras gargantas!

After three days of bussing, we found ourselves in the northwestern corner of Argentina, exploring the many beautiful rock formations of the Andean Mountains and the Atacama Desert. We also found ourselves at several thousand metres above sea level too, making the vistas that much more "breathtaking"! We spent the last week of this trip in the Quebrada de Humahuaca region and enjoyed the area very much. Many small villages line the valley and it was Semana Santa (Holy Week or Easter) so the whole area was abuzz with festivities! We stayed fairly low-key and opted to spend most of the time hiking in the mighty, cactus filled valleys. We browsed through the colourful markets and tasted a few of the Andean delights of llama meat, chicha and empanadas.

One of the more peculiar things we saw in the region was in a church in the small village of Uquia. A series of 200 year old paintings of angels carrying firearms and daggers. We also saw a new
Shadows on the salt flatsShadows on the salt flatsShadows on the salt flats

We were astounded at the difference of the shadows on salt vs. snow. Salt creates a black shadow, whereas snow creates a blue shadow.
and clean Argentine two peso bank note - an incredibly rare sight! Argentina should win a global award for the scabbiest bank notes as there are some that were astonishingly scabby!

Our last day in the Quebrada was in the city of Jujuy, a chaotic city with a nice mix of old and new. We chose 'new' and hit the cinema, searched for the best hot chocolate in the country, and ate at a food court in a mall - tons of fun! From Jujuy we flew to Buenos Aires to catch our flights back to the frozen north... Our flight was delayed for eight hours so we sat at the BA airport until four in the morning... We then missed our connections in Atlanta and had to spend the night there instead, which actually suited us - yeah, one more day of travel!

Dave's sleep-deprived thoughts from seat 22B on flight Delta 110 from Buenos Aires at 0400 hrs.

"I knew as I went through the security at the airport that they’d take our water bottles from us if they were to have water in them… We are wise to this and we always drink our
Group shot on Las Salinas GrandesGroup shot on Las Salinas GrandesGroup shot on Las Salinas Grandes

With Kerry, our traveller friend.
water before going through security. Then we fill them up again from the taps on the other side. However, a new security measure was put in place for us! Immediately before boarding, we had to go through a second security check right at the gate – I knew they’d take my water from me this time as it was full. They did take it from me, and even though it was a plastic bottle that I’d carried for weeks and it was full of tap water – I still felt as if a part of me had been taken. Thirty seconds later I was on the plane, and I stealthily took a bottle from one of the first class seats as I walked by. I was quite content… Justice! It is a curious part of travel these days. They tell you to stay hydrated on flights and drink plenty of water – yet they take water from you! The very essence of life is taken from you! They also tell you not to drink much caffeine or alcohol on the flight – yet they often give you it to you for free.

Curious places airports? No, no, no, you can’t take water onboard, but you can take a Toblerone (a prism-shaped bat) if you like? As many giant Toblerones as you like! Why are these trusty triangular chocolate bars so popular in airports?"

I got up to use the facilities on the plane at 0500 hours after no sleep, and as I glanced at myself in the mirror, I saw a grey face with yellow eyes… Time to sleep...

Hot Chocolate anyone?

So, for our avid readers who have been waiting with bated breath for Theresa's announcement of her best hot chocolate in Argentina, we found yet another worthy opponent. Gorritta was a small, mall coffee shop in Jujuy that made a steamed milk and semi-sweet chocolate chunk combo, served in a tall glass mug with sprinkles on top. It was served hot and creamy! So to summarize the 3 contenders worthy of the award...

1) Ushuaia: Turista Chocolate - the creamy swirly tank that Theresa was desperate to steel and run across the road with...

2) El Chalten: La Chocolateria - the dark chocolate fluffiness that was served in a ceramic hand made mug, and the pot that Theresa could not see, and
Salt LollySalt LollySalt Lolly

A well deserved desert dessert in a deserted desert.
henceforth, could not be stolen...

3) Jujuy: Gorritta - the steamed, milky, fun-to-stir deliciousness...

And the winner is...

(Keeping in mind that the one judge is very subjective and that there were many places that were NOT explored for this award... and no conflicts of interests have been revealed)...

And the winner is... Turista Chocolate in Ushuaia!!!! The one judge does not need to explain why. But, if you are quite interested as to why, then please refer back to the story of desperation on the blog titled: Breeze-swept Pretty City at the end of the World from Feb 3, 2014.

Thanks for tuning in everyone! This is our final blog for this trip! And we leave you with a quote we stumbled upon, in Humahuaca, Argentina. It was on a homemade, laminated paper wallet that an Argentine couple was selling, in order to travel in their own country:

Everybody has two lives - your second life starts when you realize you only have one.

David y Theresa (Los trotamundos)

Additional photos below
Photos: 39, Displayed: 25


Full body salt lickFull body salt lick
Full body salt lick

Better than papas fritas
Road to the Salt FlatsRoad to the Salt Flats
Road to the Salt Flats

4200 metres above sea level
Siete ColoresSiete Colores
Siete Colores

The seven colours. Purmamarca
Andean ArtworkAndean Artwork
Andean Artwork

We have the same thing at home, from Peru, also made by the Andean people there... or was it made elsewhere?
Cactus artCactus art
Cactus art

Love the pompoms
Thermos of hot water and yerba mateThermos of hot water and yerba mate
Thermos of hot water and yerba mate

We noticed that as we ventured northward, the thermoses got bigger... and more people were drinking the traditional tea.
Gourds and Bombillas for Yerba MateGourds and Bombillas for Yerba Mate
Gourds and Bombillas for Yerba Mate

Every store has at least a bagillion of them...

3rd May 2014
Road to the Salt Flats

Fantastic photo
These curves remind me of the Atlas mountains in Morocco. That was sneaky snatching a bottled water from first class. When we head to South America I will try all of those hot chocolates and we can confer later. I'm sure I'll be in agreement. Sorry the adventure is closing. Eager to hear what is up next for you.
3rd May 2014
Look, Dave caught a faery!

Great adventure!
I've enjoyed following your quite varied adventures, and how wise to end up in the warm north before heading back to Canada. The Quebrada de Humahuaca was one of my fave spots with those tiny towns and colored hills, and so different from your far northern home. Good luck adjusting to a settled life!
4th May 2014

A well deserved desert dessert in a deserted desert.
Gonna use this sentence to teach phonics with my young Chinese students!
22nd March 2018
The edge of the saltlake

Incredible photo
I didn`t see this foam in real life, but i think is great to be there!
22nd March 2018
The edge of the saltlake

Happy salt lakes
The salt lakes in northern Argentina are awesome - and much less visited than the giant salt lake of Bolivia just to the north. Welcome to Travel Blog and thanks for the comments.

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