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Published: October 1st 2018
Argentina! The last country to visit on our trip and the realisation that soon we will have to merge back in to normal life! (I know what you're thinking!)
Our entry in to northern Argentina became a bit pricey when we should have done changed our leftover Bolivian money in before crossing the border and we lost a fair bit money when paying for our bus tickets with Bolivian money and exchanging the rest with some old lady selling sweets. Oh well, lesson learnt!
Our transition from Tupiza to Salta was smooth although it took all day. We had a huge thunderstorm on the way which was also the first rain we had since northern Colombia, basically two months with no rain!
The first impression of Salta/Argentina was that there is a lot more of a European feel to it. The people appear more Caucasian and the distinction between foreign travellers became a lot harder to see.
The streets and shops are less rickety and dirty (and close for three hours during lunch) and it looked cleaner and more civilized.
Our first day in Salta was a relaxing one as we had been in some form of
transport basically all day for the last five days.
We had some amazing Empanadas for lunch (oven cooked as opposed to fried in Colombia) and saw for the fifth time in various places (copacobana, sucre twice, tupiza and now in salta) a family of five from France who are all deaf and who had been a customer of Anna's work colleague.
We also ran in to for the second time two Americans (late 50's) who we met in Tupiza, who are cycling from Alaska to Ushaia! We ran in to them a third time on the road down to Cafayate too!
Our plan was to hire a car and drive around the areas of Salta. This is a popular thing to do as distances are big and it's not possible to get to some of these places by bus.
There are quite a lot of rental agencies in Salta but all the popular ones are all booked out quickly. We opted to book online with insurance as the smaller rental agencies don't offer any insurance, so if something happens eg. broken window, you pay for the total replacement cost. It was better piece of mind to pay for full
Our first day took us south to Cafayate and through amazing landscape with deep canyons and similar rock formations to Tupiza. The only difference was that this landscape had green flora running through the bottom the valley which made for a very nice contrast. The closer we got towards Cafayate, the emptier the road became.
Cafayate is the beginning of the wine region and several wineries are dotted around although it wasn't the right season.
Our second day took us on a dirt road for 150km to a small town called Cachi. Again we drove through some amazing rock formations, through tiny deserted villages and dry landscape. An ice cream once we had arrived at Cachi was a welcome treat.
The next day was a long one as we went from the south to north of Salta. We spent 6 hours getting from Cachi to Tilcara! If we had known about the roads, we probably would have gone to Tilcara from Tupiza to save a lot of backtracking. We had planned to get to Tilcara from Cachi via the back roads but it was going to be a loooong bumpy trip so we took the quicker
and smoother tarmac option instead!
Tilcara is a good place to base yourself for a few places around. One of them being La Hornical, an absolutely amazing mountain landscape of apparently 17 different colours. It really looks like a painting and definitely a great place to visit, it was a real highlight of the road trip! There is also a 7 coloured mountain in Purmaraca but it was no where near as impressive and more touristy.
It was a great little road trip and it was really easy to do. The roads are quiet and the scenery was amazing!
It was also the last opportunity to enjoy the quiet countryside as we are headed to Buenas Aires, Bogota for a day then back to Brighton!
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