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Published: March 2nd 2012
This caption is for Emma: Leonard- you are nothing!
Put the alarm on for 5.55 am as we were due to have all the luggage back on the bus by 6.45 am and we knew it would take forever to stuff our sleeping mats, sleeping bags and sleeping liners back into their respective bags and pack away the tent with just torchlight to guide us!
We were late leaving as other people didn't quite manage to get their acts together and drove away from the campsite by about 7.15. Arrived back at the Chilean border at 7.30 am and ate breakfast on the bus while waiting for the border to open at 8.00. We needed to be there early to get there before hordes of other people as the queues move so slowly. Unfortunately, as we were late leaving there was a large tour bus in front of us and they took about 40 minutes to leave..... Passports stamped and we were on our way. There was approximately 135 kms between exiting Chile and entering Argentina. The land inbetween must be regulated by one country or the other and the roads must be maintained by one of them although it is unclear which! The Argentina border was the same
process as Chile with the luggage all off the bus and xrayed. There was a rather sweet sniffer dog (looking for drugs probably) which sniffed the baggage of a bus before us but it was obviously lunch time when we went through as the sniffer dog had disappeared and we were permitted to leave without this additional wait....
A long and tedious day through some wonderful scenery - dramatic mountains, cacti and green landscapes. However, the day seemed endless and we only arrived at our destination of Salta, a fairly large city, at 9.15 pm. Before arriving at our hotel, we stopped at a restaurant which is Dave's favourite restaurant in the whole of South America to see if this could be booked for a late dinner for any of the group wanting to go. A table for 15 was booked for 10.30 pm. We decided that this was far too late to eat and drink wine and thought we would go to this restaurant the following night if it was that good. (number 3 restaurant in Salta on Trip Advisor so must be OK!)
We checked into the hotel and went straight out again to the main
plaza two blocks up the road to acquire some Argentinian money from the cash till and have a light bite before returning to the hotel for a shower and bed. The main square was really cosmopolitan and vibrant with loads of street cafes and people milling around and a juggler performing (like in Covent Garden) and we were looking forward to returning the following morning.
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