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Published: April 17th 2012
After a 24 hour bus journey from Iguazu, we finally reached Salta. The bus journey was actually pretty smooth and we all came out of it having had a good sleep and feeling pretty chipper. We made our way to the hostel that we had pre booked and managed to get in our room as soon as we arrived even though it was early in the morning, this meant we could get sorted and head straight out. The hostel itself was a weird one in its layout, and it wasn’t the nicest or biggest dorm room we have ever stayed in, however it would only be for a night, so we couldn’t really complain. The first thing we wanted to do was get on the cable car that takes you a fair height up one of the hills in Salta in order for you to get a view of the city. The view from the car itself was a good one, and once at the top the grounds and gardens were immaculately kept and the vista of the city amazing. There were also a few manmade waterfalls up here too which of course prompted several terrible gags about them not quite
matching up to the previous falls we had seen in Iguazu!
Once down from the cable car, we headed to the centre of town for a walk about and to explore some of the city. Salta is actually a really pretty town with awesome old colonial architecture still in abundance which is a nice thing to see considering many of the cities and towns we have visited whilst in South America had lost this due to one reason or other. So, after strolling round the deafly quiet streets for a while (it was a Sunday) we headed to a museum where there was a promise of seeing some real life mummies from the time of the Incas. This was actually something we had heard about whilst in Peru after having seen Juanita in Arequipa, and were therefore intrigued as to how these mummies would compare. Once inside and having had a look at the artefacts found at the site, we were not disappointed. The two mummified children that were here in Salta were even more preserved due to the snowy conditions of the mountain than Juanita. Looking at the faces of these 500 year old children was just extraordinary
and really quite eerie….well worth a visit!
Just as we headed out of the museum the heavens had opened and the rain was in full flow. So, after sheltering under a building for a while ‘til the rain stopped”, we decided to do what all normal people would do in these conditions, and headed to the street where all the bars were for a beer. On the way to the pub though, we decided to perhaps have a couple of frames in a bowling bar that we had read about that was just off the road where the bars were. There was one flaw in our plan however, and that was that we were wearing flip flops. Having bowled a few games in our time, we knew that these were not appropriate footwear for bowling, and the idea of sticking our feet in the rented shoes was just to gross to contemplate. Therefore, we headed to any shop that looked like they might sell socks…in the rain! This was of course a total failure being that it was a Sunday, and soon became about as much fun as watching paint dry, so we initiated Plan A again and headed
straight to the pub!
As with any trip to the pub, we were soon in need of some food, and with Matt craving more meat than a piranha, we swiftly headed to a Parrilla in search of dinner. We eventually found a place that served a full on meat Asado for two which Matt and myself got stuck into whilst Donna ate her pasta. What the meat was on this plate, we had no idea, but excluding the rather horrid red blood sausage that was oozing red gunge all over the plate, it was all rather good. The guitarist that played in the restaurant was also very good and entertaining, however trying to eat your dinner and have a conversation was almost impossible due to the volume of this fella…. I reckon the amp he was using would have sufficed for a concert at the Royal albert Hall!
As we only had the one night here in Salta, we wanted to do something the next day where we could see plenty of stuff but still be back by evening as we had an overnight bus to catch to our next destination. We finally decided on a trip up
to the town of Humahuacca near the Bolivian border. Our first stop on the tour was at the amazing multi-coloured cliffs of Pumamarca. The various colours are derived from the different kinds of minerals found within the cliffs, and are really something special to look at. As well as this, the tour also consisted of stopping in several little villages on the way to Humahuacca, where you could experience a little bit of how life in rural Argentina goes down. The way the tour was run and our guide were great, and it turned out to be a really good craic. It was great to see some of these little villages in the middle of nowhere, plus we had the unexpected and added bonus today that it was Carnival! Normally, this would have us heading in the opposite direction due to having witnessed like a million Carnivals since being away, however this one was different as we were with Matt who had yet to experience one, plus apparently these guys in the villages were nuts, and so was worth a watch! Fortunately, whilst we visited the town during carnival, it was still quite early, and therefore things were not in
full swing yet, however all of us were constantly covered with foam spray, made to dodge water balloons and had the occasional bag of flour chucked at our face all in the name of fun …..
The tour itself was actually really good fun and as previously mentioned, the tour guide was always up for a laugh and some banter. He was especially up for it on this day owing to carnival, and he was like a big kid throughout the day joining in on the foam soakings in and outside of the tour bus. It was also an added bonus that we got to cross the Tropic of Capricorn whilst on the drive. Amusingly, Donna and Matt stepped up to the challenge I set in order to ‘be the Capricorn’ whilst on the line. This was made funnier because neither of them had a clue what a Capricorn was! This was especially funny when we found out that Matt actually is a Capricorn….shame on you Matt!!
The tour finally came to an end just 1 hour before we needed to get our bus, and after rushing to get to the bus stop, we were again on the
road, bound for the Wine region of Mendoza. We all really enjoyed the time we had spent in Salta even though it was a fleeting visit, however unbeknown to her, Donna had managed to take a souvenir from Salta with her. Unfortunately, this souvenir came in the form of literally dozens of bed bug bites from our night in the hostel. It seems that Salta really would leave its mark on us in more ways than one!
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