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Published: December 19th 2012
In the 5 days we spent in the Salta / Jujuy provinces in NW argentina, we took almost 400 pictures and videos. The scenery up there is just mind blowing; we couldn´t stop taking pictures. It will be a while before I get them all uploaded with the sluggish internet around here (in Bolivia now). Needless to say I´m quite a bit behind with pictures and the blog, but it will get done eventually. Anywho...
Our bus to Salta was the longest bus ride so far: 18 hours. Another bummer was there is no company that offers a super cama (seat that lays all the way flat) on that stretch. But this time we wised up and took sleeping pills which made the ride much more bearable. The bus left Mendoza at around 8pm, and got in to Salta just before 2pm the next day.
Our first impression of Salta (the city) wasn´t the best. Our hostel was on a street littered with trash, pretty 3rd world looking and smelling. We later found out that it is quite nice near the town square. Here are a couple of pictures of the square:
We didn´t actually spend much time at all in Salta itself. Having talked to a few different people in Mendoza we decided renting a car and exploring on our own was the way to go. So after sleeping one night in Salta we got a car, threw our bags inside and hit the road.
Our plan from here was quite rough - we had the car for 3 days, with the option to add a 4th day if we wanted. On the 5th day we had to get to Tupiza, Bolivia. Other than that, we could go wherever we wanted and stay wherever we wanted.
There was one catch, though. We had almost no clean clothes, as our attempt to get laundry done a second time in Mendoza was thwarted by sporatic weekend hours at the laundromat. We left our dirty clothes at our hostel in Salta, and planned to be back the following day to pick them up.
Our first destination was Cachi, southwest of Salta in the Andes. It is about a three hour drive. We turned it into a 4 hour drive though, since the scenery is just awesome. The drive starts out in a green valley and goes along a muddy river. The road switches between dirt and pavement, probably because the steep hills are prone to rock slides. The road climbs and the scenery changes drastically until you are in a high desert with snow capped mountains in the background.
Here are some pictures from the drive from Salta to Cachi:
Cachi is a quiet little town, with a small square and a few restaurants. We got there right in the middle of siesta, and we were the only ones in the restaurant we chose. It was delicious though.
We had originally toyed with the idea of staying in Cachi for the night, but we still had a lot of daylight left so we decided to press on south toward Cafayate instead. Once again we were blown away by the scenery. A rain storm was approaching from the east, which made it all the more dramatic.
The drive from Cachi to Cafayete took a little over 4 hours (again with lots of stops). A lot of driving for one day but we both agreed it was the most diverse and epic scenery we'd ever seen in one day of driving.
I started this blog in Tupiza, and I´m now finishing it in Uyuni (both Bolivia) after a four day offroad tour of the surrounding area. The scenery here is even more spectacular and we have hundreds more pictures to show for it. Much more to come, once I can get some time and a decent internet connection!
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