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Published: March 20th 2013
A peso for his thoughts?
Hi all, here we are in Tupiza, after a harrowing 3 hours to cross from Argentina into Bolivia....but that's another story for another time.
Rosco gets Abandoned in Salta....
After a relaxing couple of nights in Salta, including a cultural, Tourist dinner including the succulent goat meat I have ever eaten, I have had my fair share of rough stuff in the past.
The boys told the staff that it was my 80th birthday and we were there to cellebrate it, soon after the band struck up 'Happy Bithday Roco', then a cake arrived with a candle and a fire work that fird up and sprayed all over the cake, but every one enjoyed it.
Scratch finished up on the stage giving a big Rah, Rah for New Zealand, when they produced our flag. There is more about this night in Howard's summery below.
We had departure time of 11.00 am, so many went for last minute shopping and I had to wash off a heap of bird shit from the truck, as it was parked under an overhanging tree. By the time I had done that and trying to pay the hotel
account, as their Credit Card terminal would not accept my card. He kept trying and it kept rejecting, the fellow was pressing me to pay cash, but it was well over AP$2,000 and that was not going to work for me, he also suggested that I go and change some (US) $$$ at the money exchange, but I just stood my ground and even offered to wash dishes for a month!!
So, eventually, by some miracle, the machine accepted my card and all was well.......
As it is a sod to get out of Salta to pick the road we wanted to go North on, I said to Gerardo, that we must all stay together to get out on the same route. As some of the guys had not filled up on the way in the other day and all the tyres need air, Gerardo was to take them all to a YPF on the way out of town. When I walked back out to the car park there was NOT a bike to be seen!! - BUGGER abandoned again! And I still have all their day sheets with me!
I asked the guy at the counter
An old Chev
An every day runner
the best way to get outa town to the North, so he makes me sorta map?. The hotel is on a one way street, he told me to sneak back the wrong way (it was only about 20m) but when I did that there was a police woman on the intersection and she blew her whistle and yabbered at me in Spanish, I sorta did the sorry gringo style thing and carried on, she had obviously told me to clear the intersection and stop for some exchange of coinage I assumed, so I carried on as she was blowing her whistle with great gusto at me. I made the decision to keep going as she didn't have a gun or anything to catch me with, so made my escape into the maze of streets.
Well I never saw the boys, and somehow got onto a motorway which took me out town in the general direction that I needed. The problem was, the riders were taking a more mountain scenic route, so here I am sitting on the side of the road a few kilometres from Pumamarca, waiting for them as I assume they are still behind me.
A really nice church
This was not far from our Hotel in Salta
coffee and a small nap, the boys all arrived, apparently they had been waiting for me while they had lunch. So we all arrived in Pumamarca together. Here is another version from Howard....... Had a nice break in Salta for a couple of nights.Yesterday went with others to the shopping mall in taxis to look around. Ray bought some maps but were in the understanding you couldn´t open them first, so it was a bit of a mystery and they weren´t cheap at 60 pesos each.Half an hour later I opened one up and it was´t very good, more of a tourist map rather than with all of the roads so went back to get my money back. Apparently that isn´t done but after standing there for 10 minutes in front of other customers asking for the 120 pesos (I accepted the one that I´d opened I would keep), and asking for the boss, the capo, the person in charge and everything else, they finally relented and gave me the money so I was happy.( I really like it when Howard is happy-Rosco)Scratch, Don and I went to a cab outside the mall to come home. As soon as I
A ho Down
Two four six eight, bog in don't wait!!!
got into the cab I smelt the cannabis from a toke the driver had just finished. I told Scratch and Don who didn´t know the smell, (yeah Right! -Rosco) so a quick intro to Cannabis 101 to look for the signs, including the grey washed out pallor complexion of the face that he had. Scary to think he´s driving in heavy traffic, but we wouldn´t have hit very hard and we got there safely. We thought about the new ad going on in New Zealand around having someone drive you when they are on drugs!
In the afternoon I went with 3 others to find the market. The further you get from the Central Plaza in each town, city or village, the rougher it seems to get. So we are going along and decided we wanted something to eat at a busy alfresco restaurant with all the familieis at tables out the front for the Sunday lunch
. Nice meal but the different part was we thought the waiters were different, all looking muscle bound and ¨lean and hungry" looking and reckoned they were the heavies for a local gang capo. The imaginations we have! Night time and it was a treat
Really happy with his goat dinner
from Rosco and Gerardo. It was a bit later at 9 pm
to start,miscommunication from Rosco again - (Howard needs to listen sometimes-Rosco) instead of the 7 we thought, and walked to an old bakery as it turned out, with heaps of tables in it with waiters dressed in the gaucho sort of thing with sombreros. Neat. We had Carlos who was a great guy. The choice was pork or goat, with piled plates coming out. (Reminded me of the boars out of Asterix and Obelix) Then the music and dancing of the traditional Argentinian folk was on first by a husband and wife duo, (him on guitar and singing, her on a drum beaten between the legs and held off the ground by her feet) and then 4 guys singing and playing guitars. Great. Amazing that at midnight people were still coming in the door for dinner, and they would have had to start work in the morning I suppose. By the end of the night it was pretty full too.Someone suggested it was Rosco´s 80th or 85th birthday, so we and the quartet sang to him and a cake was brought out with a fizzer candle for him to blow.
Great night. Today it is a late start and about 3 hours down the road to a small village and out of civilization for awhile I think. Hasta pronto, Howard.
I will up date again with the drama getting to Bolivia as soon as Internet and time permits. Rosco
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