The Northern Edge of Argentina
Trip Start Feb 23, 2010
40Trip End Jul 21, 2010
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Que Tal? Estoy en Cochabamba (more specifically Cuatro Rios/Tiquipaya), Bolivia. So much has happened since I last wrote. Though I've had access to Internet, this is the first time I am able to sit down to write out an update as to what I’ve been up to. I have only slept in one place 2 nights in a row since leaving Salta. (I’ll split this into separate entries so you don’t go crazy.)
Last I wrote, I was in Jujuy, nothing much to say about that. It didn’t work out going to the Bolivian Consulate as I’d hoped because that office didn’t open til 3:30pm and I had to head out of town to get up to Bolivia. Though I stayed in a pretty nice Hostal B&B type thing, with a great breakfast.
From Jujuy, I took a bus ride up through some of the most amazing scenery Argentina has to offer. I saw the 7 Colored Mountains of Pumamarca (from my bus seat) and then hopped off in the small town of Tilcara for a few hours to catch sight of Pucara, ancient Incan Ruins. I had little time to explore since the bus ran an hour behind.
Next, I purchased a AR5 ticket to get to Humahuaca, a 6000 person town "an hour" away, which proved to be the least comfortable bus experience in Argentina. (That was of course before I crossed the border.) Really the only problem was that is was almost twice as long, and freezing cold because of the altitude. I arrived around 9pm, slightly disoriented as I tend to get when I come off a bus ride at night and have no clue where I am. I went to the nearby map of the town (to try to find the tourist info office so I could inquire about accommodations.) Within minutes an older gentleman came up to me and asked if I needed a place to go and gave me a flier for a “Residencial.” (Residenciales are common place in Latin America, where people make a business of renting rooms or beds in their homes.) So I walked with him to the place, found out I was the only customer for the night (the other guy was out of town), and as soon as he was gone I took 5 mins to decide to go somewhere else. *The thing is, because I was going to cross the border to Bolivia the next day, I thought it was a better idea to find a hostel with other people who might also be going the next day…I didn’t have any fears about the man with the residencial*
I found a nice hostel and moved on in. A girl from Spain who I’d met weeks earlier in Puerto Iguazu was staying there, too. (The world of backpackers can be super small.) It was a chill evening, filled by conversations with the cousins travelling from Germany, and later a Spanglish conversation with 2 Spaniards, 2 Argentines, 1 Israeli and 1 German. It was a lovely evening and a perfect way for me to find my next travelling buddy, Cedric from Germany who’s quadrilingual.
I guess my instinct was right. Where there are more people, there were more opportunities to meet people going in the same direction.