Salta, Argentina 3rd Feb - 6th Feb

Trip Start Dec 13, 2012
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Trip End Apr 02, 2014


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Flag of Argentina  ,
Monday, February 3, 2014

Introduction

Wow what a nice culture shock to be in Argentina. Immediately it was completely different to Bolivia. The people were extremely friendly, the standard of living was much much better. We got to our hostel and the owners were so friendly and told us what tourist things to do in the city and drew out a map for us. Service!! We felt welcomed immediately!

One strange thing we had to get used to though was siesta. This was the first time we had come across it during our travels. Everything....EVERYTHING closes down at 1pm and re-opens at 5pm (Except Subway and McDonalds). They eat at really strange times too, Breakfast at 8, Lunch at 12, Pastries at 5, Evening Meal at 11. And they eat A LOT at each meal too. We were going out for dinner at 8-9pm which was late for us and there was NO-ONE in the restaurants with us! Very strange. But it was BOILING hot there so siesta kind of makes senseto be out and about while its cooler at night.


Highlights

Dollar Blue

We read about this before we came so we were prepared with lots of dollars. Because the Argentinian Peso is unstable there is a black market for currency called "Dollar Blue". This is just guys everywhere standing on streets shouting "Cambio Cambio". You can change your USD into Pesos with them at a rate of 50% higher than what you would get money out of the ATM. 

This was AMAZING as it made the country soooo cheap for us which is great as the aussie dollar is not doing so well at the moment. Fantastic!

It sounds dodgy but it was comppletely fine. All the locals were doing it. There is a law where they are only allowed a certain amount of their wages to be paid in USD, so they all use the black market on a daily basis. Every bank and ATM there were ques 24/7 of at least 20 people. It looked like mayhem to us, but this is just part of every day life for them.  

 
Salta

So now we can afford to be in a city like normal people instead of budgeteers we started to eat in some nicer restauratns. We could afford to eat in the main business square for a meal instead of back streets! It was great. 

We ate empanadas, which the Argentinians are famous for and also we ate the steak too which is the best steak we have both had in our lives. Absolutely amazing. 

The town was very beautiful with lots of grand colonial buildings around. 

Archaeological Museum

We visited a museum to learn a bit about the Incas and the history there and inside the museum were frozen children that had been found from hundreds of years ago 6000km high up in the mountains. It was kind of creepy looking at dead frozen children, but really interesting how they were buried in their traditional clothing placed in a certain position, and also just to think how old they are and how perfectly they were preserved. They were kept in giant glass freezer tanks with magnifying glasses in certain places so you could see the detail of their clothes, hair and faces. Creepy!

Wine Tour...Gone Wrong!

We thought we booked on a wine tour but we must have got a bit lost in translation and we actually booked on a sight seeing tour. We drove a few hundred kilometers to a town called Cafayate which is a wine region in the north of Argentina. On the way though we kept stopping at various points to see the scenery along a giant gorge....it was beautiful...but the whole time we were thinking "hurry up and take us to the wine!"

By the time we got to the winery we had three sips of wine and that was it! Oopsey!

It was very beautiful scenery though and the pictures speak for themselves. 


Annoying

The bus to get to Argentina was a bit of a nightmare. We got a taxi to the border, then went through customs, then walked across a bridge to get into Argentina, then through Immigration again and then tried to get out bus, but when we got there we realised we had missed it as we had changed time zones, so we then had to get a taxi & then another bus and then another one! Phew, long day. We aren't having much luck with busses! Although Argentinian busses are much nicer with tea, coffee & snack service. 
  

Food & Drink

Favourite Local Dish: STEAK - Restaurant Name "Viejo Jack" - $17 for a MASSIVE tenderloin steak to share, melt in your mouth.

New Tastes: 
 Argentinian Steak
 Argentinian Empanadas
 Super Pancho (Hotdog with loads of toppings and sauces on it) 

Empanadas all come by the dozen, its between $4 & $7 depending on where you go
Pizzas are about $4 for a large
Normal Steak Meal out $7
Posh Steak Meal Out: $15  

International McDonalds Meal: Triple Italian Burger with Bacon - YES

Local Beer: Salta & Salta Black


Accommodation

La Posada Del Simon -  $19 a night for a private room shared bathroom NO AIR-CON, which was needed, but brekkie was included with a really nice strong coffee & the owners were the best

Expenses

               Visa:      FREE for UK - Not for Aussies but Neil used his UK passport

Meals: $2 - $15

                Water: $1 for a litre

                Alcohol: $2 for a litre of beer

Taxi from Bus Station: $2

Entry to Museum:  $4 each

Sight Seeing "WINE" Tour: $22 each

 



Average Daily Spend per person: $40

Transport there for both of us: $70 all day bus and taxis from Bolivia

Total Spend for both of us inc. $310

 
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