Back to Argentina - the city of Salta

Trip Start Apr 12, 2011
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Trip End Apr 01, 2012


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Where I stayed
Hostel Por Siempre

Flag of Argentina  , Salta,
Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We arrive in Salta pretty fresh as we had our best bus journey yet, with plenty of films in English, hot food served, comfy seats and even the offer of wine and whisky. We are now converted to cama seats (the slightly more expensive ones) which is unfortunate as I doubt Bolivia will offer this standard of service!  We stay at Hostel Por Siempre or Hostel in Salta (two different names for some reason) which feels like a family run guesthouse and even has central heating which we are very glad of as although it's warm during the day, at night it cools down fairly quickly.

We spend the afternoon exploring the city, which has a small city feel, is easily walk-able and has the prettiest town squares that we have come across – the main square is a large leafy plaza surrounded by an old government building and an ornate cathedral.  Mid afternoon we find a spot in the sun and Jonny discovers to his dismay that his favourite food – cheese empanadas contains onions here, but that works out well for me as I get to finish them off.  A quiet night for us, spent chatting with an Australian couple that were on our bus – Brad and Lil, and enjoying the red wine.

Next day we take a walk up the hill that overlooks the city which is a pleasant walk in the morning and the views at the top are worth it.  So much so, that we find a spot in the sun to relax for a couple hours overlooking the city...it starts with a coffee but we end up staying for lunch.  In the afternoon we head to the Museum of High Altitude Archaeology (known as MAAM) as we thought we should learn something useful.  This museum is about the Inca remains found at the top of one of the mountains nearby. We go on to discover that they found the bodies of three Inca children, known as the 'Llullaillaco Children’, at the top of the mountain who were well preserved due to the cold.  They were discovered frozen at the peak of Mount Llullaillaco, 6,700 m. above sea level, near Salta in 1999. As human sacrifices to the gods, they were picked for their beauty or noble origin and presented to the gods along with gifts for their journey to the next world.  They were presented at a place thought to be closest to the sun. The mummies are on display in the museum – only one at a time to preserve them for as long as possible.  It’s very eerie how well they are preserved from 500 hundred years ago but interesting to see... also quite sad to think of these children losing their lives in that way.

Back to the hostel in the evening for our first and possible best bbq (known as Asado here in Argentina) yet.  Salads, roasted vegetable, bread, wine and a range of meat from the bbq – very tasty.  The bbq brings everyone in the hostel together and we did plan to go out but in true Latin America style, at 1.30am they still weren’t ready to leave and we headed to bed.

Next stop is to Cafayate to canyons, waterfalls and vineyards...

Full photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonnymillar/sets/
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