Salta

Trip Start Apr 05, 2008
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12
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Trip End Aug 07, 2008


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Flag of Argentina  ,
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

We left San Pedro at 10.30am for Salta, we got through both the Chilian and Argentine borders without any hassle or delay this time. We arrived in Salta at 9.30pm and got a taxi from the bus station to our hostel. The taxi driver brought us the scenic route so he could get a bit more money out of us but we didn't mind too much as it was still only about 1 Euro. After checking into the hostel we wandered around town and the lovely main square before going back to the hostel and going to bed.

We had to change room in the hostel on Wednesday from the B&B part to the hostel part so shortly after breakfast and the room change we walked around town and a woman from a tourist office came up to us selling tours, we signed up for a city tour for 4pm in the afternoon. There was only two of us on the tour which was pretty cool and we drove around the city in the tour guides car. We went around the centre and were told the history of the city and shown all the cathedrals, museums, etc. We also went to an area called San Lorenzo which is about 5km outside Salta. This area looks a lot like Ireland because it gets so much rain and is very green. We stopped for coffee in an old castle on the way back and chatted with the guide about life and politics in Argentina. After the tour we got dropped off in the main plaza and went into the most famous cathedral in Salta. We then went back to the hostel made dinner, drank some lovely Argentinian wine and talked to an English couple for a few hours before going  to bed.

It was Maireads birthday on Thursday so we had a lazy day. We got up as late as possible to get breakfast, after breakfast we walked to the shopping centre where Mairead got some jewelery to go with her dress for the wedding. We then got some lunch and went to the cinema to see the new Indiana Jones movie. After the cinema we went back to the hostel and got ready for dinner, we went to a steak restaurant and got massive steaks, one steak was big enough for two people but we had one each because we didn`t know what size they would be. After dinner we went to an Irish bar for a few drinks before going back to the hostel.

We did very little on Friday and spent most of the day in the hostel because it was so wet and cold outside. We met an Australian couple which we met a few times before, we chatted to them for a good while and drank some more nice Argentinian wine. 

We had our white water rafting and canopy trip on Saturday so we got up at 6:30am to get our stuff ready and get breakfast. After breakfast we walked the 3 blocks to the office. There were 6 of us on the trip, both of us and four Americans students that were staying in Buenos Aires. We drove for about 1.5 hours to the rafting area where we got some coffee and hot chocolate before we got suited up and went through the safety procedures for  rafting. We carried the raft the short distance to the river and all got in to start our trip. We spent a total of two hours on the river, that started very calmly but got faster and rougher as we went along. We went through a good few rapids the highest of which was a class three. It was really good and we both enjoyed it. After the rafting we went back to the main area where we had a lovely BBQ for lunch and relaxed for about 20 minutes before we got geared up for the zip lines. When we were all ready we walked up a hill to the first line which took about 20 minutes. The first line was 600m long and 146m above the ground. There were 4 lines in total which zig-zagged between two hills back to the ground. It was really cool going along the lines and they were pretty fast especially the last one which was at the steepest angle. Once we returned to ground level we handed back the gear and returned to Salta where we had some more wine, watched some telly and chatted to some of the other guests.

We had another early start on Sunday, we got up at 6am packed our stuff, got breakfast and got a taxi to the bus station for our 7:15am bus to La Quiaca. We arrived at 1pm and walked across the border to Villazon, Bolivia, where we arranged to get a bus to Tupiza at 2.30pm. Even walking the 20 feet across the border the difference between the two countries was noticeable, the way people dressed, the street markets and most of all the poverty. After a short enough wait our bus arrived, when we saw our bus we got a bit of a shock, it was nothing like the luxury we were used to in Argentina. After a bumpy and dusty 3 hour trip (only 2% of roads are paved in Bolivia, which is a bit shocking considering it's the size of France and Spain joined together) we arrived in Tupiza where we walked around for a while checking out the different hostels before we decided on one. Once we unpacked we had a really nice dinner in a Italian restaurant recommended in the lonely planet.
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