Back in Argentina

Trip Start Sep 19, 2005
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Trip End Mar 19, 2006


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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Back in Argentina

My bus from San Pedro was the most gringo-y I have so far experienced, about three quarters were backpackers heading to Salta too. Weirdly (or maybe not so weirdly considering I am not feeling particularly sociable this week), they all really irritated me and it was quite a change from the usual peaceful journeys I have, only interrupted by me wondering if we have already passed the town I was supposed to get off at, and various people trying to talk to me in English. Maybe it was something to do with one of a gang of bimbo blonde English girls losing her passport at the border or the unwelcome sight of one of my fellow hostel guests (a 50ish guy from NZ - will explain in a sec) on the same bus, but I arrived in Salta in a bad mood and it has only just lifted!

The night before I left San Pedro, I had ended up going out for dinner with Kate and Russ from the hostel who were really nice and just at the start of their round the world trip. Anyhow, one too many pisco sours (pisco is a grape spirit and the national drink of Chile, and the sour part is egg, sugar and lemon - fairly yuck really) later, got to bed as I had to be up for the bus in the morning. At 8.15 ish I dragged myself out of bed and headed for the shower. Enter annoying NZ guy:

(bear in mind I have been up about 2 minutes and am wearing a sarong and clutching my washbag)
Him: (practically shouting) Do you know what the time is?
Me: Um, about 8.15 I think
Him: Do you know if that is the right time though?
Me: Um no I don't have my watch on
Him: Well I have to know the EXCACT time as I have to catch a bus this morning
Me (edging toward the showers) Sorry, just going in here
Him: Are you going to be long?
Me: Well, I'm having a shower.
Him: Is your boyfriend up? Does he have a watch?
Me (thinking oh shut up you annoying little man, and not seeing why I should explain that I am on my own) Oh god! Well I'll just go and check the time for you shall I?

So I go into my room and check, and tell him it is in fact 8.20, and escape into the shower - and the ungrateful sod didn't even say thank you!!!

So you can imagine how delighted I was to see him on the bus, causing a ruckus when the bus left early (a good thing, I would say).

Anyhow, we got to Salta eventually after much messing around at the border. Although San Pedro was hot, it was a dry kind of heat and quite bearable. But Salta was hot and humid and didn't cool off at night as it did in the desert. The city itself is ok, lots of colonial architecture and a nice main square, but something about it didn't do much for me. Plus I was completely eaten alive by mossies. I've changed my mind about the most anoying place to have a bite - on the ball of your foot has now been relegated into third place behind 1) your eyelid and 2) the tip of your finger.

So looking slightly odd with a swollen, mossie-bitten eye, I have made my way to Tilcara, about 3 hours north of Salta, to break up the journey to the Bolivian border. Its funny, I look at myself in the mirror so rarely these days, its a bit of a shock to see myself looking so odd! Tilcara is a sweet little place with no paved roads and spectactular scenery. Its set in the Quebrada de Humahuaca, which is a small mountain range made up of some amazing coloured rocks.

I've been to visit the prehispanic Pukara (fort) situated above the town, and to the archealogical museum too. Its amazing how the heat and desert preserve stuff in this climate - there are so many whole pots and skeletons and even pieces of llama wool.

Anyway, all being well I should be in Bolivia on Saturday, and will write more from there.

Sarah xx
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