Beautiful Colonial Town

Trip Start Oct 15, 2012
1
56
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Trip End May 17, 2013


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Flag of Argentina  , Salta Province,
Sunday, April 14, 2013

Overview:
Salta is a town right up in the north of Argentina near the border with Bolivia and also with San Pedro de Atacama in Chile (see after two months we are almost back where we started after completing a full loop).

The city itself is probably one of the nicest we have been in Argentina, well the city centre at least, which is extremely beautiful and elegant. In the end however we only got a couple of days exploring Salta itself having made the decision to hire a car and make the most of Saltas amazing surrounding landscape (see separate post).

Part One:
We arrived early in the morning after a relatively short 12 hour bus from Cordaba and after finding our hostel and relaxing a little we set on our way for the day. We dont actually do that much to speak off but rather just take in the atmosphere as we slowly work our way to the nicer town centre where we found the plaza.

Along the way we had lunch - empanadas which according to the lonely planet are the best in the country and have to say so far they are not letting us down.We also looked at a few of the arts and crafts stores which reminded us both alot of the things we saw in Bolivia but possibly better quality although with a slightly heftier price tag (but still reasonable). It was also a little weird seeing coca leaves again as they are banned in the rest of the country.

We decided to visit the MAMM (museo de arquelogica de alta montaña) museum which is home to the famous child sacrifices from one of the mountains near hear (human sacrifices made in the times of the Inca which had been perfectly preserved as they were so high up the mountain). It is a nice museum although one more or focused on this ritual (all translated in English) and getting up and close (we had the lightning one - so named as its been burnt by a lightning strike). Afterwards we go and see the inside of the cathedral (the pink one.....all the churches here seem to be different colours). Its nice but like so many other churches we have been to.

Our last task for the day is to change a bit of money which we duly do getting 8 pesos to the dollar which seems pretty good to the two of us, even if we are slightly worried about receiving fake bills in the process. We head home to relax and also to meet the guy that the reception guy at the hostel had suggested organising a car through. While happy about the price we are worried about the excess and decide to sleep on it.

The next day the morning was about sorting out a rental car as we had doubts (well Gabriella did I had not thought about it much) about the guy the hostel had suggested - seemed legit just the excess seemed well excessive if anything went wrong. We eventually settled for Europacar which for us still had pretty high excess but not as bad and overall was only slightly more expensive.

Afterwards we go to the church more or less straight across the road and also visit the little arts and crafts store where Gabriella finds a few bits she intends to buy before we leave. We have a nice lunch on the square before we set of to pajchar museo. It takes a while as it quite far from the plaza and while the museum was interesting (its really like a large house fill of more decorative pieces like masks and the like) but the true highlight was our personalised tour given by pedro who seems quite the character - we even had a long chat about Dan carter as hes a fan lol.



Part Two:
We find ourselves back in Salta after an awesome five day adventure driving through the surrounding landscapes. We dont get back until late and most of the evening is taken up with sorting the car out - cleaning, trying to get the right amount of petrol (this turns into a real struggle) and getting it back to the rental place before it closes (it actually closes an hour later than we though so we need not have rushed.

The next day we (well Gabriella) is planning on spending a good amount of time shopping however we end up wasting a bit of a morning sorting out getting Eric's money (due to the currency thing he uses a website where you can get close to the blue market rate and pick up your money in various locations, kind of like a western unions - its called xoom and only available to those with an American bank account.) but I guess these things happen with travel.


Gabriella does manage to do a little bit of shopping, getting a few pieces at the shop by the church. We have lunch on the plaza (empanadas) before we part ways with Eric. We head back to our hostel, getting some postcards en route, get our bags and set of for our next destination - Buenos Aires

The Nitty Gritty:
Accommodation: Hostel in Salta: Seems to have a few different names but a good set up. Kind of a large building around a courtyard. Has a nice chilled atmosphere. Dorm room was manageable albeit a little squashed and the wifi was not the strongest at times. Asados are a must - just for the lovely empanadas.
Cost: 65 pesos per person for a six bed dorm. Asado was 70 pesos per person.

7 dundes: a nice hostel near hostel in salta. A good if slightly rough set up but had all the bits and peices you would expect. We were really only there for a short time so had to give a through review
Cost: 55 pesos per person for a 4 bed dorm

Sights:
MAMM
: A small but fantastic museum highlighting sacrifices that were made in the time of the Incas. The main highlights are of course coming up and close with one of the three child sacrifices found in the mountains near here.
Cost:
40 pesos per person


Pajcha: A really interesting museum focusing on customs. Its worth it just for pedro passionate tour.
Cost:
40 pesos per person, including a fascinating guided tour

Getting There and Around: We come from Cordaba on a night bus. Was your normal bus,if you have been on a few in Argentina and/or Chile you should know the deal by now.
Cost: 365 pesos per person (we got a special deal normally the price is around 480?)

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