Salta, la linda

Trip Start Jun 09, 2010
1
15
16
Trip End Jul 25, 2010


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Thursday, July 8, 2010

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Salta.  It seems much bigger than Mendoza, yet it still has its own character and intimate feel.  Like the other cities in South America that we have visted, el central is a beautiful square surrounded by churches and cafes and there is a hill that overlooks the city.  We spent our days cafe hopping, working on our spanish, reading, and exploring the city. Some highlights of our time in Salta:

1.  The MAAM, or the high mountain archeology museum, was definitely one of the highlights of our time in Salta.  It covers Incan history, but the main attraction is the "the lost kids from Llullaillaco".  In 1999, these three mummies were found at the peak of Llullaillaco Volcano. It turns out that as part of one of the Incan rituals, these children were offered to the mountains a  a gift to the higher powers. It was mesmorizing to see these kids in the position that they passed away in, and it was also quite interesting to learn more about the Incan culture and traditions.  The mummies are put on display at the museum in their own little cubicles - they are placed in conditions for optimal preservation (low atmospheric pressure, low humidity, low termperature) and they are known to be the best preserved mummies around today. 

2.  Hike up Cerro San Bernardo - another hill with saints and crosses on top...another beautiful view of the city.  Overall, the sweat felt good.

3.  It is a small world - We decided to take advantage of our free hostel dinner and made our way over to the other backpackers hostel location.  Long story short, we ran into Michigan people and people who we were in Mendoza with.  Oh, and the night ended with a street cheeseburger at 6am.  Breakfast?

4.  El Mercado Central - Super busy, lots of good food, not a touristy place at all (we were the only tourists there) and great things to buy.  Best purchase of the trip? Alpargata shoes!  They are Argentinaīs version of Tomīs...but way cooler and are about 1/8 of the price. 

5. La Casona del Molina - mmm...such a great experience!  If anyone happens to stumble upon this blog who is looking for a restaurant in Salta, we would absolutely recommend that you hop in a cab and live a night at La Casona del Molina.  It is a traditional restaurant that is a true local hang out. After ordering our platter of empanadas, tamales, humitas, and steaks, we heard a man erupt (literally, he belted it out) in song.  Next thing we knew, a guitar and a violin were being handed around the room, and everyone eventually joined in with the singing, stomping, clapping and cheering.  The energy in the room was contagious: these people clearly were not singing to perform, they were singing for themselves. Sadly, we had a midnight bus to catch so we were unable to fully participate...is returning to La Casona del Molina an excuse for another night in Salta?  Perhaps.

Speaking of buses...look for our next blog. Eek!
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Comments

Uncle Richard on

Your Blogs are great!
The two of you are having experiences that you will remember for a lifetime.
What an adventure, sights, climbs, food, wine friends an of course lots of chocolate.
Love Uncle Richard

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