Steeak, wine, campsite, leaving group

Trip Start Jun 03, 2008
Trip End Sep 22, 2008

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Flag of Argentina  , Northern Argentina,
Monday, July 21, 2008

Bolivian roads are really cool - just dirt tracks really, so the ride was often bumpy, but amazing views. At one point we drove down a dried up riverbed, which was cool. I decided to leave the group in Salta, a week early, so I got a chance to sit in the cab up front again and I went snap happy with views from the truck. We went through a lot of red-rock country, it was much like what you see in westerns.. red rock and cactuses, I was expecting cowboys to be riding up in their horses but none could be seen. That night we camped in a cool freecamp near Tupiza, it was by the river and had a football pitch. We played a bit of ball games before it got dark, and I got to have a go at cutting the wood in half with an axe, which I hadn't done before, and I was useless.

The border crossing into Argentina was the most complicated I'd gone through so far.. a longish queue and having to take bags off the truck which didn't get searched anyway. You could see the difference as soon as you got into Argentina - the people are much paler and look european, the roads and sidewalks are proper and its obviously more developed. We got to the campsite which featured a massive pool, and I mean MASSIVE, but it didn't have any water in it. It was my last night with the group, and we went into Salta's main square for drinks and dinner. We went for steak, it was reeally good steak, and had an argentinian type called "bife de [something]". Since Argentinian wines are so highly regarded, I drank wine that night.. and since I never really drink wine, I drank it like beer.. and you can guess the rest.. lets just say I gave a generous tip to the toilet cleaner for his trouble. So yeah that was a good night and it was a late start the next day as the group weren't leaving till midday.

I managed to get to the bus station and sort out a ticket to Mendoza for 10pm that evening, giving me the whole day to explore salta and saving me the price of a night in a hostel. I went to the hypermarket with the group and helped them shop for supplies, then said my goodbyes and started exploring Salta, leaving my backpack in storage at the bus station. I walked by a few plazas, and first visited the top of some hill thing via the telefonica (cable cars) and got a good view of Salta and the valley. A shame the weather was cloudy, but it was good. There were lots of stalls selling a variety of things, Salta seemed to be less-touristy and full of all sorts of argentinians, both rich and poor. There didn't seem to be too much to do in terms of things to see and do, I managed to visit the museum of contempory arts (not allowed to take photos in there) amongst other random things like churches and shops. I got to the bus station nice and early and before you know it I was in Mendoza (after a 20+ hour drive).
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