The biggest steaks in the world ever!!!

Trip Start Jul 31, 2005
Trip End Sep 05, 2007

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Saturday, August 18, 2007

Crossing the border from Bolivia to Argentina involved us getting up in the middle of the night (really it was 3.30am) and being on our bus in the dark and cold by 4am! We did it and the bus trundled around hairpin bends on the rough gravel road for two hours.
Upon arrival in Villazon we had a morning coffee from one of the old ladies who stand on the side of the road and pour coffee from a flask, when it was light enough and the border was opening we got into the queue and were stamped out of Bolivia and into Argentina.

The difference at the border between the Bolivian and the Argentine side, was as always incredible. All of a sudden the peope looked Italian and their Spanish accent was so different from those we have heard elsewhere. We took a cab to the bus terminal only to find that buses to San Salvador De Jujuy were not leaving from there and that we had to make our way to Corta Ruta. Armed with no map and no Argentine Peso´s we had to ask a taxi driver to take us there and let us pay in Bolivianos! He agreed and we then sat on the side of the road, on the edge of the desert for a few hours until the bus we wanted to take left.

When we arrived in Jujuy we could not stay in our first choice hostel and ended up in a rather nice but old hotel down by the river. The reason for this that we did not find out until later was beacause this day was called Dia De San Martin - a big day in Argentine history and a public holiday. That night when we walked by the plaza, there were people everywhere, crowds singing and celebrating - it was a cool sight.

Those few days in Jujuy we wandered around the city, we visited the beautiful cathedral and Iglesia San Francisco, we passed by the market and walked along the pedestrian street that ran through the centre of the city. At night of course we ate huge steaks, drank delicious wine and listened to local bands play there panpipes dressed in ponchos. This would be our last stop in the Andes.

We are now in Mendoza on the edge of the Andes, the 20 hour bus journey south from Jujuy was long and pretty boring. We have a nice place to stay and although this is our third night we have not seen anything here yet because I have been ill. I think I have what we both had in Peru, so I have been holed up in our room for the past two and a half days, whilst Matt has been wandering around the city and last night he ate what he said was a huge steak again! Hopefully I will feel better and will have more to report in the next few days.

A few observations on Argentina so far -

Everything closes around 1 - 3pm and may not open again until 8 -9pm! Siesta time!
At night you need to eat late - 10pm or so...!
Streets are pretty much deserted during the day - the street life starts at night here, you wander a street at 11pm and it is packed!
The people really are nice.
They look Italian and their accent is very Italian.
There is no hassle like in other South American countries.
The Peso is getting stronger - it is value for money but not cheap like Bolivia.
Steaks are the biggest in the world ever!
Wine is good, as is coffee and ice cream looks wonderful too!
With the Italian influence Pasta and Pizza appear on menus here all the time, coffee is important and breakfast is Italian style pastries.
The distances are huge.
They have proper motorways!


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