Another kind of Argentina

Trip Start Jan 04, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Saturday, February 16, 2013

As soon as we arrived in Salta we understood that we had left the Argentina we knew- the very-easy-to-travel, western melting pot of descendants of mainly Italian, Spanish and other European immigrants- behind. Argentina does have around 10 per cent indigenous people, and we felt a little of this influence in Salta. But mainly there was an Arabic feel- there are also lots of Syrian and Lebanese descendants in this city.
Such a different atmosphere straight away!
We started by sampling the local food in the central market area, which was a bustle of life, all waiters shouting to us and inviting us to enter. We tried the humita which are prepared with corn, onion, basil; wrapped in corn husks and baked or boiled. And the tamales which are the same but with minced beef.
Salta is set in beautiful Lerma Valley, at 1152 m above sea level. We took the teleferico (cable car) up the hill, it was another funny way of transport to add to our list and the views were amazing.
In the evenings we walked the town center to marvel at the curious elaborately ornate (perhaps too much so) churches and had a quick listen to the seemingly always present military bands on the main square Plaza 9 de Julio (the independence day of Argentina is prominent in every single town here). There was an amazing light in Salta, no doubt cause as per usual we had arrived at the breaking point of weather from hot to cold, marked by thunderstorms.
One of our must-dos in Argentina was also eating Argentinian steak which they say is the best in the world (of course the Brazilians and Uruguayans have argued with this :) ). We weren't in the least disappointed, it was delicioso, muy ricco!!

The nick-name of Salta- Salta La Linda is well deserved!
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