Doing nothing in Salta

Trip Start Jan 19, 2008
Trip End May 01, 2008

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Thursday, February 21, 2008

Weve spent the past 2 1/2 days in Salta, one of Argentina's up and coming tourist destinations - particularly if you like Rafting, Skydiving, Bungee Jumping, etc.

We have done the following: Visited galleries/museums, done washing, slept.

Our reasoning behind this inactivity is that this is going to be the last of the familiar Europeanesque holidaying for a while - probably until we enter the US in early April so we decided these would be chilled out days.

Salta is in the North of Argentina, around 400 km from the Bolivian border. We were expecting the weather to be blazing here as its been getting progressively hotter as weve headed north. However, it's also getting a lot cloudier and more rainy - as we switch from a temperate climate into the tropics and their rainy season. So, depending on whether there is a cloud overhead and what it's doing we're either roasting, pleasant or soaked.

The city itself is pretty small, maybe a couple of hundred thousand and after the city abruptly ends there is plenty of countryside all around. On the east edge of the city, right by our hostel which we found close to the bus terminal is a 1400m hill with a cable car which we took up to get a great view of the city and its surrounds.

Also at the top is a much vaunted Artifical Waterfall. The advertising blurb vaunts how it's 100% concrete construction blends in harmoniously with the surrounding hillside. All we could really tell about it is how badly the water smelt...

The centre of the city is lovely, with a great plaza that somehow manages to out-French the French. It's hard at night, when sipping a beer outside one of the cafes on the main square to think you're not in Paris.

We took a trip into the Modern Art museum which wasn't too exciting although Matt enlisted Kat's help to create his own piece of Modern Art that he hopes to reveal before the holiday is out. Keep your eyes peeled for an out of place picture popping up sometime in a later posting...

What was pretty special though was the Archeological museum which is devoted to 3 perfectly preserved mummies found in the local Andes in an Pre-Inca burial ground at 4900m. One of the mummies in particular looks more like a sleeping girl than a 500 year old corpse - its really pretty freaky.

Other minor points of excitement the past two days have involved trying to change Chillean Pesos into Bolivars (Bolivian Pesos). It appears that no one outside Bolivia wants their currency... Although we finally found an exchange that had a quoted Buy/Sell price for B$ when Matt reached the front of the queue he was informed that it was for "Information only"... We ask you, why!

So, we're going to arrive in Bolivia tomorrow, into a town with no ATM and with no local currency of our own - and needing to catch a bus out ASAP. Should be fun.
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