Bus to the clouds

Trip Start Dec 30, 2004
Trip End Jan 23, 2005

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What I did
Santa Rosa de Tastil Archeological Museum

Flag of Argentina  , Salta,
Saturday, January 8, 2005

At six in the morning we departed. The mini bus was great. A Mercedes with air-conditioned provisioned with oxygen tanks and coca leaves against the altitude sickness.
We tied the backpacks on the roof of the bus and, before anything we went to buy many bottles of mineral water. It is very important to get hydrated all the time.
The trip started along Toro River, across the quebrada which has the same name, surrounded by dark brown mountains with some green sediments.
We stopped in Ingeniero Maury where we waited for the Tren a las Nubes, to take photos, during its zig-zag maneuver to climb the mountain.
After that we took the bus and started following the train during many kilometers until we lost it in the altitude of Puerta Tastil.
We followed the road in the other side of the mountain than where the train goes and we got th a town called Santa Rosa de Tastil (where the train doesn't go).
We made a quick stop there and visited a tiny, but interesting, archeological museum. In this museum we could see some diaguita vessels and a mummy. But the most relevant object is an old musical instrument (a xylophone-like instrument), made of stones, where the museum guide plays a bit of "Für Elise" (by Beethoven).
We left the town in the bus and followed the road. On the way we could see some guanacos. The mountain colors where beautiful. Many different tones of red, green, yellow, combined in amazing landscapes. We went on until the highest altitude of the trip (4080 meters above the sea level), in Abra Blanca.
On that point we were close to San Antonio de los Cobres, so we kept on going on until we arrived in that town.
In San Antonio we had some milanesa (wiener schnitzel) sandwiches for dinner and then some of us walked around the town, while some others, who were having altitude sickness where taking oxygen in local hospital. Fortunately I hadn’t any problems with altitude.
San Antonio de los Cobres looks like some kind of “ghost-town”, where live few people, because it’s an inhospitable place, far from anywhere… But its peace and the loveliness of its people make this town beautiful.
We spent a couple of hours there and then we continued covering the route.
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