The pretty Salta, Argentina

A note on Tucumán: we were just there for a connection to get a bus to Salta. A detail: the bus company wouldn’t accept our US dollars, and there were no exchange houses at the bus terminal. Luckily we had met Jorge, a Spanish cool dude that paid all our tickets (with the promise that we would pay him back as soon as we got the pesos).

Our trip was so short in time (an entire continent in 35 days?) that it seemed we were always in transit. You get somewhere and straightaway buy a bus or train ticket to next destination. We were anxious to get to Atacama Desert, so frustration kept creeping us: in Salta, we found out that the next bus wouldn’t leave in 5 days. We kept walking with our heavy backpacks, back and forth from bus companies to tourist information booths, until one of us had the brilliant idea of stopping for a drink. That is my best memory of us in Salta: sitting at an outdoor table on a corner bar at Plaza 9 de Julio (the main square), our backpacks all around us, having a Salta beer while a French girl we had just met was rolling loose tobacco cigarettes. It was the magical hour: young hearts in a beautiful little colonial town, having drinks and cigarette before deciding what to do next. Salta had a cool European vibe. I remember thinking: “I don’t mind getting stuck here.”

Our goal was to spend no more than US$5 a night on accommodation. At a tourist help centre, we were told all hostels were full. To the rescue, a random woman offered two rooms at her own house! So there we went, 6 of us. The three girls shared a bedroom with a queen size bed: although far from luxury, oh how great it was to sleep at a mattress after three nights on buses.

Salta was lovely. Now the city is known for its surrounding wineries, and it is becoming one of Argentina most popular destinations.

But it was time to keep moving. Because of bus availability, we decided to change our route: instead of going straight to Chile, we were going to check out the Uyuni Salar first, in the south of Bolivia.

For that, a freaking stop in La Quiaca, the city bordering Argentina-Bolivia. Next post.

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