I was driven to the bus station in Jujuy and I was happy when Elizabeth came with me to book the ticket to Salta. The journey was much smoother than I expected and I was soon booked into a hostel. The walk from the station nearly killed me as my bags were so heavy. I either need to get stronger or lose some items quickly as Patagonia beckons. I arrived at the hostel exhausted, desperate for a hot shower, but before that was delicious WIFI. As I hadn’t eaten properly I grabbed some bread and ham from a local shop and stayed in for the rest of the evening, taking advantage of the dorm that was to be, for tonight at least, my own private room. Alas not for long as some other guests arrived early the next morning.
This weekend I wanted to explore Salta, but before I could do that I had to book my next steps. I spend a few frantic hours looking for flights to Bariloche, which had doubled in price, before I decided to visit Puerto Mardyn (with a little help from some friends) and then spent a long time working out my Patagonia itinerary, which will take the best part of 50 days!
On Saturday I ventured out of the hostel to find most places closed for Siesta, but I did manage to order ibuprofen from a chemist and food in a restaurant. Another storm hit-is a theme so far of this trip but it is rainy season. Some of the roads looked more like streams than anything else.
Elizabeth had recommended a supermarket outside of the main town so I decided to take a look as I’ll be cooking a lot in Patagonia. The store was literally the biggest I’ve ever seen. It was so big they didn’t even bother with baskets. It was a choice of a trolley or nothing. As far as I could tell the sold everything, smiley cooked potato faces? Check! Actually I wanted to take the tray.
They also had a lot of everything. Mayonnaise anyone? I was kinda in heaven.
I grabbed some ingredients to cook at the hostel and save some money. The lines are very slow here in Salta as the cashier packs two items at a time into bags that are inappropriately designed for anything. Things are more relaxed here and eventually I had the opportunity to pay.
When I got back to the hostel around 9pm I made hasty plans to go for a drink with Fer and the receptionist who I’d been chatting to earlier in the day. They both spoke much better English than I do Spanish! I thought we would head out around 10, they started eating around 10:30 in the hostel and then we had some drinks while we waited for the receptionists girl friend to arrive. She did about 12 and we headed out to what I thought was a bar around 1am. When we got there it turned out to be a restaurant which was heaving, whatever they were cooking smelt delicious. The whole place was a maze of rooms and tables and locals performing at the tables it was great. Just ruined by the rain as there is a huge outside area. I suddenly realised there were children running around and it was 1am. Whole families were sitting around eating and this is perfectly normal-I still have not worked out when people sleep as I don’t Siesta. But things are late here. We tucked into some delicious sangria before heading to another bar where I nearly feel asleep. Things were still going strong but we left early and returned at 4am. Amparo who i met in Aldea Luna said she didn’t get to a club before 6am…
Oh as a quick aside everyone here seems to have watched Black Mirror and
I managed to leave the hostel at around 12pm the next day, which I thought was respectable and decided to head to Cerro San Bernardo, which is a lookout point above the city. You can reach it by cable car or stairs and I opted to take the active route. A sign happily told me that it is a 276 metre climb. I didn’t bother to count the stairs which took around an hour but it well with the effort.
At the top is a waterfall, some spectacular views a cafe and lots of people having lunch. I stayed for a while before heading back to the hostel to make some food.
It would turn out to be a lot of food. As I’ve been eating it for the past few days. I realised that I didn’t have any oil so cooked the sausages first to use their fat-I mention this as if anyone has any tips for what to use as oil when traveling that would really help! Anyways it turned out great.
I went out that evening again to another district that was a row of bars and had a few drinks before having an early night.
The next say I decided to see some culture and visited the History and Anthropology museum, the latter housed a mummy, a 15 year old girl, who was left as a sacrifice at the top of a 6000 metre high mountain. Due to the climate she is mostly preserved, but as with the British Museum it felt wrong to stare at a dead person. I also visited a couple of churches and it rained again. This time I couldn’t tell where it was coming from as the Sky was blue. The picture below was taken in the pouring rain!
After that cleared up I treated myself to an ice cream, which is the best ice cream I have ever tasted, in the plaza as I read Into Patagonia. It must be the Italian influence but I can say it’s worth coming to Argentina for the ice cream alone.
Currently Reading: In Patagonia