|Our arrival in Argentina was so strange. It was like we had landed in the Western world. Great roads, motor ways, no street merchants, cleaner and even toilet paper supplied in every bathroom ( we no longer have to carry a stash in every bag!!). How exciting.... We didn't realise how many things we missed until we had these basic luxuries again.
Salta is in the North West of Argentina and is well know for its wonderful architecture. I was snap happy as you can imagine. Great colonial features as well as an interesting history. After familiarising ourselves with the main square and eating some local delicacies made from corn and pumpkin (and of course some local vino) we went to a really interesting museum that told the story of three mummies of children (aged 6, 6 and 15) from Inca era that were buried at the top of of a Volcano (Llullaillaco) at 6732m. The bodies weren't excavated until 1999. The children were chosen to be sacrificed because of their beauty and had many offerings buried with them. So interesting. How did they make their way up the mountain with the high altitude, never mind the cold. After my experience up Huayna Potosi in Bolivia, I know exactly how difficult it must have been to make and excursion up there. Really interesting museum...More info at www.maamo.org.ar if any of you are interested in hearing more about it.
After leaving our cool hostel called the Cottage, we made our way to Cafayate, which is the main wine producing area in Salta. The scenery on the way was breathtaking. Rainbow coloured mountains, mountains in the shape of amphitheatres and devils mouth (what ever that is supposed to look like...)
Cafayate is surrounded by estancias or ranches, where Gauchos work the land and rear cattle and horses. They wear leather cowboy hats and wine ponchos with a black trim. I actually didn't think that they still existed but this local Gaucho (in traditional dress) got on the bus and couldn't stop staring at us, like a child stares at something they haven't seen before. It was so funny. He was amazed with us.
We only had 4 hours in this town and managed to visit three bodegas. We were in our element and of course it made our next 16 hour bus journey to Cordoba alot easier....The white wine, Torrontes is famous in this area more so than red wines. Very enjoyable to sample!!!
Locations Visited: Salta, Cafayate
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