After a 13 hour bus ride from Cordoba and a whopping $71 spent to get there, we have finally made it to tiny little Salta. Immediately when we got off the bus and were walking to find a hostel we found a woman selling four empanadas for 20 pesos which is a little over $1 USD. I mean what a score to have after arriving to a new city. We found a hostel to stay in called Sol Hausi that has two different properties and I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the hostel. The breakfast was of course plain bread rolls with coffee but we are so used to the bare minimum it doesn't even phase us, especially for $7 USD per night. Funny thing though was that it was $12 per night for the hostel if we booked online so we were glad we did not! Every time we visit a new city we get our walking shoes ready to explore what the town has to offer. We walked all around the streets that were all very similar but enjoyed the two small plazas called Plaza 9 De Julio & Plaza Gurruchaga that were only a five minute walk from one another. They are very tiny plazas but always a great place to buy some street food and enjoy the people watching all around.
Matt did some research on Salta before we arrived and he read loads about this special thing called Penas that happen only in northern Argentina during the night so of course we had to check it out! Most are located on a street called Balcarce and that night we left the hostel around 11pm and walked for twenty minutes and found the nightlife! They are basically restaurants/bars that have bands playing the local music with dancing and food and drinks galore! We got a table in the side corner at one of the more packed restaurants and ordered two large beers and just watched as kids, grandmas, grandpas and all ages in between were dancing, laughing and enjoying the night. A Pena can be for dates, friends or even families. We were at the restaurant until a little past 1am and there were still kids up with their families dancing the night away. We don’t do too much nightlife in our travels but we were so happy we got to experience a pena here, definitely unlike any other nightlife I have seen! We were the only foreigners at the restaurant and got a shout out from the singer as he could tell and everyone cheered for us!
During our travels we haven't run into too many people that we met in previous cities prior but in this town we met a girl named Esther that we previously briefly met in Iquique, Chile! We all decided to spend the day together and trek up to the biggest hill in the middle of the flat city to see the views called Teleférico hasta el mirador. You can take a cable car to the top but we are all about getting those steps in as empanadas and bread have become apart of our daily diet in Argentina. The hike up was all stairs and took about an hour to get to the top. It was more beautiful than I thought when we arrived to the top with man made waterfalls and streams that had many different types and sizes of waterfalls to stare at while listening to the fast pace water. We brought some snacks and ate at the top and chatted about life and our travel journeys before heading back down all the stairs to the bottom. Since we are in the land of asados we decided to have our own at the hostel with heaps of vegetables and meat. Most Argentians like to do asados with just wood and sometimes coal and after my travels I hope to never turn back to electric grills. It may take some time to get the grill actually lit and going but almost all food tastes better when grilled and the social aspect about it is probably my favorite part. We ate big that night with boxes of wine by our side and good conversations flowing as we chatted about politics in one another country's before ending the night in a light way by playing some foosball.
The following day we took the public bus called San Lorenzo to the San Lorenzo National Park that only took an hour to get to and cost 7 pesos each (.50 cents)! That is so incredibly cheap for such an expensive country. We got into the park and hiked up a little over an hour to the viewpoint that was just breathtaking. We went slow up the way to take pictures and look at the strange fruits none of us have seen before. At the top Matt finished his book and I wrote in my journal and just took some time to take in our surroundings. I find writing the most fun and desirable to do when I am in inspirational places so the creativity can just flow. We walked back down and walked along the little river for a while before heading back into town and just relaxing for the night. The following day it was time to head on to Cafayate to explore the desert life of Argentina.
5) Rainbow Mountain, Cusco, Sacred Valley
6) Machu Pichu
1) Copacabana and Isla Del Sol
2) La Paz
1) San Pedro De Atacama
4) La Serena
5) Puerto Iquazu
6) Buenos Aires