Thursday, December 22, 2011

Salta, Argentina 16-18 Dec 2011

San Bernardo Hill

After Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, I headed straight to Salta, Argentina. I took an overnight bus to the border town of Bolivia, Villazon, from here I crossed the border to Argentina, border town of Argentina called La Quinca. I made a mistake here by buying my bus ticket to Salta at Villazon, I didn’t understand that the bus leaves from La Quinca Argentinean side. It would have been cheaper buying from there. The border crossing is a pain. First at the Bolivian side, we queued for 2 hours, only to realized at the end that there is a shorter queue for people who are exiting the country, there is no sign or any indication, then we walked across the 50m bridge to the Argentina side, long queue again but this time it only took 1 hr. :-( All in we spent 3 hours for a stretch of 100m distance. After getting our stamp into Argentina, we walked about 5 blocks to the bus terminal where I catch the bus to Salta. Here I ate Empanada , it is like curry puff in Malaysia, with meat and potato inside, it was so good! From La Quinca to Salta, it took around 8 hours, lucky in the bus they played 4 movies in a roll, Spanish spoken with English subtitles :-) Free flow of coffee on board and the journey was comfortable.
First thing I noticed different in Argentina is the road, it’s pave! No more bumpy ride! :-) The country is also cleaner as compared to the others. On the bad side, everything is more expensive here. The exchange is US$1 = AP4.

Salta was a heaven after Bolivia. The weather is warm and the city is clean and green, I can finally wear my shorts and t-shirts again! Internet is fast and food is yummy! No more fried and oily stuff! I don’t remember being so happy finding a Supermarket, it was like a spree! I bought Swiss cheese, Argentinean beef, French saucisson, salad, pasta and cook myself a good meal in the hostel. Ohhh and the coffee here smell coffee and taste like coffee. I didn’t realize I miss it so much until now. Looks like the grass on the other side is greener… :-)

Since I crossed Bolivia in 15 days with many night in the buses, now in Salta I just enjoy being in the hostel, doing my photos, updating my blog, plan my trip, chill and relax. It was a small hostel, clean, quiet and friendly staff. I did some shopping in town, bought a blouse for Christmas, fixed my specs and replaced my slippers and socks. After 7 months of reusing the same thing over and over again, everything starts to wear off.
I planned to leave for Cordoba after 2 nights in Salta, I got a shock when I found out the price, guess how much it cost for the 12hrs bus to Cordoba? US$83 for a semi-cama. Ouch! That is almost my 2 days budget. Hostel s in Cordoba cost minimum A50 or $12, can’t find any cheaper either. Looks like I will have to Couchsurf more often.

On Sunday before I leave with the 845pm bus, I took the cable car up to San Bernardo Hill, there is a beautiful garden up the hill. I had Asado for lunch which is a big piece of BBQ meat with rice and potato. It was so yummy! Then I went for a stroll in the central but nothing was open, it was like a ghost town. This is so different from Bolivia and Peru where the streets and markets are the busiest during Sunday. I met up with Nhat whom I met in La Paz, he just arrived in Salta. We spent the afternoon in the park chatting and drinking beer and ate ½ kg of ice cream. Over here the ice cream shop sells ice cream by weight. :-)
Hostel Del Centro – A40 for 6 bed dorm room with breakfast and WIFI available

Bus from La Quinca to Salta – B215
Taxi from Terminal to Hostel – A9
Bus from Salta to Cordoba – A332

Cable car up/down San Bernardo Hill –A30

No comments:

Post a Comment