Saltaaa – Argentinaaah

Posted: August 4, 2011 in Argentina

Went for a walk today in San Lorenzo, a village perched up in the mountains and national park area. On the entrance to a hiking trail I was topped by two policemen and told I could not enter. I spoke to some local hikers and it turns out that a gunman had shot a someone and run off! The whole area had been sealed off and policemen/dogs were looking for the assailant.

When I got home I was chatting to a french girl who seemed shocked as only four days ago two french backpackers had been raped and murdered in the same spot…

On the upside there were lots of sights to see in and around the city that were less lethal…

Cerro San Bernado teleférico (swiss style cable car) from Parque San Martín to the top of Cerro San Bernardo,  a nice trail that takes you up the hill begins at the Güemes monument at the top of Paseo Güemes. A modern art piece encompassing several waterfalls constructed from concrete and stone, coffee shop, photo terraces and the usual array of vendors selling `tourist´ nick nacks I had neither the interest or space to invest in!

The  Iglesia San Francisco, a magenta-and-yellow church,  Salta’s most striking landmark. The colourful and over the top facade with a matching slender tower; inside, the single nave is ornately painted to resemble stucco-work. There are several much-venerated images here, including the Niño Jesús de Aracoeli, a rather SPOOKY crowned figure.

Salta’s pink catedral was consecrated in 1878 and houses the ashes of General Martín Miguel de Güemes, a salteño (resident of Salta) and independence hero; which I saw lots of people kneeling and praying to.  Today, the gauchos of Salta province proudly flaunt their red-striped ponchos de güemes (traditional Salta ponchos). The high baroque golden altarpiece is the other central feature, it was stunning.

Saturday 06/08/11

On the upside I have really enjoyed my stay in Salta and surrounding mountains. The centre reminds me of many a european city really, large open plazas, trees, monuments, coffee shops, shopping and lots of people milling around. I was so caught up in the buzz I went consumer mad and bought myself a new cool double ball lip ring… I am so `with it´ you know.

Managed to book myself my next bus to San Pedro Atacama in Chile en route to Peru and next project i am volunteering in, which is an orphanage. If I had missed this reservation the next bus was not until Thursday!


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