Archive for the ‘Argentina’ Category

48 hour bus to Buenos Aires

Posted: August 29, 2011 in Argentina, Bolivia

Hmmm half way through this epic 48 hour bus ride, managed to get about 6 hours sleep last night which was an unexpected bonus! I think other than my 18 hour scooter ride from Falmouth to London and back, this is the most stupid trip I have embarked on!

Lovely short lay swapped seats with me as I was sat against the windscreen for the first 3 hours. Her seat had lots of leg room, which was not being utilised, so a swap made sense.

I got to Buenos Aires safe and sound, in much better condition than I thought I would be! Checked into my hostel, played some pool, drank two beers and had an early night.


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!

Leaving Uyuni on an very cold, bouncy, uncomfortable over night bus I head south to the Tupiza, then onto Villazon which is the last town on the Bolivian side of the border. After no sleep whatsoever I cross into La Quiaca on the Argentinian side, enjoy a quick coffee and sandwich before heading off on another bus this time to Tilcara, an ¨alternatives¨ mountain haven, with a variety of washed out artists, musicians, stoners, travellers and white middle class wannabe dread-sters.  Or an official tourist guide summerised,

popular among the hippies and artist community and often has an open art market selling stuff the hippies make.

All in all quite a relaxed place you may say, I stayed for three nights in the end. It was only supposed to be an over night stop!

I also took full advantage of the location and did some rambling while I was there.  Pucará, a pre-Columbian fortification who´s ruins date from the 11th to 15th centuries.

Garganta del Diablo (Giant´s throat), a  10 mile round trip, to a sheer caynon formed by techtonic plate shift which ripped the ground in two. I enjoed the walk but felt slightly overwhelmed when I saw a local jog up and RUN down again, hmmm all done at altitude… Mega fit I tell you!

I also did a day trip to Humahuaca, the next village/town up (1 hour bus trip) which was slightly less tourist orientated and developed, there is a cool monument there by a ´well known´sculptor?

…with atmospheric cobblestoned streets, adobe houses and quaint plaza. You can feel the nearby puna here, with chilly nights, sparse air and a quiet Quechua population. Humahuaca feels less affected by tourism than the towns further south, and is the better for it.

 The waterfalls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu, the Iguazu River originates near the city of Curitiba. It flows through Brazil for most of its course. Below its confluence with the San Antonio River, the Iguazu River forms the boundary between Brazil and Argentina. Legend has it that a god planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipí, who fled with her mortal lover Tarobá in a canoe. In rage the god sliced the river, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.

Spectaculor, photos to follow!

Off to see th Argentinian side of the falls today.. yippee