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Salta and on to the border

October 16th, 2009

We left Puerto Iguazu at 11am and were confronted with a 23 hour bus trip to Salta. We did this in two stages and this time used Flecha Bus. Pretty good but not really at the same standard as Andesmar. During the day was horribly hot on the bus with the night being uncomfortably cold. You couldn’t win. We were also stopped three times with the bus searched, by dogs, for drugs on each occasion.

We arrived in to Salta two hours early and made straight for the hostel that we’d found on hostelbookers.com. Thankfully they had a couple of beds free, albeit in different dorms, and we took them. It has to be said, at this point, that neither Steve nor me have/had a guide to South America or a Spanish phrase book with barely a word of Spanish between us. Anyway Salta is quite a nice town, with some lovely European looking architectureSalta Cathedral (see photos) but in all honesty not much else going on. It did, however, have an excellent buffet restaurant where we ate a lot (really loads) for no more than a fiver each. I can’t remember the name but it’s located diagonally opposite the New Cafe (which I didn’t go in??) behind the Cabildo.

Our next port of call was to get to Uyuni in Bolivia to see the salt plains. Unfortunately it’s just not that easy. Using the internet we discovered that we needed to get to the border at La Quiaca before crossing the border (just a short walk) to Villazon, Bolivia, before getting a train to Uyuni.

The buffet meal had seemed like a perfect opportunity for Steve to start his malaria drugs but when I woke up in the morning it turned out that it had not been. Steve had been sick most of the night and was barely able to stand up let alone carry his bag. We’d booked the bus so jumped in a taxi to get to the bus station for an eight hour bus journey to La Quiaca. This bus, Balut, was pretty crap, basically a run down version of the others. It also stops at every single town on the way adding at least two hours to the journey.

La Quiaca is a tiny little town but the guide books had said that it would be better to stay there than go over the border to Villazon for the night. We walked down the main street and hopped in to the first hotel paying AR$60 (about £9) for a twin room which was actually pretty good. Steve was not too good so I ventured out for a table for one and went in to a little place where I had an absolutely delicious steak, with tomato, onions and a fried egg on top. Not only was it good, it filled the plate and another plate was required for the chips. With a bit of bread and a coke it came to a staggering £4. Brilliant.

We then crashed and in the morning headed for the border.

Author: Mark Jerzykowski Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
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