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The Big Trip. Stephen, Laura, James and Sinead head for an epic adventure: 17 weeks in South America 8 weeks in New Zealand 2 weeks in Fiji 11 weeks in Australia 14 weeks in South East Asia.


ARGENTINA | Friday, 19 June 2009 | Views [1044]

From Valle Fertile we got the overnight bus to Salta, a city in the north of Argentina. The city at first appears rough around the edges but after some exploring its attractive features showed, especially the beautiful European style plaza with a pink cathedral. On the first day we decided to head for Cerro San Barnardo. A hill which over looks the city. We had the option of taking the cable car to the top or walking the 1100+ steps. The lads opted for the steps but the girls chickened out as the hill looked very steep. The lads made it in twenty nine minutes. The views of the city and mountains from the top were worth the effort. We all took the steps back down.

Also that day we went to Parque San Martin where we browsed the markets and hired a row boat on the lake. The lads had a good laugh trying to wack the ducks with the oars.

Later James had a craving for McDonalds so he headed for the tourist information office to ask where the local outlet was. One of the highlights of Salta was the child mummies. The three child mummies were found at the top of the Llullaillaco volcano. The three children were offered to the mountain in an Inca sacrificial ceremony. At the time it was considered an honour for a family's child to be chosen for sacrifice. The mummies were found in 1999. They were a fifteen year old girl, a six year old girl and a seven year old boy. They were found almost perfectly preserved due to the climate, altitude and soil conditions of the mountain. Only one mummy is displayed at a time in the museum. We saw the six year old girl. It was a bit of a weird and freaky sight but also fascinating. James still insists the are fake.

On our second last day we booked ourselves in for a canopying trip. We had hoped to do paragliding but due to a bad accident this season it was no longer available in Salta. After a two hour drive into the mountains we arrived. We weren't expecting much but we in for a surprise. We got our gear and headed off. Our very serious German guide said we had an easy walk before we started. It turned out we had to hike up a cliff face. It was very tough going. After we reached 160 meters we did our first zip line. There were nine lines altogether, mostly going long distances across the canyon with a river dam below. The longest line was over five hundred meters and we reached speeds of around 50 kph on the fastest line. It was one of the best buzzes we had since we started our trip. Afterwards we had another fab argy BBQ.

Then that night we had another BBQ in the hostel! Our last day in Salta was spent shopping for warm clothes for Bolivia as we had heard it was going to be very cold. Friday night we got the 12:45 bus to La Quiaca which is where we crossed the border to Bolivia.

Tags: argentina, salta



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