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ARGENTINA | Sunday, 6 January 2013 | Views [1122]

Main cathedral, Salta

Main cathedral, Salta

Flying from Cordoba seemed like a good idea.  Then it began to rain.  The take-off felt more like a landing; the ground kept getting closer and closer instead of farther away.  It took us ten minutes to climb to 1000 feet, ten minutes of banking left then right, threading our way between the clouds, bouncing as if on an out-of-control carnival ride.  We were beginning to wonder if this was to be "THE END" when we finally popped out into calm skies.

Salta, in the north, looks more Spanish than other Argentine cities. The Plaza 9 de Julio was jumping on Friday night - seems it is jumping every evening.  Couples and families wandered almost aimlessly, never hurrying and mindless of their melting helados.  Two huge trees covered with yellow flowers competed with the pink Cathedral Basilica.  Salta reminds us more of Peru, maybe because of its Inca heritage. 


     "Lightning Girl" (Internet photo)

The city recently gained fame with the discovery in 1999 of three mumified children atop 22,000 foot Mt. Llullaillaco.  They were selected from the finest Inca families and "encouraged" to climb the mountain along with their priests who plied them with alcohol until they passed out.  Then they were ceremoniously buried alive.  And we think our religions are harsh.  "Lightning Girl" (so named because her grave was struck by lightning) was only six-years old while the "Maiden" was an ancient 16.  The mummies are currently on display, one at a time, each for six-months in the Archeology Museum of the High Mountains.  But the indigenous people could withdraw their permission at any time so see them while you can.


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