Salta, leaving Argentina....
Well we've not written for a while, and apologies for the photos coming before the writing (though we have now added more)!
We're currently in Peru, though this is the final update from Argentina, the slight delay being that Gem has had "traveller's tum" (to be polite) for most of the time since we left, so things have been a bit difficult!
But enough of those details. Salta was our last stop in Argentina, though we had spent a few weeks in our beloved Buenos Aires since being in Patagonia, mainly waiting for the DHL package with our cashcards in to arrive (and no, we STILL dont have them folks!). Luckily it's a beautiful city, and one which captured alot of the things we had loved about our 4 months in Argentina.
Also after a good while in flat Buenos Aires, it was back to the Andes, and one of the coolest things we did was to go on a trip to a town called Cachi, around 4000mts in altitude. The town was pretty, and we had an amazing Parilla (that's a barbeque to you and me) lunch, but the best part was the journey. The drive up was thankfully, if also a little disappointingly shrouded in cloud, though once we got to the top that cleared up nicely, revealing our first view of the "Puna". Puna is when you go up really high, but instead of mountains, it's flat. It is too dry and desert like though for anything to grow except the odd shrub and lots and lots of cacti.
And there were THOUSANDS of them. Los Cordones National Park is basically a massive valley, filled as far as you can see with cacti. As usual our dodgy photography skills mean we can't quite demonstrate the vastness of the place, but it was brilliant. And really very funny.
Back in town we spent time looking at yet more colonial architecture (are you bored of that yet??) and making the most of our few days left of the wonder that is an Argentinian steak. We were also lucky enough to meet up with our friends Celina and Oliver (see picture) who we met in Buenos Aires, and are now following us around South America like lost puppies. OK not really, but it did make our stay alot more enjoyable.
Overlooking the city is a big hill, or "Cerro" where you can have a lovely view for just the price of a ticket on the cable car up there. You may or may not remember our last attempt at going up a little hill in Argentina a few months ago. Well once again the pair of us were absolutely terrified, though this time we were so pathetic we actually WALKED down the hill rather than get back on the thing. We told ourselves it would be good training for the Inca Trail. Of course.
Eventually though we did leave Argentina, and the last few photos you can see are of crossing the high pass into Chile over the Andes. It was that amazing you almost didn't have the chance to be scared, especially driving above the cloud line, which was incredible. And a decent introduction to the oncoming terrains of Peru...