We only planned to stay a couple of days in Salta but found ourselves staying for a week. This was mainly down to the 'Prisamata' hostel that we stayed in. Run by Damien it feels more like a boutique hostel with cool music playing throughout the day and a local chef coming in to cook for your evening meals. It was also a great place to hand out with fellow travellers and an ideal place to hold Tim's birthday party.
Salta itself was a fairly relaxed city with lots of colourful churches. The highlight was the Museo de Arqueología de Alta Montaña (High Country Archeology Museum). A rather macabre exhibition featuring the mummified remains of three Inca children. The Inca's used to sacrifice their children to the gods when there was a significant cultural event. The idea was that act as a mediators between the Inca people and the gods, it was seen as a great honour if you were chosen. In 1999 the The Sleeping Children from Llullaillaco were found. They'd been there for over 500 years and were incredibly well preserved. The museum alternates between the three children and is a stark and harrowing reminder of how Inca civilization used to work.
With these images still fresh in our minds we decided to head out into the countryside for a change of scenery and spent a day visiting Cafayate. This involved passing through some of the most beautiful scenery we'd seen so far, including some amazing rock formations which ended in a spot of wine tasting!
The local food was also sampled including our first taste of Bolivian style food, Tamales, Humitas and Goat Stew, mmm! All gluten free and a step above the more mundane meat and potatoes that features in the rest of Argentina.
Tim's birthday was celebrated on horseback through stunning scenery. Led by two local Gaucho's we got to practice our trotting and Tim even got to gallop. A few sneeze's due to Tim's allergy to horse hair weren't enough to deter this fantastic experience. It was followed by an amazing asado (bbq) and unlimited vino tinto which also led to a Chilli eating contest with two crazy Australlian's. A great way to spend a birthday and one that will be remembered for years to come.