MATT: We arrive in Salta after an easy flight and quick taxi ride to the hostal where we are going to stop for the night ahead of an early bus ride back into Chile tomorrow morning. The hostal ticks all the boxes - it is central, clean but basic and very chilled.
Our first task is to head out to the bus station, three blocks up the street to sort out the bus tickets for the morning - pretty straight forward, untill we get there and find that the bus we were aiming for left at 7am this morning and the next one isn't till Sunday...oooops.
So three nights in Salta...but like I said, the hostel is pretty nice and turns out to be an excellent place to chill out for a few days. It seems to be a bit of a cross roads point for travellers heading in all directions through South America, and a good opportunity to trade stories and tips with people who have been where we are going and/or heading where we have been.
Salta itself is a pretty nice town. It is pretty relaxed and quite set up for tourists in general - so we make the most of it - going to decent restaurants trying out some Andean specialties and also taking the opportunity to enjoy our last Argentinian steak and malbec meal.
There is a great museum on the main square (which is a beautiful colonial town centre) which houses the bodies of three perfectly preserved, mummified Inca children. They were discovered on the top of a nearby volcano at about 6700m above sea level, and were left up there about 500 years ago in drunken sleep to freeze to death as a sacrifice to the Inca gods. Very interesting place if you ever happen to have an afternoon to kill is Salta.
So...the three days pass comfortably and we enjoy Salta...be we are up very early on Sunday morning to catch our 7am bus back across the Andes to San Pedro De Atacama, Chile. The bus journey is long, the bus is shabby at best and the alttitude is high (4400m at its highest) and clearly takes it's toll on many of our fellow pasengers. But the desert scenery as we get to SPDA is something else...