Entertained by the Locals

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Click here for pictures from Salta. Wow, time sure flies when you´re trying to both travel a country as well as tell the world about it. I almost decided not to write today, but given that I have the time, and I have a nice cold beer in my hand, I changed my mind. Now, let me rewind to just after the horsey experience. That was to be our last night in Salta, and as such, we were going to see a local show at a restaurant. Well, it was a great show, with an exceptional meal, as well as fine musical entertainment from a local group. I´ve got to admit right off the bat that Argentina is not the country to go to if you intend to lose weight. These people truly love to eat. And eat well! My favourites so far are Milanesa, which is sort of like a battered, fried steak. Of course Argentine meat is delectable, and this is very tasty. My other favourite dish, which is what I had that night is called Matambre, which is a steak from the stomach area I think, and this one was covered in a roquefort cheese sauce. Heaven in meat form I say. If Alix is reading these posts, I have to let her know that she would absolutely love this country. Great shoe shopping (or so it would seem), great steaks, great beer, and great prices. On with the show..

We ate our fill, and after the show had a leisurely stroll back to the hotel. Oh yeah, the other thing worth mentioning are the strange hours people keep here. Lunch is a big meal, usually steak and trimmings, and supper is also large, but not usually eaten until after 10. I´ve gotten used to the hours now, and it generally works well with our side trips. Also, they observe the daily siesta, meaning the store hours are impossible to figure out. Some are open from 10 to 2, then are closed till 5 or 7, and open until 11 or 11:30. But no hours are posted, and everyone has different ones. What a pain!

Anyway, after the stroll, myself, our guide, and another fellow stopped for a final beer before turning in. I used this chance to learn more about our guide (a mere 24 years old!), as well as the country. Ask me someday if you´re interested, it´s just too long to write out.

The next morning, we had convinced our guide to trade in our later bus ride for an early one, 7am, on the local bus. Wow, quite an experience. Althoug the trip was meant to last only 4 hours, it was definitely unique. We managed to get seats, but not everyone does. There were interesting characters, including the musician who hoped to raise his bus fair en route, but was really terrible, didn´t make enough money, and was let out in the canyonlands!! More on him later. We had also had rain the night before, which we thought nothing of until we saw all the flooding!! Yup, our road was almost washed out in spots. It made for headline news in local papers, straned cars, and, soggy bags in our luggage compartment under the bus! Ha ha. All part of the experience. I wouldn´t have traded it. We made it to Cafayate in about 5 hours, glad to be there.

In Cafayate, our hostel was amazing! The kind of place I´d love to stay at two weeks straight. It´s a small town of about 11,000, which made it nice and quiet, as well as safe and easily navigable. Oh, and did I mention it is a major wine region? Well, read next post to learn more. Oh yeah, and also keep in mind this, the bus ride to Cafayate to Salta is one of the best I´ve ever seen, but that´ll be a separate post…

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