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Argentina . . . So sad to leave April 20, 2007

Posted by Jason in Argentina, culture, Patagonia, South America.

Well, the time has come sadly to finally say farewell to Argentina.  After spending 4 months in 2006 doing conservation work and travelling and the last 4 months or so travelling, trekking and climbing in Argentina, time has caught up with us and we have to finally move on to pastures new.

We can truly say that we are sad to leave.  Our Patagonian adventures were amazing, from summiting Aconcagua, to trekking, seeing Condors flying above our heads, to seeing Orca´s (killer Whales) beaching to catch the seals!  All simply amazing.  And not to mention the superb food and drink here, friendliness and hospitality of the Argentinians.

Our final days here have continued to inspire us.  After finally leaving Patagonia we travelled north to Cordoba, the University city of Argentina.  Many beautiful buildings and the best bookshops in Argentina!

We then travelled north again to Salta. A bautiful city with wonderful colonial buildings.  We stayed in a fantastic old colonial building which has an old safe where they have put the kitchen!  You just don´t want to get locked in!

We hired a car for 4 days and travelled up to San Antonio De Los Cobres , a mining town without many facilities up in the Altiplano.  We followed the famous railway here up to over 4,000m and then into the town.  A breathless journey but beautiful.  We had tried to get the train here but the train has not been running for a while due to an accident/breakdown of the train. 

We stayed the night in the town and then travelled the next morning to see the large famous viaduct.  Then along the Altiplano through remote settlements to the salt flats of Argentina. Not quite Uyuni, but still cool to see. 

Then we made our way to the beautiful village of Purmamarca in the province of Jujuy, with its narrow dirt streets and quaint buildings.  Behind the village is the hill of 7 colours.  

The following day we continued onto Humahuaca, another beautiful colonial town with narrow cobbled streets.  We then decided to try to visit the remote village of Iruya further north on a narrow dirt road in the mountains.  An eventful drive over another 4,000m pass in a small Fiat Uno.  Frankly I don´t think the car enjoyed the journey!

We made our destination by the late afternoon, unfortunately we then realised that we did not have enough petrol to get us back!  Quite a problem when there is no petrol in the village.

We also found to our horror that rather than being stranded in a quiet, little visited mountain community.  Every Gringo in the province was there and a 120 person film crew to film a Guinness advert!  The locals were loving it and hadn´t seen so much commotion before!

We ended up sleeping on a locals floor as all the accommodation had been taken by the film crew in the village!

So the next 12 hours were spent trying to find a source of petrol for the car, and finally a bus driver brought us 5 litres from the nearest supply 3 hours away!

We then made our way south and back to Salta stopping at Archaelogical sites on the way.  A beautiful are, and an eventful 4 days!

But now it is Chao to Argentina and Hola to Chile once again!!  To San Pedro and the Attacama desert we go.  But we will miss Argentina very much.




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