After crossing the border into Argentina from Bolivia, you could tell you were in a different country. The roads were better and the towns were less shabby. Houses actually looked finished. It felt like we were back in civilization rather than in the Wild West.
The landscape in North West Argentina is varied and quite stunning. While on the bus to Salta we saw lush green fields, a bit of desert and beautiful mountains. By the time we arrived in Salta, it was dark and late – time to hit the sack and see what the town had to offer in the morning.
I didn’t really know what to expect of Salta, but for some reason I expected more, or at least something different. As it was, Salta is a pleasant enough city which feels more like a large town. There are some lovely old colonial buildings, but as we have seen elsewhere in Argentina, there is a faded grandeur to these old buildings as many of them haven’t been well maintained over the years. Salta, however, does have a lovely open feel to it as there aren’t many high buildings. The weather was also lwarm which always makes things better.
We stayed in the center of town, which meant we could walk everywhere. I dragged Bob into a few museums and art galleries over the next few days. We visited the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of High Mountain Archeology (Museo de Arqueología de Alta Montaña (MAAM)). We had very mixed feelings about the latter as the mummies of the children were on display. Although it is interesting to learn how other cultures lived and what they did with their dead, it is another thing to exhume bodies from their final resting place to display them on public view. It didn’t feel right to me. I feel the same way about the Egyptian mummies. There is a lot of controversy around this museum, so I know it isn’t just me for a change!
We were very happy to spend a few days wandering around the city and sitting in cafés around the square to do some people watching while having a drink or two in the evening. It was also great to be back in a country where you could buy a decent bottle of wine for very little money.
After a few days of pottering around and recovering from being on the road for the best part of a week, Bob was getting a bit antsy as he is not a big fan of cities. It seems that another road trip was on the cards, but this time Bob was going to do the driving! :)