Saturday, 22 February 2014

Horses from Hell in Salta

We took the 9:30am bus out of San Pedro headed for Salta on Thursday. The journey was supposed to take 10 hours, but it ended up taking more like 12 hours, mostly because of the strange way they arrange the border crossing, and when we got into Argentina there was so much rain! Something we hadn't seen for a long time! It was strange driving away from the driest place on earth, crossing the border and suddenly being greeted by a wet and green landscape.
Salta
Salta
We arrived at our hostel pretty late that night and we were pleasantly surprised by the hostel. It was called Hostal Salta Por Siempre, we had been upgraded to a private ensuite bathroom instead of the dormroom, and they were really helpful in ordering us some tasty pizza to be delivered which is exactly what we needed after our long journey and the gross bus food. The hostel had a really nice outiside area and a bar with ping pong tables. Because of the rain, everyone was taking shelter in the bar and it was nice to soak up the atmosphere.
Salta
The next morning, at breakfast we met lots of nice people, and planned our day together. Our first stop was the Museum of Archaelogoy, which contains the bodies of three children who were sacrificed in Inca times as a ritual. Their bodies were so high up that they were frozen in time and today are perfectly preserved. It was a little creepy and sad to see such a young child, curled in a tiny ball who had been left for dead alone.

On a more cheerful note, we met the others for lunch and decided to take the teleferico up the hill to the park, Cerro San Bernardo, where we spent a good few hours soaking up the sun.
Salta
Salta
Salta
Salta
Salta
Salta
Friends come and go when you travel, something I'm getting used to now. We'd only met them that morning, but it was Simon and Vera's last day in Argentina, so it seemed rude not to accompany them for their last steak dinner. The steak was humongous and very tasty!
Salta
Salta
The next day, we booked to go to a ranch set in the hills of Salta. Lisa and Krister decided to join us as Lisa is an expert horse rider, much better than the rest of us anyways.
Salta
Salta
We met the cutest kitten who was adapting to his new role as defender against rodents, but didn't seem to be doing too great a job as everyone keeps feeding him.
Salta
Next, we were told to get a helmet on and given a horse. I was offered a lovely chestnut brown one with a glossy black mane- little did I know it was the devil in the form of a horse.
Salta
Salta
I used to do horse riding when I was really young and like to think that I remembered the basics. But this horse had decided he was going to do whatever he wanted. This included walking on the grassy verges rather than the path, the grassy verges were surrounded by thorn bushes which weren't much fun. A few times he point blank refused to climb up the hills. The other horses obviously hated him as one tried to kick him, narrowly missing me. The finale of my wonderful time on the horse came to an end when the guide whipped my horse, who galloped off, directly into a tree.
Salta
Battered and bruised, I was very grateful to get off the horse! The men at the ranch had prepared an Asado for us and I felt much better being with the kitten again rather than my devillish horse! The others, on the other hand, all did really well and had a great trek into the mountains!
Salta
Salta
Salta
Our final day in Salta, we took a look around the crafts market and waited for our bus at 12 to head to Bolivia. It was a lovely way to end our time in Argentina.
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