Salta- Cafayate, salt flats, Humahuaca & Purmamarca

Salta, located in Argentinas Northwest is one of Argentinas provincial capitals. With its colonial architecture and close proximity to a number of popular natural formations, it's a good base for exploring some of Argentinas natural attractions.

We were lucky enough to be heading in the same direction as some of our friends that we met from BA and Iguazu, Sam who we met In BA, our new American friends that we met at the falls Erica and Ali, and the two crazy Aussie boys Mitch and Timmo. We all got on the same 24 hour bus ride from Iguazu to Salta. Deciding to all stay at the same hostel we planned a day trip to Cafayate for the following day, popular for its vineyards and in the south of Salta.

The 3 hour bus trip to Cafayate was broken up with numerous photo opportunity spots. The drive was full off amazing natural rock formations, multicoloured mountains and dry dessert.

We stopped at this amazing rock formation, and whist the sign might have said do not climb, there's surely got to be some positives to not speaking the language.
 
We then arrived at a winery for a tour of the wine making process and machinery- which was in Spanish… So I now know nothing more about the wine making process. The second part of the tour involved wine tasting, at which we had no trouble.
 

Sharing the bus with some 'oldies' as they became known (not by them ofcourse), there was one particular lady that stood out, recognised by her leopard print leggings and tight white singlet at the ago of at least 70, loved a chat…in Spanish, which ofcourse I understood very little- but never the less we were sad to see her go at the end of the day!

Having lunch and checking out the small town of Cafayate- I made a friend, padfoot. And no he doesn't have rabies everyone!
The following day we all decided to go on a two day tour of the north of Salta, where we went to Humahuaca, Purmamarca, Tilcara and Jujuy.
Salt flats
 
 
 
Purmamarca
This small town sits at the foot of the seven colours mountain (Cerro de Los Siete Colores), with loads of rustic Andean charm with its adobe buildings and quiet setting.
 
Tilcara
The home of the pre-Incan Pukará or fortress, discovered in 1903 but largely reconstructed in the 1950's.
Humahuaca

After the two day tour we headed back to Salta and organised our buses to Bolivia. Sal, Ali and I jumped a 6 hour bus to the Bolivian border the following night, arriving around 6am the following day. When we reached the cold, dodgy bus terminal and still feeling rather sick from my two week long sickness from B. Aires I realised that Bolivia was not the place to see a doctor, so we made the tough decision to return on the same bus that we came on back to Salta to see a doctor.

A couple of hospital visits, a specialist, ex-rays and many tricky conversations with non English speaking locals in the waiting room I was diagnosed with a sinus infection and was not allowed to fly or go to high altitude for 7-10 days. Basically ruling out our Boivian salt flats and Pampas tour plans. So after a couple of days and many 'submarinos' (argentinian hot chocolates) we started heading up through northern Chile by bus to get to Cusco in 5 days time.

 

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