When the Stars Go Blue/ Town Called Malice

“Make the most out of tonight and worry about it all tomorrow.”

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Salta seems, in retrospect, a complete blur. Our first night at Loki Hostel ended fairly messily due to the cheap drinks and fantastic bar staff. Our group of 35 made our way into town where we all proceeded to go slightly crazy. A couple of us joined an al fresco salsa session and I then proceeded to join a local band playing in a bar! However an overly friendly dog about the size of a great dane at one point decided my arm was a chew toy and despite my cries of “ayudarme” (help me) the locals just found it hilarious. My toe nail being split in half by the rarity of a clumsy argentinian was the last straw. I headed home at 4:00 a good few hours before the others returned!

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The drunken frivolities did not end there. Much of the group decided the best way to beat their hangover was to start drinking again as soon as they woke up. Here is the result:

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For the rest of us the day revolved around eating, sleeping and watching Django! That being said, the staff decided that evening was the opportune moment for a ‘beer pong’ tournament. That night therefore proceeded in a similar fashion to the last.

The downside became immediately apparent the next morning. Amy, Lilya and I caught the bus into Salta to explore the town in the daylight. However after numerous empanadas and a trip up a cable car to see a view of the city, the state of my head became too much to bear so I split from the group to head home, getting lost for a couple of hours in the process!

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Cheese empanadas in a little cafe near San Jose square, Salta. Yum 🙂

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View from the mountain overlooking Salta.

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Just an example of the beautiful architecture in Salta. This is the church of San Fransisco

 

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Creature Fear

“Camping is nature’s way of promoting the motel business.”
Dave Barry

Last night we were attempting to finding a service station where we could set up camp but became stuck driving through a limbo of wilderness and national parks. Eventually, realising that we no longer had time to cook a meal for 36 people, we pulled over at what I can only describe as a roadside shack, selling some rather dubious Argentinian food. The ‘chef’ had clearly never seen so many customers in his life!
We struggled for another couple of hours in the truck before pulling into a petrol station at around midnight.

We were not alone.

There was a little, yellow, vindictive looking scorpion staking his claim to the ladies toilets. In addition to this, a squeal from one of the girls tents this morning announced the arrival of a new bed mate – see the photos below.

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We’ve now settled on the outskirts of Salta in North Argentina. For the first time we have the luxury of a hostel dorm room with showers and a loo that you can flush! The camping endurance test has finally come to an end. Our last official stop before our ‘bush camp’ was in a little town called San Ignacio Mini, home to some fairly spectacular ruins of a Jesuit settlement. A handful of the more enthusiastic in our group headed out at sunrise before our long drive commenced.

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El Otro Lado

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We’ve been doing a fair bit of border hopping over the last few days. Above is a photo of the current mess that is Paraguay. We took a mini bus across the open border as the shopping is supposed to be incredibly cheap there due to the lack of tax. It wasn’t particularly cheap at all. We were clearly looking in the wrong places! However, our bus driver then miraculously disappeared so we had to ride back on the local motor-bike taxis, which was incredible! 

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We’ve now set up camp for the night in San Ignacio Mini, Argentina, following a brief stop at Puerto Iguazu on the Argentinian side of the falls. The border control was slightly more complicated but nevertheless was over fairly quickly and without too much hassle!

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Here’s some of the group at the ‘devils throat’ of Iguazu falls.