Michelle and Charlie's Around the World Trip 2004-2005 travel blog

hard to believe its December 26!

No. 2 of our since daily steaks

The day after Christmas we had a 4 am bus to the Bolivia/Argentina border. The border crossing itself was very quick and easy. Despite the fact our bus was packed to capacity (over capacity, actually) we and the English couple (Steve and Cathy) from our tour were the only people going to Argentina. We bought direct bus tickets to Salta, 7 hours from the border. However, when we got to a town called Jujuy 5 hours into the trip, everyone else on the bus got off. When we asked what was going on, the 4 of us were informed we had to change buses. That was slightly annoying because at the border the company had said it was a direct bus, so I don´t see how changing buses fits that definition, but whatever. Then we found out the second bus was with a second company, and guess what, they´re all sold out for Salta that day. But don´t worry, our transfer ticket is good for a year! Well, that was more than annoying and so while I ran around to the other companies trying to find tickets to Salta, Steve and Cathy wore down company no. 1 until they refunded the money for the useless tickets, no small feat as it took about a half hour.

Salta is a very pretty town and the weather while we were there was pleasant and warm. They have lots of parks and big trees and, ok, I´m just stalling until I talk about the food. Our first order of business was getting some famed Argentinian beef. We got steaks and red wine for dinner and more steaks for lunch. They´re famous for red meat here for a reason. There´s also great ice cream (as compared to Bolivia where they call ice cream whatever they can find frozen in the corner of the freezer). (Argentina is known to be a lot more "European" than its northern neighbors. It´s true in every good sense, sadly also in one other regard as well, while in the northern country there are hardly any smokers, in Argentina you´re constantly sitting in someone else´s cigarette smoke (including right now!) (Charlie))

Well fed and well rested we booked 18 hour bus tickets to Mendoza. It was actually a little difficult because many of the buses were sold out, but we finally found one although it included changing buses (they readily provided this info this time). However, the first bus was the most luxurious we´d ever been on. They put Greyhound to shame (not saying much, I know). The seats were extra wide and reclined extra far, without bothering the person behind you. They call them "bus camas", i.e., bus beds. Sadly our second bus wasn´t quite as nice, but the trip still went by quite fast, especially because of another difference between Argentina and Bolivia and Peru - paved roads!

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