Helen and Paul World Tour 2005/06 travel blog

Salta from Cerro San Bernado (A big hill!)

Another view of Salta

Helen's first cable car ride

Cathedral in Salta's Plaza Julio

The cap's doing the job and blocking out Paul's face!.

Gaucho Helen!

Back to playing Cowboys

On the trail

Paul on his flea bitten grey

Gaucho cowboy hard at work chatting up my girlfriend!

View over Salta's mountains

Don't even need to look forward - show off!

What just hit me!

Enjoying a mate after a hard days ride.

Treated ourselves to the cama (sleeper) section of the bus so we were in fully reclining leather seats all the way to Salta.

The in transit entertainment consisted of pirate movies; they alternated the films between them being in Spanish with no subtitles and English with Spanish subtitles so slept for half of the films. We also provided in transit entertainment for the other passengers who were Argentinean, they found our lack of Spanish particularly amusing and so tried talking to us all the time.

One woman tried teaching us a few words and traditions of Argentina like eating a sandwich, as if we hadn't seen a sandwich before! Their friendliness didn't extend to telling us that we had to change buses, we sat on the empty bus for a while before we realised, and we just thought they all needed the loo. Wish we didn't have to change buses because the place where we changed was swarming with cockroaches. As soon as Helen stepped off the bus one landed on her head leaving an awful smell in her hair. Finally arrived in Salta. The guy manning the desk at the hostel didn't speak a word of English so it was rather difficult trying to get a room that we had already booked.

Ordered a traditional Salta soup for lunch the next day, thinking it would be just like Heinz soup, we had 4 empanadas (Cornish pasties) before it. When the soup arrived it was more like a huge stew with chunks of veal, and vegetables, didn't managed to eat all of it!

Paul risked getting his hair cut, using his best pigeon Spanish to tell them to shave it all off, it actually turned out alright in the end.

Went up to the highest point of Salta to San Bernardo hill opting to take the gondolas rather than walk. Until then we didn't realise how big Salta was so after returning to street level we ventured further into the city. We reached San Juan Plaza where they were filming an advert for the new Jeep; they declined our offer to be extras for it so we went and had a big juicy steak whilst being pestered by beggars and shoe shine boys even though we were wearing trainers.

On Thursday we were collected at 10am to enjoy a day horse riding in the mountains. It was a bumpy ride in the Jeep to the ranch, which was a converted convent, and the journey took about an hour. We were joined by a woman, Rosally, from Buenos Aires who invited us to stay with her after only just meeting her.

Tucked into a huge bbq at lunchtime and had a couple glasses of wine (Paul was plucking up his Dutch courage) before hopping on our steeds. Paul's nag was called Todillo and looked after him very well; Helen's was called Princess - no comment! Had a little trek though the jungle area first where the aim was to avoid getting prickled by the cactus plants. Returned to the ranch for refreshments then off we went again up into the mountains this time. We thought we were riding a round trip but when we got to the top we had to turn back as the track was too boggy and overgrown. It and taken us 2.5 hours to get to the top and our bums were aching in the gaucho saddles it was disheartening to know that we had another 2.5 hours before we could dismount and regain any feeling in our behinds. Finally we got back to the ranch just before dusk and sat and drank mate (pronounced ma-tay) until it was time for the off road car journey back to the hostel.

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