Ellen: Such a nice town! Salta was a pleasant relief and welcome, that's for sure. The six of us (now with Emma and Ian from England whom Roland and Tracey had met in Galapagos and had also been stuck in Uyuni) got rooms in the hotel Roland had reserved. Great location, and there were beds! Yes, just beds, but not train or bus seats is what I mean!
Kevin and I were soon leaving on an overnight bus we booked upon arriving in Salta, so we only had a few hours in the morning to wander before meeting everyone for lunch. We walked through the large central park, marvelling at the sunshine and fresh air, and got tickets for the funicular to take us up to the viewpoint on top of a mountain. We didn't have time to think about it until we were trapped in one of those little cars being dragged up higher and higher by a little wire. We were both pretty freaked out, I have to say! It was just a really scary thing. I said as much to Kevin and he said, "Scary? Being a hostage in Bolivia is scary - this ain't scary!" But yeah, he babbled like crazy the whole way up and wouldn't let me turn around to look out behind us because it might shake the car!
Great view from the top, however, and we decided to brave the trip back down instead of walking so we wouldn't be late for lunch. Funny thing was that since we forgot to adjust our watch we were actaully an hour late! Oops! "Rookie mistake," as Kevin said. Great meal, though - our first Argentine steak of the trip. Perfect to satiate our hunger during the next bit of travel.
Kevin: All day long, I couldn't stop exclaiming at how nice the town was--no trash on the streets, the streets were PAVED, no one begging, the kids had clothes, beautiful weather, clean-smelling air--just about anything would set me off, until E wanted to have me sedated (or at least my mouth firmly closed). But really, it was a surprising and welcome contrast with our Bolivian experience (and I found out at lunch that Roland had been having a similar reaction all day, too--maybe it's a guy thing).
Travel Notes: Bus La Quiaca, Argentina to Salta, $9 each, 10 hours
Hotel Colonia, 90 pesos ($30), balcony, cable TV, hot water in sink, nice