22.12.2006 - 26.12.2006 35 °C
Hej, polare, läget?
The train from Tupiza to Villazon, at the Argentinian border, was funny. There were no tickets in second or first class left, so we took tickets in third class. Luckily, most of the people got of the train in Tupiza, so we almost had the carriage to ourselves, it had been very full before judged from the people that got of and the things they were carrying. It was quite dirty though, the ground was covered with full nappies and empty cans and bags. Once in Villazon, our adventure really started. Six hours of queueing on a bridge in the baking hot sun and then we finally found ourselves in Argentina!
This is the first sign I saw in Argentina:
My plan is to get to Ushuaia by the way!
Two night buses later, we finally arrived in Salta where it was baking hot. The difference between Bolivia and Argentina is striking. I felt like being in Spain ten or fifteen years ago. In a way, it reminded me of Belgium a bit, too, people eat out a lot, there is a lot of restaurants and pubs that put tables and chairs on the pavement, you can find people sitting at a terrace sipping at an ice cold beer as early as 10 in the morning etc. Argentinians are bon-vivants. There are supermarkets and traffic lights again, blokes look like Italian football players in the 80's, mullets included, no traditional clothes nore poverty to be seen any more, everything is more expensive and I feel like I do not speak any Spanish any more! The difference between Argentinian and Bolivian or Peruvian Spanish is enormous!
Anyway, Salta is an okay city with a cerro (hill) with a beautiful view. We celebrated Christmas Evening in the hostel with hot weather, an incredible downpour around 11 pm and an asado (BBQ) with an unbelievable amount of meat and wine. To make up for our unhealthy behaviour, we had another asado on Christmas Day on the roof terrace and shared five kilos of meat among eight people. Man, those Argentinians are the worst carnivores ever!