03.07.09

Salta – Far Northern Argentina

Posted in Northern Argentina at 3:39 pm by Jackson Lee

With the terrain outside the bus slowly fading from endless green pasture to the first curves of the taunting Andean mountains I realised my visit to Argentina, land of beef – sleepness people – the swirling tango – political chaos- was coming to end. One last Argentine city to visit – Salta.

Located in the far North of Argentina, the people of Salta (which means ‘jump’ in Spanish) are the first sign of the indigenous ethnic mix more common in the South American countries – Argentina, surprisingly, has over 95% genetic hereditary from Europe (see the mighty wikipedia) . The streets, are indeed, populated with darker skinned less Mediterranean looking people.

Arriving early in the morning, I spent the day in the local hills trekking through bush followed by a climb to the summit of the main tourist peak (complete with fake waterfalls at the summit) – it was here that I first noticed the effects of being at altitude (1152 meters).

My travels through Argentina hadn’t been thorough. Being the 8th largest landmass in the world, most backpackers spend literally hundreds of bus hours soaking in the different sights. From the wine country in Mendoza, the titanic Iguazu waterfall, the endless trekking of Patagonia, to the frigid city of Ushuaia in the deep south. I had only visited three locations in Argentina (over 6 weeks) but the urge to head north, to Bolivia, the Andes, the third world, to pre-Columbian history, was un-ignorable.

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