Friday, November 17, 2006


My dorm turns into a tropical rainforest in a nasty hostel in northern Argentina...

SALTA IS A far more interesting city to walk around than Cordoba. There's lots of old school colonial buildings, reminds me of San Telmo in Buenos Aires. It's really hot here. I don't know that temperature but it's too much for me. I've decided that the hair may have to go as well. It's just much too impractical to have this mop on top of my head. Must add about three degrees to the temperature. Now I know what Jon Bon Jovi was on about when he did that song '99ยบ in the Shade'.

I'm staying in one of my least favourite hostels so far. No, actually it's the worst. 'Backpackers City' is a HI hostel. The only reason I decided to stay there was to meet some English-speakers who might be travelling up to Bolivia. Guess what? The place is full of Israelis and Argentinians. The place is rubbish. No relaxing areas, it feels a bit cramped, dirty, noisey. Like a traveller factory. Horrible. The worst part is that the 4-bed dorm rooms like mine have no natural ventilation or fans or anything. There is a window, but that opens up into a dort of corridor that's still indoors. Last night i opened the door and was hit with some kind of warm humidity blast. Everythig felt wet and sticky, the sheets and pillow and...everything. It was like opening your bedroom oor to find it's turned into the tropical dome from the Eden project. Also felt a bit like Jumanji, now I think about it.

Thankfully Robin Williams was nowhere to be found.

However it's not all bad. There are two other HI hostels in Salta and 'Backpacker's Home' is much better, with a nice roof top bar. I met a good group of people of varied nationalities. I'm now going up to Bolivia with an American girl called Lin. She's been studying in Buenos Aires for 5 months so her Spanish is very good. Translator!

We plan to head up to La Quiaca on Saturday about midnight, arriving early in the morning. The we need to get a train to Uyuni where we can go see these famous Bolivian salt flats, or Salar de Uyuni. It's quite exciting, and I'm quite looking forward to gettig my 15 Bolivianos to the pound (as a side note no-one believes me when I tell them that Africa wanted to have a single currency, like the Euro, called the Afro. It's true, damnit!).

Last night went out with some Argentinian students from Cordoba. Felt a bit out of place, although some of them spoke quite good English, so wasn't too bad. Some of them were quite friendly to this Espanyol-deficient gringo. Went to the bar area of Salta, but I left early at 4am, so maybe hit it again tonight.

Earlier in the day I had gone to a museum where they had some historical stuff on Salta and Argentina in general. It was all in Spanish but there were lot of pictures and photos, which was good. I've never seen any of the photos and some of them were quite cool, making an impression on me.

I then went up a little cable car up Mount San Bernardo where you can get a cool view of Salta and it's surrounding areas. Very interesting. It's not the Christ in Rio but it's a lovely view none the less.

No comments: