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We left San Pedro on 21st December. The bus ride from San Pedro to Salta went through the Andes, which meant climbing up them and then down again, which gave some great views, especially of the changing scenery of the desert on the Chilean side to a bit greener on the Argentine side.
There were a few things we wanted to do in Salta - firstly eat lots of steak, secondly (for me) buy a dress and high heels to celebrate Christmas and New Year not in backpacker clothes, and lastly to see the Andean children exhibition at the museum.
Number 1 was easy, there were loads of parillas (Argentine steak houses) and the steak was very, very good. It was hard to choose whether to have plain ´lomo´(fillet) straight from the grill or have it with the sauces. It was all good, and the Argentine malbec not bad either, though they drink it way too young, most bottles they served were 2007, though the year of the wine is not on the menu, so it is a bit of a lottery trying to get something less green. As an added bonus, we found that there were multiple heladarias (ice cream parlours) in town, and that was the perfect dessert. We have been eating excellent gelato nearly every day since.
Number two objective I ruled out on our first day of shopping. Unfortunately the Salta shops had the clothes that Supre rejects. Everything was short, tight, bright lycra. There are very few types of clothes that my travelling clothes are better than, and all of them were in Salta.
The third involved visiting the Museum of High Altitude, just off the main square of Salta. In there they had three Inca mummies, who were found perfectly preserved at the top of a very high mountain nearby. The children were sacrificed by the Incas, which involved giving them some drug to make the sleep, then leaving them there at the top of the mountain, the cold and I think some sulphur gases then killed them while they were unconscious.
Due to the extreme cold of the top of the mountain, they were perfectly preserved, even though over 600 years old, including their clothes, and things which were left with them of sacrificial importance.
They had one on display, and she just looked like a child asleep in a box. It was sad, and very weird, looking at her, given the age and culture she was from, but looking so alive now.
Salta is a very nice looking town, a lovely main square with a big cathedral at one end, a park in the middle and old style buildings on the other sides. There was also another old church, San Francisco which to me looked more like a theatre than a church.
We also went to a park at the top of a hill overlooking Salta, which we got to getting a cable car. At the top was some man made waterfalls, religous statues and an ice cream place. We then walked back down and found a pub in a shopping mall at the bottom which had decent beer and to Dave´s delight, was showing the Chelsea v Blackburn game live.
More photos can be seen here.