Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The stories of our trip to Argentina & Bolivia

We started our trip to South America on April 8, 2010. The trip included Argentina, my country of origin and Bolivia, my very close neighbor country. The original plan was to start from La Paz, Bolivia and move down by bus to Salta, Argentina. Salta is my city, the city I grow up and where I have my family and part of my friends. But the plan was changed due of a mistake in the buying of the tickets, so we started visiting Salta first and then moving up to Bolivia.
With me on this trip was Gregorio. He is Italian and he was particularly interested in visiting Bolivia, me too after seeing a documentary together about Evo Morales. Although we both lack knowledge about Bolivia and its actual government, we disagree in our opinions and we were curious about the subject. I have been before in Bolivia but not in the places I visited this time.
Salta was a nice start of our trip, because the emotional factor of seeing my family again after sometime and my friends, and Gregorio being part of it. The first days we stayed in Salta capital. Salta is a colonial city located in the north of Argentina. Salta is known for its beautiful colonial buildings and nice people ;).

The first night we went to eat an Argentinian parrilla, which it is basically grill meat. Argentinians are crazy about meat, we eat almost the complete cow,we also ate that night tamales done with corn and meat and empanadas (a crust with meat inside). I love empanadas and the empanadas from Salta are the best of Argentina. Corn is also very popular and it is the main ingredient of the regional food in Salta. The parrilla was not the best, but we enjoyed it. The mozos of the restaurant are part of a music band and they were singing zambas, popular music, we bought a cd.
The next few days we visited the main plaza, with the cathedral in front and all the buildings with the “recova” around the plaza.

We went to the teleferico which takes you to a tall mountain that you can see all the city, it was a very nice day until we lost our camera, so we do not have photos of this experience. We have a history of loosing or breaking cameras, so this was not a surprise for us, but this was just a new camera, so we were sad. We bought a camera in the next days, this one is still alive, I believe?
We visited San Lorenzo which is a nice place outside the city with a lots of trees and we had dinner with my close friends.

Ah we also went to the dentist, my dentist from a long time. Dentist in Argentina are cheaper than here, so we took advantage of the opportunity of having a better smile :).

That Sunday there was this street fair where they sell traditional articles, we bought some mates for friends, some paintings of the northern landscaping and some other stuffs. Mostly gifts for friends. Ah I bought two similar beautiful rings done with silver and stones, one for my mother.

Then in the fourth day we went to a two days trip to the Valles Valchaquies and Cafayate. I love this area, it is a few hours from Salta capital and it is a valley next to the Cordillera de los Andes. We visited small colonials cities, Cachi, Molinos, we saw a donkey, a goat and bought some local goat cheese that we brought back with us to the USA. We rented a car, because my parents did not want to give us theirs, the road is not good and my parents car is old.

The first night of our two days trip we spent in a small city call San Carlos, we stayed in a small hotel and had a wonderful dinner cabrito, empanadas and something else that I do not remember now. The dinner was in this simple restaurant under a recova in front of the main plaza with some hungry dogs watching us eating.

Next day we went to the wine region of the north of the country, called Cafayate, also known as a place of popular musical festivals. We visited the old traditional Michel Torino winery, which now has a new name,which I do not like, the winery has been bought by a international company that produce wines in all Argentina. For me is still the old Michel Torino winery. The building is just fantastic. We took a tour with this very nice lady with a long blonde hair and bought a few couples of bottle to bring back. Gregorio and are lovers of wine, it think is our favorite drink. We visited Cafayate main place and have a nice coffee, we went back to Salta after.