The seven-coloured mountain

Salta in the north of Argentina is really a nothing-town. We tried to find something interesting about the town, but after looking for days, we really didn’t find anything. So in somewhat desperation, we booked the 7 coloured mountain tour. We were picked up early in the morning and were driven for nearly two hours. The 7 coloured mountain is located very close to the border to Bolivia. The colours come from the fact that this whole area used to be seabed and the different colours came from layers of minerals. 

Next to the seven-coloured mountain is a pretty interesting market town, but I am very glad we were just passing through. I am sure that people staying in this tiny town must have gone mad. 

The next stop was was ruins of a civilisation that was over 1000 years old. They were only killed off as they refused to joined the Incan empire and they Incas brought their full force down on them. Still extremely interesting and the cactai really give the place an interesting look. 

Next we had lunch in a old town, with a church that dates back until the colonial times. 

The final stop of the day was a hill, that overlooks some amazing mountains and a cemetery. The cemetery is extremely interesting, as it is a riot of colour. People in Latin America feel like the dead are still a part of their lives. For that reason the cemeteries are a celebration of life. To get to the hill you have to climb up a very sandy and dangous hill. Laura got about half way and decided she didn’t want to die. However, I went ahead as I really wanted to beat the hill. I got to the top and didn’t think I how I would get down. The rocks were not firm under ground, so for safety I ended up climbing down on all 4s. Not exactly glamorous. 

8 Days in Buenos Aires

I arrived into Argentina by boat, which I personally is the best way to arrive into any country. Even Buenos Aires is a city by the sea, it fact is not one that defines it like so many coastal cities. In fact the whole time I was in BA, I kind of forgot that it was by the coast. The city’s use of the water seems only related to the port to come and shipping of goods. There is no real nice beachs on anything like that.

BA is a beautiful city, there is no denying that. In the early 1900s when things were good, the rich built the city up and look many influences for the french and italian immigrants flocking to BA. But with a mix of different influences, building built at different times, it is hard not to feel it is bit of a mess.  A pretty mess but a mess al the same.

Plaza de mayo where we were staying is one of the most important streets in BA, it all end the congress buildings to the other is the pink house, which is the seat of power for the country. For that reason it is a very polictal feel about it and we saw many protests and polictal graffiti.

Doing a number of walking tours while were there we also learn some fo the history of Argentina. So of the recent history was a specially upsetting. We learnt about Mothers of avenue de mayo, the Falklands war and the dictorship that lead up to both of them. These events are a scare on the heart of Argentina. It is important for us all to know about these events so that we can make sure that they never happen again.

This all being said, I enjoyed my time in BA. There are lots of great bars, night life and restrauants. But I felt like I burnt money every second I was there. If you want to enjoy the city, which your credit card, you will need it.

Uruguay- Colina – Day 37 – 39

Colina is a two hour bus ride from Montevideo and 1 hour by boat from Beunos Aires. It is an fort town that has a lot of the old buildings. It is really cute little place, with cobbled streets, fort walls and sea views. There is even a light house. 

Dinner is all about the rabas, which is what they call fried squid. Everywhere sells it, tasty and cheap. 

The hostel I stayed in on he first night was a complete nightmare, the door was dirty, they forgot to give me sheets and the other guy in the room woke up at 6am. I woke feeling like hell, the old of the night and dirty had made me sick. Thinking the place could get any worst, I has breakfast, a salty pastry and watered down orange juice. I followed that with a cold shower. At this point I snapped, grabbed my stuff and stormed to the desk. I told the person behind the desk that this place was not fit for human beings and that I would not pay full price. I then put down exactly half of the rest of money due and stormed out. I went and found a lovely bed a d breakfast, gave them my credit card. At this point I was at my wits end and needs normally, niceness and safety. This lovely bed and breakfast was just what I needed. I sent a full day in bed recovering and watching Netflix. 

Uruguay – Montevideo – Day 34-37

I am somewhat behind on my blogging of late, but I have decided to start blogging again. I felt like doing a blog for everyday that I am away, feels a little to much. I am not the sort to keep a diary and if I completely honest, I am not sure something interesting happens everyday. So I have decided to keep these blogs a little bit shorter, give only the highlights, have more photos and rant a little less. I feel like some of blogs were coming off like I wasn’t enjoying myself or that I was hating life. I think when you travel alone and you are in your own head soo much, it is easy to treat a blog as a place to vent out rage. So I am going to keep the blogs positive and upbeat from now on. 

Getting to Uruguay from Brazil was a long process, which involved 2 flights and 16 hours. I used the time to use Duolingo to brush up on my Spanish. I had been using the app for two weeks at this point and it didn’t really help in Brazil, the Spanish would be extremely useful for the rest of the trip. Landing in the airport, I already felt the difference from Brazil. The country had a different feel. After my long travels, I decided to treat myself and got myself a McDonalds. I decided to put some Spanish to action and ordered without error. With a big smile, I eat my 10 nuggets meal, con fanta and connected to the wifi. After messaging my girlfriend and family telling them I was alright, I ordered an uber. After a little trouble, I got in the uber. As uber isn’t exactly illegal in many countries and areas I had travelled to, I got into the front seat. After getting out of the airport traffic, the drivers ask me where I was from in Spanish. As this was a lesson I had done, I had I was English and I lived in London. I then said I was sorry that I only spoke a little Spanish. He replied in English, “That’s okay, what part of london did you live in. I lived there for 2 years”. We started chatting and asked him about his country. He was extremely knowledgeable, told me of the history country, it’s exports and government. He also took it apron himself to point out interesting landmarks, naming them and giving me a little history. I have never had such nice treatment in a taxi and honestly, the drivers tour, might have better some paid tours. After such a long trip, I didn’t have much time on the first day, so it was all I could do to walk to the beach and take a look around. 

Second day, I got up early, had a massive breakfast and headed out. I was told at the desk that it was a bit of a work but walk into town. I thought it would take around 1 hour, but it took nearly 1 and 45 minutes, so I was extremely tired by the time got into two. The first thing I noticed about the walk into town, that were lots of really big tech company’s offices in montevideo. I spotted Microsoft and IBM on my way in, but there were others. I also noticed some really nice older buildings. It does seem like Montevideo takes care of it’s history and it is an important part of them. The other big thing I noticed, which was the weirdest thing to me was everyone was carrying with weird pot and container of hot water. It is turns out that this a kind of tea, the pot it full of leaves. I didn’t see a single person without this weird tea, even children were carrying a small pot. It was weird, as I had never heard of this and it felt like I was a man from another world for a minute. It turned out the 2nd of October was an extremely good day to into the centre of town, as all the activation were open and free. They have some sort of public holiday on these days to kids interesting in history. It was extremely busy but I was everything for free. I tried a local treat, but was basically fried bread. Fatty but tastey. 

Getting back to the hostel, I quickly started talking to the lady who worked there. She was a very smiley and nice lady, who invited me and Germany guy to partake in the local tea. She explained that everyone is obsessed with the stuff and it is a very social thing to share the tea. We were quickly joined by an Argentina woman, who I bonded with straight away with over game of thorns. We also joined by an Irish guy travelling around Uruguay and trying to stay out of trouble with a new girlfriend back London. Also with Carlson, a german with a wonderfully dark, weird and witty sense of humour, I had a very fun evening drinking. When we got hungry, people went out for snacks and shared them. It was a really nice vibe and I stayed up way to late talking to them as I was enjoying myself. 

Day 3, as I was hung over and feeling lazy, had one of the laziest days of my life. Someone put the Star trek movie on the tv and watched that. Lazy around and finally cooked BBQ. In the evening we went drinking at a local bar. Got a little drunk and went home. On the way back, we walked passed the Montevideo sign and decided to get an epic photo. 

I was sad to leave Montevideo, the people were super nice but I had plans to meet Laur in another country, so I had to get moving.