Hope all good back home.
We´ve been in Argentina a little over two weeks now and are loving it so far. We crossed the border from Bolivia on Saturday 6th August which was an experience in itself, especially since we´d had an impromptu late last night in Sucre with an English couple we met.
We flew down to Yacuiba and then were deposited by a taxi at the end of a busy market street full of Argentinians hopping over the border for some Bolivian bargains. We had to weave our way through all the people (carrying very unwieldy packages) with our very heavy bags and finally made it to what we thought was the place where you do border ´stuff´. It turned out, however, after many halting Spanglish conversations, that this was the Argentine border bit, so we had to schlep back through the hectic market and track down the cunningly hidden Bolivian border post to get exit stamps.
After having our dirty washing examined to check we weren´t smuggling illicit substances in our undies, we finally made it to the other side - with not an Argentinian peso to our name. Not a single money change place in existence, so Roland had to pop back over the border to Bolivia to pick up some dinero, while I guarded the bags and wondered whether there might be some rule that meant he wouldn´t be let back into Argentina for a second time in half an hour...But all was fine (he was great mates with the customs officials by then) and we bussed it to a sleepy place called Embarcacion for a much-needed overnight pit stop, phew.
From there we caught another bus to Jujuy (the hardest place name to pronounce - something like hoo-hoowey but with phlegm for authentic effect). Jujuy was a nice enough but fairly unremarkable city, but happily the site of our first Argentinian steak and vino tinto, yum! The Argentinians apparently eat 70kg of beef a year and seem perfectly happy to eat it every day... Another food that Argentina does really well (which was news to us) is delicious home-made pasta as there´s a strong Italian heritage - which also accounts for the number of ice cream cafes everywhere.
From Jujuy you can do a day trip to the Quebrada de Humahuaca - a Unesco World Heritage site. Absolutely stunning mountain scenery - with jagged layers of rock in various vivid colours (red= iron, yellow= sulphur, green= copper etc). We took many, many photos as the colours truly were remarkable and we were also quite taken with the Wild West style cacti (which supposedly only grow 3cm a year so these prickly bad boys have been around a fair while). We´ve tried to keep the number of pics attached down so you don´t get rock fatigue but it was pretty special.
On our day trip to Quebrada de Humahuaca we also visited a couple of local villages and had a delicious lunch of empanadas (like mini Cornish pasties but much tastier) and locra (a hearty soup/ stew with beans, corn and meat - quite like Cassoulet but ridiculously filling).
We left Jujuy for Salta on 10th August - I´ll post this as a separate entry.
Helene and Roland x