Our time in Salta is coming to an end; tomorrow a long bus trip will take us to Buenos Aires, and soon after that we’ll be back in New Zealand. There’s a strong feeling of things ending, but I suppose it’s also the start of a new adventure.

Monday 14/11 To start the week, we caught the bus into town to go to a museum that we’d heard a lot about, Pajcha. Because it’s closed during the middle of the day, we headed to a cafe to do the final edits on the Travel Safety book, then wandered around town a bit before arriving at Pajcha just after it reopened at 4pm. We were met at the door by Diego, the effusive polyglottal co-director, who explained the downstairs exhibits to us (and the many other visitors) at length, then accompanied us upstairs so that we could ask him questions about what was on display. It’s quite a small museum, but well-curated with a lot of interesting pieces. And Diego’s enthusiasm gave it all a lot of life.

Salta church of San Francisco
Church of San Francisco, Salta

In the evening Craig manned the parilla for tasty asado of four different types of sausage. Yum.

Tuesday 15/11 We spent most of the day at home since the weather wasn’t great, but headed out for a walk in the afternoon. Dinner was kebab skewers and barbecue ribs that Noah had picked up the day before: very tasty.

Wednesday 16/11 After a meeting to discuss upcoming books, Craig and I headed out for a long walk around San Lorenzo. In the afternoon, he kept working and I read the last book in the Narnia series… The book belongs to Leigh and Noah and I wanted to finish it before we left!

Thursday 17/11 Leigh wasn’t feeling well, so she stayed at home while the rest of us dropped Lila at school, had coffee and medialunas, and headed to class. For some reason the class was being held in a different location about three blocks from the school where it is normally — not that it mattered. The task for today was for the students to hit the streets with videocameras and interview locals about what they think about the neighbourhood. It was fun.

Afterwards, Noah dropped Craig and me at the bus station so we could buy our tickets to Buenos Aires. We met up with him at the market after buying a huge amount of cheap fruit and vegetables… It makes me sad to think about how much they’re going to cost back in New Zealand.

Salta breakfast
A typical Argentinean breakfast

Friday 18/11 Craig wanted to go to a museum that offers free entrance before 10am, and since it takes an hour or so to get into town, we had to make an early start. At least the weather was nicer than it had been for the rest of the week and we didn’t have to walk in the rain.

The museum, el Museo de Historia del Norte, (the museum of the history of the north of Argentina), was interesting but like the museum of high-altitude archaeology, raised more questions than it answered. It had a lot of awesome artefacts, but they could have been much better curated.

Salta la linda
Salta really is a very pretty town

We did a bit of shopping and had a great coffee and excellent medialunas in a café’s courtyard, then took the teleférico (gondola) to the top of Cerro San Bernardo for great views of the city. When we came back down we had a sit-down lunch at a small outdoor restaurant behind the craft market — our table was right by the lake, it was awesome.

In the evening, Leigh, Noah and I headed back into the city to see Lila perform in her school production, which was held at the main theatre in the centre of town. It was spectacular; it started with inexplicable gymnastics and ended with a video of parents doing a dance routine. The rest of it made more sense and was very entertaining, and Lila looked really cute in her musical hat.

We picked up incredibly tasty empanadas for dinner, which we paired with Fernet and Coke for a wonderfully Argentinean dinner.

Lunch in Salta by the lake
Lakeside lunch

Saturday 19/11 Leigh and Noah had invited some friends around for a lunchtime asado, so we spent the morning preparing, and the afternoon hanging out with them and eating tasty meat and vegetables.

After the friends left, Craig, Lila and I decided to go for a swim. The weather was a little too cold for it, but we had fun anyway. In the evening Craig helped Leigh and Noah with their website, Lila showed me her awesome circuit-making kit, and I talked to a friend from Colombia via Skype.

Sunday 20/11 Our last full day in Salta: tomorrow it’s the long ride to Buenos Aires. We spent the day working, packing and generally getting ready to go.

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