Purmamarca Travel Blog› entry 23 of 38 › view all entries
October 1st, 2007 – by: atropos10
Sunday is a special day in Argentina. The schedules, which are confounding to any North American Monday through Saturday, become, if possible, more illogical on Sunday. On Sunday, the bank machines run out of cash, the restaurants run out of food, and even the stray dogs seem to have abandoned the street. We managed to accertain the opening time of a restaurant that sold empanadas and pizza and went there for dinner. The place was small and on top of the menu was written in ink ¨buenos suente¨or good luck. Did this mean good luck not getting food poisoning? Good luck picking the items on the menu that we actually have was closer to the truth. There were 10 kinds of empanadas on the menu but only 3 were available. 6 kinds of wine but only two available. After we ordered our pizza we were informed that there was no ham and would chicken be okay instead. At some point in the evening the waiter disappeared and we were left, sans bill, sitting at the table for almost half an hour. This is typical in Argentina. This morning when we tried to buy our bus ticket to Purmamarca the employee had abandoned the ticket window. Anybody who prays for patience in their daily lives should buy a plane ticket to Argentina.
Today, Marie-Claude and I went to Purmamarca and saw the seven coloured mountain (a rather small hump with some rather impressive striations. As we stepped off the collectivo into the dusty street of the the town we were accosted by offers of tours to the Salina Grandes. We were a bit dubious but reserved a place (for 5 pesos) in a car for that afternoon. We half believed that we would never see that 5 pesos again or that we would be taken to the middle of nowhere and robbed. We asked at the tourist office if it was a legitimate company and the woman there said yes, my brother works there... At 2 pm all our fears were allayed. The car was modern and clean and there were two other guys aboard. We drove a sinuous paved road up the mountainside to 4170m before the Salinas Grandes opened before us.
The Salinas Grandes are a salt desert. The mountains give way to a perfectly flat plain of salt, which is harvested in small pools. It was quite a spectacular sight.
I bought my bus ticket to Bolivia today. Tomorrow I will cross the border at La Quiaca and hopefully catch a bus to Uyuni.
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