I can be short about Tucuman: the hostel sucked, the town was too hot and there wasn't much to do during the day. This was basically a stop-over town on my way to the parks of Ishigualasto (also known as Valle de la Luna) and Talampaya. It was a bit of a challenge finding out how to get there from Tucuman. But finally I found out: take an overnight bus to La Rioja
, then take the bus to San Agustin del Valle Fertil, the town I was going to stay. Simple enough. So there I was, at 5 in the morning at the bus terminal of La Rioja. My bus would leave at noon, so I had about 7 hours to kill. First job: get a busticket. So I ask the tourist information office (have we heard this before?) which boleteria I should buy the ticket, when the guy there says that I can catch a bus to a different town nearby in AN HOUR.
From there I could just get a combi to Valle Fertil. I look at my travel dictionary: combi = long distance bus. Wow, that's sounds perfect. I look at the map and it seems like the town he's telling me to go to is quite a long way out of the way. So I ask him like five times: "are you sure
? there is really
a bus? ..etc.." yes, yes, blah blah blah. Ok, so I hop on the bus drive past the town I thought I should be getting out, drive for another 120 km and finally get out where the guy told me to get out.
Hmm, where are we now? Tiny little town, no bus station and after asking around it turns out that there is ONE bus a day at 4 in the afternoon. Sigh. So I try a little hitchhiking. Hmm, one car every 15 minutes, all going to the nature park, not where I have to go.
Anyway, to cut a long story short: I ended up paying 150 pesos (i.e. a fortune) to take a combi (= really a minibus used for tours through the park) back to the place I thought I should be getting out the bus, only to wait for another 2 hours for the bus I would have taken directly from La Rioja... So much for my believe in the tourist information offices.
The next day was another early morning and a visit to both parks. This made it all worthwhile! Amazing scenery with weirdly shapes rock formations, (again) multi-colored mountains, a 180 m deep canyon with completely smooth vertical walls, echos that keep on coming back to you and beautiful vistas. Who cares that you have to spend another 12 hours in a bus for it?
Luckily, the ride out towards San Juan and subsequently Mendoza went a lot smoother. I'd love to tell you more about Mendoza and my hike in the Andes, but it's time for me to prepare some dinner. It is dinner time after all at 22:45. I will try to not keep you waiting as long for the next update.I LOVE TRAVELLING!