A Guide for these Mountains
Marcelo Zambrano is a guide living in Salta who delights in showing people out-of-the-way corners of the province of Salta, ranging from the high mountains to the cloudforests and canyons. You will need some Spanish to communicate more effectively but he is happy to help you meet interesting people, find archaeological sites, hike into hidden valleys, or study the flora and fauna of this incredible region..
Salta was our first stop in Argentina, but that`s forgetting the very unforgettable border crossing from Bolivia. A rainy, miserable border post if I ever saw one. We were sad to leave Bolivia after so long but happy to be arriving in Argentina - maybe one of my most eagerly awaited South American countries due to the allure of steaks and football.
We arrived in Argentina`s northern city of Salta at 4:30am on a sunday- not an ideal time to arrive anywhere but we were pleasantly surprised. At this ungodly hour, a lovely man in a penguin suit brought us a delicious jug of fresh orange juice and as the day broke and light hit, we looked outside and realised we had really left Andean life behind us and possibly fast forwarded in time by several decades. After Bolivia and it`s 5% of paved roads, we looked out to a modern looking, manicured city. People were pouring home from nights out, girls in little dolly outfits and the bus station itself was huge and very modern. It really was worlds apart from Peru and Bolivia.
After a rest, we hit the town and soon got to grips with Argentina`s cafe culture. Fresh coffee and enpanadas (yes, more south american pasty treats) did the trick and we continued to wander the pretty streets.
We didnt do a great deal during our stay here. The one thing we wanted to do (the train ride to the clouds) wasn`t available - too dangerous and had been closed apparently. So instead we ate amazing steaks, drank lots of good coffee and generally wandered aroung - me in particular looking in lots of shop windows at lots of nice, cheap clothes. After slumming it in the mountains and not giving a toss about what I looked like, I was quite startled to be confronted with such beautiful women who are the Argentinians. I vowed to do some shopping and soon. .....