(Here’s the last set of pics and narrative from our long trip to Salta.)
Following our big trip up to Socompa we headed back to Salta, following the same incredible road. We were able to stop in the “Colorado” area and took some amazing pictures. Along the way we saw more vicuna and then some (likely domesticated) llamas. In the pictures you will see an ironic one depicting the “shrine” for Pachimama (goddess of safe travel in the puna) with the pick-up truck in the background getting its flat tire changed. Back in Salta we spent two more nights at the La Selva Lodge in San Lorenzo to clean the dust off ourselves (and the final ticks?) and a little birdwatching. Then we moved to a hotel in the city center and enjoyed Salta’s colorful churches (one of which contains a sign admonishing visitors NOT to use holy water for witchcraft) and a visit to a museum in the former home of Pajarito Velarde (one of Salta’s most famous and flashier citizens and author of various well-known salsas and tangos). The highlight of the trip was a visit to the ‘High Altitude Anthropology Museum’ which displayed one of the mummified Inca children that was found at >20,000 feet on one of the volcanoes we had passed by two days earlier. But no pictures were allowed. We also had a fun evening at a “peña”, sort of a dinner theater with Argentinian folk music and dancing (I got a chance to don a gaucho hat and join in) . We then flew to Mendoza and boarded the overnight bus back to Bariloche. Full pics HERE.