05 October 2013

Day 9--Travel to Salta

Yesterday we bid farewell to the amazing Iguazu Falls and headed further west, to the colonial city of Salta.  On our flight, the captain made a brief diversion to fly right over the falls, which was amazing, except for the annoying French woman running around the plane to get pictures.  The captain said that only 3 or 4 times a year could he do that because of the clouds that form from the falls themselves, so we were quite lucky.

Unfortunately I purchased airplane tickets that are for Argentine residents only and we were fined rather heavily...that put a bit of a damper on the day but we will get over it...

Salta is at the base of the foothills that eventually become the Andes Mountains...it is definitely drier and the forecast often mentions 'Blowing Dust' but the temperatures are quite pleasant, 60s during the day and 40 at night.

We are here mostly for the tentpole excursion of our vacation, Tren a las Nubes, or Train to the Clouds.  It is currently Saturday morning and after a 5.55am wake up call we are now on the train for the all day trek up the mountains, but I will write all about that in the next post. 

Knowing we had an early start we had an early evening, and again found some pasta for dinner.  This part of the country is best known for its empanadas so we tried the cheese ones which were homemade and recently baked with a tender lightly charred top and filled with cheese and some finely diced peppers and we sort of wished we had ordered more.  Then the pasta, I didn't choose well and had Ñoqui con crema, which is gnocchi in a basic flavorless cream sauce...I think the waiter asked in Spanish if I didn't want something else in it but not quite understanding I declined.  It was filling but boring.  My friend, meanwhile, tried a new dish that we aren't sure the name of but it was basically little pasta purses (much bigger than tortellini) stuffed with minced beef and oregano, covered in a Bolognese sauce that was really not a sauce at all but minced beef simmered all day with carrots, peppers, onions, celery, and just a bit of tomato.  She finished her meal very quickly.  Washed down with a quarter liter of house white wine and a third liter of the local brew, our bill came to a staggering US$19 with tax and tip.

A quick stop for some ice cream (US$0.95 for a one scoop cone) and we were off to bed...

Pictures return tomorrow from our excursion to the Andes!