19 – 24 August
Instead of staying on the bus all the way to Salta I decide to get off in a place called Jujuy – quite a bad idea as it turns out. Jujuy is not exactly attractive and has absolutely nothing to offer to travelers. The hostel I try to approach does not even exist anymore and in addition to all that, it is cloudy and thus unusually cold (about 8 degrees Celsius throughout the day and even colder at night of course).
When catching a bus to Salta the next day, I am shocked to find out how expensive buses are in Argentina and I once more wonder why I did not just stay on the bus to Salta (that I already paid for) in the first place. Anyway, when I arrive in Salta I decide right away that I like this city way better than Jujuy as it is a sunny Sunday and the park that I pass on the way to my hostel is packed with people hanging out and enjoying their day off. The vibe is very appealing and my first impression quite good.
I use the afternoon to walk up to a viewpoint overlooking the entire city and come across a street as well as a hostel with my name. Somehow, it really feels like being in a different and maybe more modern country. Not only because the buses are much more expensive but also because the houses look quite western, the roads are very good, tips are expected (in restaurants and for putting my bags on and off the bus) and people hang out in parks, drinking their own drinks, having BBQs or smoking a shisha (in most of the other South American countries I could not even find any parks – only beautiful plazas). I heard many good things about Argentina and actually met very nice Argentineans on my travels so I am happy and excited to be here and look forward to explore and to get to know this country and it’s culture in the upcoming weeks.
Ludi (from France), Al (from England) and I get to know each other at the hostel, playing cards and tasting the local beer. We decide to take off together in order to check out a lake in the area. We start with a nice fish for lunch before approaching the lake. The water looks very inviting from a distance but when we get closer we find some terribly polluted shores as there is so much rubbish everywhere. It hits me very hard and really shocks me everytime again when I realize how many people don’t give a damn about our environment and just leave their rubbish wherever they feel like. For good reasons we decide not to go for a swim but to walk around the lake for a while and to sit down at some point to chill out for a bit before heading back to Salta. Eventhough the three of us all had pictured something different in a way, it still turns out to be a good day.