02.02.2013 - 02.02.2013
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This morning Martin picked us up at 9am to head for Salta for the night. It was only about 150 km but would take us 4 hours. We were in for another morning of spectacular scenery. The weather turned on another great day and we had a great view of the mountains. We headed just out of Salta to get a picture across to the snow.
We then headed into Los Cardones National Park. This national park is named after the Cardoon Cactus. They were everywhere.
They only grow at a certain altitude. We stopped to have a wander around the cactus.
On our way back Shane was about to walk right where there was a snake. I didn’t get a picture as I was more interested in getting back to the car. As soon as we told Martin he was pretty excited and jumped out of the car to go and have a look. He reported back that it wasn’t poisonous.
We continued driving through the national park until we reached Piedra del Molina, the highest point at 3457 metres above sea level. The view was lovely, Martin had said that quite often this point is covered in cloud and you can’t see a thing.
There was also a little chapel up there called San Rafael.
We then headed out of the national park along the Cuesta del Obispo. This is a 21 km mountain road built between 1928 and 1931. We stopped to take a look at most of the road that was ahead of us, it was pretty windy and all dirt.
We were thankful that the weather had been good as there were still some small rock falls that we had to go around. Martin had said that it is pretty dangerous in wet weather.
We finally got to the end of this road only to find yet more colourful scenery.
We arrived in Salta just before 1pm. Salta is located in the Lerma Valley at 1,152 metres above sea level at the foot of the Andes Mountains. Salta was founded in 1582 by the Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma, who intended the settlement to be an outpost between Lima, Peru and Buenos Aires.
We checked into our hotel that is not far from the 9 de Julio main square and headed off to get some lunch. We found a place that did empanadas and we got a variety of cheese, chicken and meat. Empanadas are a bit like cocktail pasties but the dough is different. They are really yummy. We then had a walk around the main square to look at the Salta Cathedral.
There were some old colonial type buildings all around the square.
At 4pm Martin picked us up to show us around a bit more. He took us to the San Bernardo Convent,
San Francisco Church
and we then headed up the San Bernardo Hill to get a view of Salta.
We are heading out again tomorrow but will be back in Salta again in a couple of day’s time.