As we leave Argentina there are so many things we are thankful to have been able to experience and that we know we are going to miss.
dulce de leche
Most of all we’ll miss the Argentinian people who were always friendly, patient with my bad Spanish, helpful, and welcoming. We’ll miss Argentina, but I know we’ll be back.
Next stop is Chicago to visit friends, family and attend our nephew Matt and his fiance Melissa’s wedding. I’ve also challenged Jeff to a White Castle slider eating contest. I’m pretty sure I know who’s going to win.
I’m relieved and happy to report that we really love the city of Salta and plan to stay for awhile. After dragging all our suitcases onto the wrong bus to Salta, I really don’t want to go anywhere else for awhile.
Here is my top ten list of what I love about Salta:
1. Beautiful City – there are colonial buildings, parks with palm trees and mountains in the distance.
2. Amazing apartment – I’m sure hardcore travelers/expats can live anywhere, but we’re not hardcore. We need a nice place with the internet, a couch, and big bed. We got so lucky with the apartment we’re renting. It has all those things and an amazing deck with a jacuzzi.
3. Nice people – the people here are super friendly and patient with my lack of Spanish. The cheek kiss is popular. I find myself cheek kissing 2-3 people a day. (not including Jeff).
4. Small city feel. There are 500,000 people here, but horse drawn carts still go down our street. This one unfortunately had a megaphone.
5. Empanadas (and other delicious foods)
6. Good cycling for Jeff -Jeff’s found a great group of guys to ride with.
7. Yerba Mate – we see the gourds everywhere and bags of it sold at the grocery stores. I bought some in tea bags to start. Tastes good but leaves a nasty green ring in the cup.
8. Interesting cultural stuff – honestly, we haven’t done anything cultural yet. But here’s a guy just hanging out in a full gaucho outfit talking to someone on a bike. I’m sure he’s dressed up for a tourist activity, but you have to love the pants.
9. Wine – The town of Salta is in the province of Salta which is known for high altitude wine. So far all the wine we’ve tried from this area has been good. We’re hoping to do some trips out to the vineyards soon.
10. Three alfajores for a peso – How can you not love a town where the bakery down the street sells 3 alfajores (two shortbread cookies with dulce de leche in between) for a peso, the equivalent of a quarter. And, the nice older couple that own the store talk to me in Spanish every time I go in.
What I don’t like about Salta:
1. Rain – turns out January and February are the rainy season. Seems like we left Seattle’s rainy winter to go to Salta’s rainy summer. Ironic isn’t it?
2. Lack of Veggie Variety – this idea of eating what’s local is great until you actually are in a place where you can only get local vegetables. I dream of a produce aisle filled with vegetables shipped in from all over the world, carbon footprint be damned.
3. Lack of good coffee – there are lots of places to go out and get good coffee, very hard to buy good beans in the grocery stores. Instant and robusto beans yes, Arabica not so much.
Luckily, the dislike list is short, and who knows, dislike #3 might just get us to switch to yerba mate full time.
After almost a month in Buenos Aires we finally mastered the local bus system. We caught the correct bus going the correct way and got to the Recoleta cemetery in 5 minutes.
This cemetery is as beautiful as the other one we visited. There are amazing tombs with incredible statues. This one, however, is smack dab in the middle of the Recoleta neighborhood, so it’s surrounded by tall, modern buildings.
The entire cemetery is interesting, but the most famous person buried there, at least for us American tourists, is Evita Peron. We wandered around in the searing heat looking for her tomb. I assumed it would be grand, with giant statues and overflowing with flowers and admirers. Turns out her tomb is quite simple. Her family’s crypt is in the middle of a long row or other tombs. The flowers and smattering of other tourists were the things that kept us from walking right by.
Afterward, we stopped for coffee and alfajores (sandwich cookie filled with dulce de leche). While Evita’s tomb was smaller than I expected, the coffee and dulce de leche lived up to expectations.