Jun 292014

We did so much over this one weekend it is hard to remember the order of things.  I believe it was Saturday when we had lunch and watched Argentina play Iran in the World Cup.  The restaurant was full and everyone was focused on the game.  It was a nail biting match until finally at the very last minute the Argentine futbol hero Messi # 10 scored the winning goal and the entire room was jubilant.  There have been more jubilant moments over Messi since then as the World Cup continues.

Group shot on the way to PumamarcaOf course we did some shopping at the local outdoor market that is so amazingly colorful.  I bought the customary llama wool sweater and some other things for friends and family.

The market in Pumamarca

Late on Saturday we also went to Salinas Grandas a truly amazing site especially for someone who spent the last three decades selling sodium bicarbonate.  This sodium is far easier to access as it is an open plain of salt, stretching for miles in each direction.   Evidently it was an ancient sea with water now trapped below the surface as well.  During the summer a rainy season January and February, remember we are upside down, I was told the surface actually floods and people walk across it like Christ.  I may be just and easy mark and gullible, or maybe my understanding of Spanish is really bad but this is a lot of salt and I can believe that is possible.  We took some fun photos here and thankfully the sun was out, because without it I believe this place may have been rather bleak.  Remember we are in a high desert so while the sun was out, it was quiet warm, but windy on this open plain.  When we returned to Tilcara however, the temperatures began to plummet and I dressed in my down coat for our outdoor dinner.  Sabrina the school director and tour guide made homemade pizzas in an outdoor horno or oven.  Even though it was rather a chilly night the oven, the pizza and the camaraderie made it warm.

Barbara holding Delia up on the salt flats

On Sunday morning most of us slept later, till about 9 and after breakfast packed up for our final day and trip to Salta.  It was a really long ride through the mountains, but the scenery really began to change and suddenly we  moved out of the dry naked mountains into lush, forested terrain, on a switchbacks going up and coming down on precariously narrow roads with bridges restricted to one vehicle at a time.

Silva de Norte

Salta is another city, with a main square which unfortunately was being renovated and surrounded by tarp.  We walked around it nonetheless passing the cathedral where some type of celebration was being prepared to the other side where a demonstration was being held demanding better pay and living conditions for teachers in the area.  One woman was quiet dramatic, crying and screaming her complaints as most other protesters, passersby, and police ignored her pain.  It was really strange.  We did not do much in Salta but had lunch again, Italian fare this time, and did some more shopping.  We then headed to the bus terminal to watch the US play Portugal and wait to travel back to Cordoba.  A long trip home but shorter than the trip up with no stops arriving in Cordoba at 7 Monday morning

I’d like to say I went to work on Monday, but I did not.  I came home and slept for a few hours.  Well rested to begin a new work week on Tuesday.


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