20.05.2011 - 27.05.2011 21 °C
It's Tuesday 24th May. After weeks of coughing and generally feeling a bit rubbish but valiantly trying not to let it get her down, Noush has been to the doctors and been told she has bronchitis. Luckily we had checked out of our hostel in Salta (more later) yesterday and into this gorgeous B&B Casa Hernandez. Run by a very cool Dutch couple, Alex and Rjikje, who have opened the kind of guesthouse, home from home, that Noush and I have talked of running one day. Rjikje kindly escorted Noush to the doctor this morning too so we could make sure she didn't end up with the wrong kind of medicine.
So for the last two days we have done almost nothing - it's been great. I have started and finished a book, written postcards, sat in the garden and Noush has slept a lot. We have drunk lots of tea and a bit of wine last night with the other couple who are staying at the moment. With Nick's help we have rerouted our trip a bit to accomodate recovery and rest and not too much strenuous activity as Noush's lungs are a bit shot. Plenty of "tranky tranky' to restore our "ying yang" as Alex would say. And - let's get this over and done with so any horrified people can get over it - we are no longer hiking the Inca Trail - we will be getting a train to Machu Picchu.
Our guesthouse is 5 miles outside of Salta - a lovely city in NW Argentina. Full of ornate churches - more theatre or wedding cake than places of worship. It's main square is full of orange trees and fountains and lights - it's quite enchanted.
Great restaurants and the second best steak that we've had in Argentina. We booked into a hostel that came highly recommended on websites which left us pretty perplexed.....check out our bathroom!
Ah the glamour - not even a shower curtain! However we met some lovely people there and all shared stories of dread about crossing the Bolivian border and getting stuck in Villazon or worse having to get a bus form there as you can't get on a train. We are now flying to Sucre in Bolivia from Salta. Infact we are avoiding the infamously awful buses in Bolivia altogether and I don't feel bad about that one bit.
Speaking of buses though - we really lucked out on overnight bus from Cordoba to Salta. We got a blanket and pillow, an almost entirely reclining seat (intentionally this time), a Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz film (OK - pretty ropey, but in English and it worked the whole way through) AND a tray of food....consisting of:
a brown crustless cheese and ham sandwich
a white crustless cheese and ham sandwich
a sweet swiss roll containing ham and cheese
a chocolate biscuit and a carton of orange juice. And we ate the lot!! My organic, fair trade standards are on the floor!!
And we are clearly not on a health kick - in fact we have decided it's basically impossible here. Check out Noush's iced coffee......
We'll be at Casa Hernandez for a few more days before heading a bit further north to see some more of the natural wonders that NW Argentina has to offer.
Ciao for now