It's hard to describe how massive Argentina really is, without having had taken buses all across this country...I guess we're semi used to it, but it's really starting to catch up to me, especially in the legs and back. Sleeping on an overnight bus, sure, it saves you money on accommodation, and that's very important on a trip like this, but it sometimes is really not fun.
We left Iguazu at 9pm on Thursday, the 23rd of January, heading to Resistencia, about 10 hours away. This was the only way available at that particular moment. Once in Resistencia, we'd wait at their bus terminal all day, just about, before boarding another bus from there to Salta, about 12 more hours, that night.
From Iguazu to Resistencia, we took 'Andesmar's' shittiest bus to date, which was cheap, but very tiny, uncomfortable seats. We were graced with "The Last Stand," Arnold Schwarzenegger's latest action flick to keep us entertained.
Our connecting bus the next night in Resistencia was "La Veloz del Norte," where we had a 'cama' seat downstairs, right next to the air conditioning motor, that sounded like a 747 jet, all night, not to mention it was pouring rain outside, and the bus was leaking everywhere...
Not to sound like a whiner, we made it, and arrived in Salta at 6am, to a bus terminal full of sleeping backpackers, scattered all about the floor. We did the same. We were exhausted, especially after not sleeping much, we rolled out the sleeping mats and went back to bed. Woke up at about 9:30, and walked 7 blocks in the pouring rain, to our hostel for the next couple days, "Ferien Haus."
Our first experience of Salta was quite a mix of other places put together. Really a beautiful layout of the city, filled with churches and architecture resembling something similar to Cusco and Sucre, Boliva mixed together. Met some other cool backpackers, and after 3 nights, decided to book it across the north section of Argentina, back into Chile. We weren't at all looking forward to Chile, again, but we've got just about 5 weeks left of our trip, and ultimately need to be in Lima.
With a couple hundred Argentine pesos left, we needed to stock up on a few things...Mate. 2 and a half kilos to be exact, and I needed to buy a gourd for myself, as I had gotten Danica one for Christmas, in El Bolson. I made a quick run to the grocery store, stocked up on the mate and some cheap snacks for the road, and then walked to the main square and picked up a little Mate gourd and straw. We have gotten pretty addicted to this stuff to say the least. Haven't had a cup of coffee in who knows how long...
Our bus out, was to be Andesmar, overnight, leaving Salta at 1am, and arriving in Iquique the next day at 6pm. We stayed at the hostel til' the last possible minute, and at midnight, still pouring rain, the phone lines were down, so I went out into the soaking wet, to try and flag down a cab. Finally located a passing cab, and he took me back to the hostel and waited outside while we gathered our stuff and brought it out.
It was bittersweet...I, especially, was not ready to leave Argentina. I've really taken a liking to this country, and especially missed Patagonia! There's always next time!