After Tucuman we borrowed Lonely Planet and after some reading decided to go to the highlands. The secret agent told us Tafi del Valle was the most beautiful place he had seen. It was nice. Although the hostel was not. But the landscape is really unusual and beautiful. We spent a day looking for some horses to rent, but did not find any. We did find some local beer however.
Next day we went with very scenic bus over a pass to another Valle on the other side. The sign “Welcome to the best climate on Earth” welcomed us. What a place! The have very tasty wine, nice colorful landscape and almost no rain the whole year. And supposedly also wild pumas. From Cafayate we did the one day touristy tourist trip to see all the rock formations and different colors of the landscape. Stunning, just wait for the pictures.
Going to Salta we decided to hitch-hike. The first hour and half nobody stopped. Everybody was indicating, that they go just around the corner or were full (including a motorbike with the whole family). A stylish Argentinian grandma with SUV took us. On the way we overtook just about everybody who did not stop to take us. She said, she almost newer took hitchhikers because they all have dreadlocks and tattoos. We almost had not hitchhiked in Argentina before. Match. We reached Salta in about 2 hours, so even with the waiting time it was faster that a bus.
Salta is quite an urban center. They have a party street, roughly the equivalent of Stodolní. Except for the timing: it starts at 11pm and ends any time after 6am depending on the place (some go up to 10am, but they said they can do this only by bribing and good connections with local mafia). Anyway it was fun. Especially watching the locals, how they dress.
The next day we spent mostly bus hopping with hangover. We stayed for the night in Humahuaca. Nice place, although we spent ages trying to find a decent place to eat. Either too classy or too … dirty. After watching the sunrise at the Monument de la Independencia we set off to Bolivia, which is just around the corner, but worlds apart at the same time.