Salta is the largest town in North Argentina. It attracts tourists due to it’s large concentration of colonial architecture. It’s a pretty place and we also found an amazing vegetarian restaurant, a welcome break to the normal food you can find in Argentina. The other major attraction in Argentina is the MAAM, a high mountain archaeological museum which was created after the discovery of 3 Inca child mummies on Llullaillco, the 3rd highest active volcano. They were discovered by French climbers in 1999. The museum displays the mummies on rotation. When we visited it was the boy, they display them in a special cabinet designed to preserve them. It’s quite eerie how well preserved they are and an interesting insight into Inca culture. The museum is fairly small but it does have a small bit of other information on Inca culture and also other local discoveries.
North of Salta the region has really interesting geological formations, there are numerous ravines with multi coloured hills in a desert setting. It makes for a really dramatic landscape driving along winding roads. We stopped in a town called Quebrada de Humahuaca, it’s a small market town and feels a lot closer to Bolivia or Peru with a large indigenous population and traditional Andean foods. We spent a couple of days hiking the dramatic landscape as well as taking a scenic drive out to Iruya, a small town set in the remote countryside. The roads are long and windy up and over multiple hills, it’s a beautiful drive. Unfortunately when we arrived we noticed that we were missing our license plate so the entire drive back we spent scouring the ground to see where it’d fallen off, we managed to find several license plates, but not our own! As usual it came at the worst time as we had planned to cross the border to Bolivia the next day. Our bike is Chilean, meaning we can only actually get genuine plates in Chile, and then according to friends you have to visit the Aduna in person with all your details and they order you one which arrives in approx 2 months time – we had no intention of driving back to Chile to get plates and wait 2 months for them to arrive so we went to the police office with a sob story and got them to write us a note which we hoped would enable us to cross to Bolivia. When we actually made the border we needn’t have worried however as they looked at the bike through the window and didn’t even notice the missing license plate.