Our last day-and-a-half was spent in Tucumán. Well, it was actually a couple of days, but a lack of sleep on the overnight bus from Córdoba (because of a lying ticket agent’s description of the seat) meant that I crashed out as soon as we got to our room and we lost half a day before we could get out and about to get acquainted with the city.
The fact that it was where Argentina’s independance was declared not only makes it a very important city in Argentina, but also determined much of the sightseeing we’d do during our time there. The most signifigant being the Casa de la Independencia and the cathedral. We also noted during our first stroll through the city that the siesta here was more obvious than any of the other cities we’d visited previously. All of the shops closed and the streets were deserted for a few hours. But considering that the suburbs are only 8 blocks away from the city’s main square – yet another Plaza Independencia – everyone must’ve gone home to sleep.
Randomly it seems to be a city of fitness freaks. We saw even more gyms, yoga, pilates and dance studios than we did in Buenos Aires. On our first afternoon we passed what looked like a standard South American old and slightly tired café – populated mainly with unhealthy men in their 60s smoking and drinking coffee. The big difference between this and most other cafés was that the back wall was made of glass and behind it was a huge gym full of far healthier people working out. The contrast was very strange.
After Córdoba, Tucumán wasn’t quite as attractive – even though there were pretty orange trees everywhere. So a day and a half was about enough for us and we were looking forward to getting back into the countryside for a week-or-so.
I was supposed to be writing the next blog post a week from now about our journey through Tucumán and then through a few of the towns in the hills to the west. We were supposed to leave Tucumán for Tafí del Valle today to then head on to Cafayate, to drink some more wine (Torrontés this time), to visit the Quilmes ruins, and to spend some time trekking in the hills, quad biking and driving around the Quebrada.
That was the plan, but this morning we arrived at Tucumán bus station to be told that the road to Tafí del Valle and onward to Cafayate wasn’t passable because of ice on the road. After a couple of days in Tucumán we didn’t want to stay any longer. We decided to accept that were going to have to miss almost a weeks worth of plans in northern Argentina and that we’d be arriving in Bolivia a little earlier than we thought. Not too much of a problem, as we’ve heard so many great things about it. Within a couple of minutes, we had the guide book out, checked the map, decided that the next stop would now be Salta and bought our tickets. We found the bus and a few minutes later we were on our way.
So, a short post and not so many pictures this time. It’s amazing how quickly plans can change.