Wednesday, September 28, 2011

First impressions of Argentina

This is going to be my 101 post so I proud I got to this point on the road and on the blog I hope you are all enjoying it.

With auto insurances in hand, car permission and passports stamped it was time to see what everyone was taking about it. First thing we notice was the nice paved road, which was a nice change from Bolivia but thats not what stuck out the most not the stunning views of the land but the lack of garbage on the road and street signs. We haven't see this many signs since we entered Mexico, was definitely a nice change not having to ask people at every road turn. When we got to Tilcara, it was apparent this country was going to be alot different than the rest of Latin America. 8 pm and its dark and this tinny town was just alive with action, restaurants open bars full street lights, alot different from most of Latin America when darkness falls almost everything is closed only in the large city centres. As we drive in town we see a tourist info office still open at this hour and got info on where to eat in town and sites to check out.

smooth cruising in Argentina
Now at this time we are starving and check out the restaurant recommended on some back street but was very warm and inviting from the out side in. First thing Ji, tells me is we have to try the empanadas, little stuffed backed pastries of meat, cheese or veggies. I could eat these things all day and not get tired at just under a buck each. After dinner it was time to find a place to rest so we checked out the camp ground in the tour book, they wanted $10 for the night to camp which would have been ok if we didn't read about travelers resting at gas stations in Argentina and we notice on the main road. YPF gas station I asked a worker if we could spend the night, he told me "its fine just no tent please" like we're going pitch our tent in gas station LOL. We got the ready for bed and when Ji, came back from the washroom she tells me they have showers so it was perfect place to rest a night the showers were coin operated for only .50 cents for 8 minutes.

empanadas yummy

clean restrooms, hot showers, food all day plus free to sleep YPF rocks
 Next morning we saw the town during the day and had breakfast at the YPF gas station before heading for Jujuy hoping to find a new tire. We made a stop at Purmamarca to see the seven color mountain with shades of terracotta to green tones. When we arrived in Jujuy just after lunch all the tire shops in town were on siesta (still not use to these 5 hour lunch breaks). So we decided to do as the locals do and visited a restaurant across from the tire shop that was serving up bife de lomo (fillet steak) we waited anticipating a juicy Argentinean steak what we got was a tough piece of meet that the local street dogs got to enjoy disappointed to say the least, the steaks cost us about 6.50 usd each. We did how ever got to talk with some local drunks in the place as we waited for the tire shops to open.

5:00 rolls around and we start getting quotes for tires of the 3 shops Firestone was the cheapest we payed just over $300 usd for 2 new tires and plus we picked up a Firestone road map of Argentina showing all roads and campsites very detail map recommend to anyone traveling Argentina by car $10 because we got the 2010 edition.  Funny thing when they removed the spare tire I changed they told me one of the bolts was lose which explained the rattle noise on corners from the rear. With 2 new front tires next is Salta, things are looking better. 

this piece of meet was tougher than leather