Wow, what a change! I left Bolivia yesterday and entered Argentina. It is strikingly different. Everywhere there are expensive cars, expensive shops, fancy houses and fancy clothes. I feel like I´ve gone from Leeds to London. With the only difference being that everyone here is more cheerful, not less.
I´ve spent most of this morning wandering around the shops. I´ve never before understood the attraction of a high street, but after two months of not seeing a shop that sells anything other than Alpaca jumpers or a can of coke, I was actually quite excited. The urge to go inside and buy stuff was strong! Unfortunately (or thankfully) I have no space in my rucksack.
I´m in Salta at the moment and it feels very European. Almost everyone speaks Spanish in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, but I never once felt I was anywhere near Spain. Here is different. I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw a signpost for Madrid or Barcelona. And it is much more exciting here. There is so much to do and see. I´m not sure if its a good thing, but there is absolutely no need to use your imagination to be entertained. I like it. It´s easy. Bolivia has been my favourite country so far, but Argentina could beat it. Albeit for totally different reasons. And I really hate to say it, but after spending two months with the Andean people and very few travellers it is great to see attractive women. Everywhere!
The downside is that everything is much more expensive. Two nights ago I was staying in the best hotel in Tupiza with a swimming pool, games room and my own room with en suite. All for the equivalent of 7 pounds. The same amount here gets me a bunk bed in a dorm in a ‘rustic’ B&B.
But perhaps the very best thing about Argentina is being able to go to the toilet in comfort! Although admittedly I was getting quite skilled at being able to use one foot to hold the door shut, one foot to hold open the pedal bin, one hand to hold my nose and the other to do the necessary! I´ll leave you with that thought..