Our final day of the road trip started off with a bit of relief as left the odd town of Purmamarca, heading for the hills and beyond to Salinas Grandes. We were soon climbing sharply up the twisty mountain roads, affording us great views of Purmamarca in the valley below. Unfortunately, we were actually climbing quite rapidly, and while Eddie’s stomach had finally recovered, Rita experienced some intense altitude sickness.
Making it to the top, we grabbed some coca candies and descended quickly, providing relief to Rita. Pretty soon we could see the telltale signs of the salt flats, glowing white in the road behind us. It was really cool to be able to get out of the car, wander to the middle of the road, and get some awesome shots.
Stopping at one of the “must” tourist spots, we tried some pretty terrible llama empanadas and got the requisite salt lama shots. Further along, we found a deserted place to pull over, and had lots of fun trying to take more jumping shots and playing in the gorgeous salt pools. We wandered over to the next overcrowded tourist spot, paid to use the washroom and wash the salt off, and headed back towards Salta.
We ended up back in Purmamarca in time for lunch, which took considerably longer than expected due to the fact that no one really seemed to want to serve us, but somehow we ended up in “the best restaurant in town”, according to the chef and his self-boasting TripAdvisor reviews. The llama ravioli was actually pretty awesome, although Rita wasn’t quite as convinced on her quinoa pasta. Which was really just pasta stuffed with quinoa.
Moving on again from the strange town, we drove back in to Salta, ran around town doing errands, and collapsed into bed around 1am. Marieke and I could only find bus tickets back to Mendoza for the following day, so found a new hostel, picked up our laundry (!), and bade farewell to Rita and Eddie, forever our Northern Argentina road trip buddies. Thank you guys for such an awesome time!
After an eventful four days we were planning on taking it easy, but it turned out to be asado (with free wine!) night at the hostel, so pretty soon it was midnight and we were planning on heading out on the town. That turned out to be ambitious when the streets literally turned into waterways, and we determined that unless we had kayaks, we were staying put. After a super fun night we retired at 2am, about four hours earlier than everyone else….yet another night in Argentina!
Collection of our last day of our road trip below: