Friday, 4 May 2007

Saliñas Grandes

Our first major weekend trip was a roadtrip/ tour around the saliñas north of Salta. Our guide/driver Sergio was very knowledgeable about the area telling about all sorts of stuff from local geography and religion to agribusiness while negotiating the roads for 10-12 hours.
First stop was Purmamarca and the seven coloured mountain: a very cute little town in some very spectacular scenery. The adobe architecture with thick walls is characteristic of the area to protect against the extremes of temperature experienced between day and night.

From here we climbed about 2000m to cross up onto the altiplano a high altitude plain that resembles a desert.

The saliñas are huge salt flats. They are still used to mine salt by collectives of indigenous people as they have been doing since the times of the Incas. Sadly their health and welfare has changed little since then either. Inspite this harsh environment they can't afford to change to methods that would protect them better from eye and skin disease from the extreme sun exposure. On a lighter note the scenery is mind bendingly spectacular.

We saw our first herds of llamas and vicunas this day too.

We came back via the mining town of San Antonio de los Cobres. The sort of place you wouldn't be surprised to see tumbleweeds blowing towards you like in the movies.

From here we came down the valley famous for the Tren de los Nubes (Train to the Clouds) stopping at the important pre-incan ruins of Tastil.

To see more photos go to our photogallery


At 17 June 2007 at 01:41 , Blogger Kate said...

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At 17 June 2007 at 01:45 , Blogger Kate said...

Fantastic photos! What a scenic place!!


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