Saturday, February 13, 2010
ARGENTINA: A LITTLE SALT WITH YOUR FRIES?
Yup, you're looking at a heckuva lot of salt. This salt plain is en route to the Humahuaca gorge and the famous Seven-Colored mountain. It goes as far in all directions and is twelve feet deep. The miners who carve the blocks straight down are on a day off. So, aside from salt shakers, where does all this stuff go?
Into bricks. That's right. Salt bricks. Up close, they look like this:
"What would you use salt bricks for?" I hear you say. "I mean, you can't built anything out of salt." Think again. Except for the roof, an entirely salt-brick building:
As you might guess, it's a little lonely in these parts. This is the diner in the biggest town around.
And these are the local llamas. The farmers put ribbons in their coats to tell which herds they belong to.
And this is a dog chasing the 4 x 4 after 30 seconds. We were clocking 60 mph!
Say, did I mention it might get lonely around here? Take a look at the home down there. Maybe this is why ghosts and visions feature so heavily in Argentinian fiction.
I must say, this would make a nice writer's retreat, though.
BTW, as mentioned in an earlier post, Daniel and I absolutely loved our driver/guide Pablo. On ten-hour drives it´s nice to have a guide who -- in addition to having encyclopedic knowledge -- can carry on conversations about pop culture, the relative merits of various bidets, and what to do when you´re caught on a tour in the desert without toilet paper. ("I have gone through so many socks!")
Tomorrow, he takes us to the most colourful mountains you have ever seen!