March 6, 2008

Paragliding and More in Salta

Filed under: travel — mmrobins @ 12:15 pm

We found Salta to be a much more pleasant town than Cordoba. We setup camp at a park a few kilometers south of the center. This place has the biggest frickin swimming pool I’ve ever seen! Unfortunately, they drained it a few days before we got there because apparently the season for it is over with all the kids back in school now. Phooey. At least the camping was cheap and buses go right to the center from there in less than 15 minutes.

There are a million travel agencies in town, but for what we wanted to do it didn’t seem to matter which one we chose. We wanted to go paragliding, and there only seems to be one company doing that right now, so all the travel agencies go through them for around $150 pesos ($50 USD). We finally booked with Las Nubes because they had a discounted full day tour that we thought we’d do too. We considered doing some bungie jumping or white water rafting, but Kim wasn’t too into the bungie idea and the rafting sounded really tame.

Paragliding was a blast. Kim was nervous at first, but once she took that running jump off the hillside, it was just fun. For those who don’t know, paragliding is like wind current surfing with a special parachute. We went tandem of course since we don’t know anything about how to control the chute, so there was someone strapped to our backs the whole time. Since there’s nothing propelling you but wind, you’re dependent on how much there is. Kim had a turn where she floated up above the started point and then landed back where she started. I, however, didn’t have much wind halfway through my flight, so I ended up back down at the base of the hill. On the ride down I hit a tree top with my legs when my pilot got a little too close to the trees. Fortunately the tops of trees are fairly weak, so it broke off and ended up in my lap without injuring me. From the landing site we had to drive back up to the top of the hill to reunite with the others in the group, which took almost an hour.

The next day we got up ridiculously early to do a tour of some of the area around Salta, including salt flats. This is the first guided tour we’ve actually paid to do on our whole trip. The tour turned out to be okay, although our guide left a little something to be desired. He was a very fat, smoking, mumbling, immobile guy who basically was just a driver who told us stuff on the road before we got to places. He rarely got out of the truck. We went with two other Argentinian girls who were fun companions. There was a lot of beatiful scenery that reminds me of photos I’ve seen of the American Southwest: lots of colorful rock layers, shaped and formed by wind and rain.

My favorite part though was the salt flat. It’s a weird thing to walk around on, especially since it was covered with water causing a mirrorlike surface. The sun is brutal on the salt since the salt reflects all the sun right back at you. There were a few small sculptures made from salt out near where people where extracting salt to sell. The salt flat stretches on farther than you can see, which is a weird sight. I can only imagine how immense the Bolivian salt flat must be.

The next day we again got up ridiculously early to catch a bus to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. My wallet hurts just thinking about going there.


  1. Just want you to know someone is reading your blogs! March madness is upon us, and Saturday is green beer day at Kellys. lol (Does that mean Lots of Love?)

    Comment by Doctor Marty — March 10, 2008 @ 3:16 pm

  2. Always good to know there’s someone out there reading :-) lol usually means “laugh out loud”, but appreciated either way.

    Comment by mmrobins — March 12, 2008 @ 8:43 am

  3. If it makes you feel any better, I read your blog all of the time instead of doing work. It’s fun to see what you have been doing. It’s a shame that the Navy has blocked flickr from their networks or I would look at your pictures too. I actaully have to spend my free time at home doing that. You guys going to come visit us in Napoli after you get back to the states?

    Comment by Jake — March 26, 2008 @ 6:58 am

  4. Hmmmm… Napoli. Sounds tempting. Unfortunately I think I’d better find a job again so that I can get paid to sit around and read blogs and such on the interenet :-) Unless you can convince the military to pay for our trip. I KNOW they have enough money lying around somewhere.

    Comment by mmrobins — April 3, 2008 @ 3:42 pm

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