Having reluctantly moved on from Buenos Aires I found myself in Salta for one day on route to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. I’d heard really good things about this city and was a bit disappointed to be passing through so fast, but the buses to San Pedro only run a couple of times a week and I was aiming to meet up with some friends and share a jeep across the border into Bolivia (the cheapest country in South America so I’ve been told – which at the moment sounds great to me), so it was the only way.

It turned out I was right to be disappointed, Salta is a beautiful city from the little I saw and I really should have planned things better so I could have had at least a few days exploring. I’d been told that if I only managed to do one thing, to take a tour out to the ‘seven coloured mountains’ – but by the time I arrived it was too late to do that, so I spent the afternoon looking around the city centre and looking for cheap warm clothes to protect me from the forthcoming altitude freezingness of San Padro de Atacama! On that front it was mission accomplished as I managed to find a warm jacket and fleece jumper for under a tenner each – not particularly stylish (teamed with my blue trekking trousers they make me look like a plumber – which could actually come in handy as I try to earn some money later on…), but cheap and warm. Result! Can’t remember the name of the shop, but it was a big cheap department store somewhere down one of the main shopping streets if you’re ever in that part of the world…

The other victim of my bad panning was my birthday celebrations. After staging an all night warehouse party for my 30th, my 31st would be spent sitting by myself on a bus for 10 hours. To try and make a little bit more of it, I decided to go out the evening before with whoever was interested in my hostel. ‘Whoever was interested’ turned out to be a French guy called Clément, but he was very cool and it worked out well. I had to be up at 6am for my birthday bus ride, but we managed to keep it going till around 1am – the town wasn’t quite red when we finished painting, but there was a definite magenta hue to it…

Having a great camera that’s broken and unfixable is now super frustrating that I’m on the road again. I took some shots with my rubbish camera phone, but it’s not prepared to communicate with my laptop and not having a contract here I can’t email the photos… so I’ve got nothing but these lame words to pass on about Salta. The pictures are even worse though, so your not missing much. Hopefully once I reach San Pedro de Atacama I can start hi-jacking other peoples cameras again!

*Photo above courtesy of photoree.com’s creative commons section… genius!