Saturday the 19th of April 2003 – Day 60

Saturday the 19th of April 2003 – Day 60
Arrived around 9.30am to the bus station. I took a taxi to the hostel (10 blocks south). I shared a taxi to “the backpackers hostel” with the Canadian. Check them out at here . Pleasant management and nice hostel. Not too packed even though it is Easter. We were lucky as he thought it would be booked out. Had breakfast next store and went walkabout. Salta, sits in the Lerma valley with an eternal springlike climate, a town boasting Argentina’s best preserved colonial architecture reflected in its churches, government buildings, and houses. Wandering its narrow streets and charming plazas, you will get a sense of how Salta has existed for centuries–quiet, gracious, and reserved. Without doubt, the Tren a las Nubes is Salta’s main attraction, a 15-hour journey into the sky that takes you across the Northwest’s magnificent landscapes.

The town is like Galway. The exact right mix between tourists and locals (population 500,000). They are very relaxed here and people say they aren’t as stuck up as those from Buenos Aires province. The predestined streets were full and fun. I visited the tourist office, played Counter Strike on LAN with a few teenagers which was fun. Also had a great meal on St Martin. I took some pictures of the GAUCHO below. It was because of Easter that a ceremony was taking place. They look the business. I also booked a rafting (grade 3 river) with Salta Rafting for 65 P including pick up and lunch. I got back to the hostel at 9.00 and met Andy from Longford and James from Dublin who were travelling separately. We decided to go for a meal along with a South American guy, an English guy and a Belgian girl. after we headed to Centrale, a bar downtown. We stayed there with 2 Argentine locals until 2.00am listening to a band. The night only gets going at 2.00am and goes onto 8.00am the next morning. At 2.00am, we headed to a disco called Metropolis. It was good (3 P in), but I knew the rafting was coming so headed home at 5.30am.











The Gaucho Cowboy – Salta – Argentina

Taken on the 19th of April 2003

Salta, city in northern Argentina, capital of Salta Province, near the Río Arenales in the irrigated Lerma Valley. Salta is the commercial center of an area rich in oil and natural gas and producing: sugarcane, tobacco, grain, livestock, wine grapes, and timber. Industries in the city include: meat packing, tanning, sawmilling, sugar and flour milling, and the manufacture of leather goods and cement. The cathedral and numerous churches, government buildings, and private mansions throughout the area reflect the Spanish colonial past. Today the city has particular appeal to tourists who are interested in colonial architecture. Two outstanding fiestas are held here annually in September. Among the city’s educational institutions is the Catholic University of Salta (1967). The city was founded in 1582 as a convenient stop on the road from the Bolivian silver mines. During the war of independence from Spain, the city became a commercial and militarily strategic point between Perú and the argentinean cities. In 1813, the Spanish were defeated in Salta by Argentine general Manuel Belgrano. Between 1816 and 1821, the city was led by local military leader General Martín Miguel de Güemes, who under the command of General José de San Martín, defended the city and surrounding area from Spanish forces coming from further north. Population (2001) 472,971.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size











The Gaucho Cowboy – Salta – Argentina

Taken on the 19th of April 2003

A gaucho is a South American cattle herder, the equivalent to the North American “cowboy” in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and (with the spelling “gaúcho”) southern Brazil. Like the word cowboy, or the Mexican vaquero, the term often connotes the 19th century more than the present day.

There are several conflicting theories of the origin of the term. It may derive from the Quechua “huachu” (orphan, vagabond) or from the Arabic “chaucho” (a type of whip used in herding animals). Other hypotheses abound. The first recorded uses of the term date from around the time of Argentine independence in 1816.

Gauchos were generally nomadic and lived on the pampas, the plain that extends north from Patagonia, bounded on the west by the Andes and extending as far north as the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. Most gauchos were either criollo (South Americans of Spanish ancestry) or mestizo (of mixed Spanish and Native American blood), but the term applies equally to people of other European, African, or mixed ancestry.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size











The Gaucho Cowboy – Salta – Argentina

Taken on the 19th of April 2003

A gaucho is a South American cattle herder, the equivalent to the North American “cowboy” in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and (with the spelling “gaúcho”) southern Brazil. Like the word cowboy, or the Mexican vaquero, the term often connotes the 19th century more than the present day.

There are several conflicting theories of the origin of the term. It may derive from the Quechua “huachu” (orphan, vagabond) or from the Arabic “chaucho” (a type of whip used in herding animals). Other hypotheses abound. The first recorded uses of the term date from around the time of Argentine independence in 1816.

Gauchos were generally nomadic and lived on the pampas, the plain that extends north from Patagonia, bounded on the west by the Andes and extending as far north as the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. Most gauchos were either criollo (South Americans of Spanish ancestry) or mestizo (of mixed Spanish and Native American blood), but the term applies equally to people of other European, African, or mixed ancestry.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size











The Gaucho Cowboy – Salta – Argentina

Taken on the 19th of April 2003

The gaucho plays an important symbolic role in the nationalisms of this region, especially that of Argentina. The epic poem Martín Fierro by José Hernández used the gaucho as a symbol of Argentine national tradition, in contradistinction to Europeanizing tendencies and to corruption. Martín Fierro, hero of the poem, is drafted into the Argentine military for a border war, deserts, and becomes an outlaw and fugitive. The image of the free gaucho is often contrasted to the slaves who worked the northern Brazilian lands.

Like the North American cowboy, gauchos are generally reputed to be strong, silent types, but arrogant, and capable of violence when provoked. There is, perhaps, more of an air of melancholy about the classic gaucho than the classic cowboy.

Also like the cowboy, the gauchos were great horsemen. Typically, a gaucho’s horse constituted most of what he owned in the world. During the wars of the 19th century in the Southern Cone, the cavalries on all sides were composed almost entirely of gauchos.

Gauchos dressed quite distinctly from North American cowboys, and used bolas (three leather bound rocks tied together with aproximately three feet long leather straps) in addition to the familiar “North American” lariat or riata. The typical gaucho outfit would include a poncho (which doubled as saddle blanket and also as sleeping gear), a facón (short, double edge sword), a rebenque (whip), and loose-fitting pants called a chiripá, belted with a tirador.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size











The Gaucho Cowboy – Salta – Argentina

Taken on the 19th of April 2003

Murphy for president. Nice to see an Irish man going for the job as president of this country.

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