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Early departure to Salta
Leaving Jorge Newbery at dawn, we haven't met for a while.
d01_01 (2014-10-02 05:49:50) -- show location on Google Maps
Hey, this is familiar!
d01_02 (2014-10-02 06:50:25) -- show location on Google Maps
d01_03 (2014-10-02 07:08:50) -- show location on Google Maps
Been there, done that.
d01_04 (2014-10-02 08:00:19) -- show location on Google Maps
Landing in Salta
Through the impenetrable clouds. It seems, Mid and Northwestern Argentina installed an MFW (Middle Finger Watermark) into my camera.
d01_05 (2014-10-02 09:04:04) -- show location on Google Maps
Salta walk
The Cathedral of Salta.
d01_06 (2014-10-02 11:09:12) -- show location on Google Maps
d01_07 (2014-10-02 11:12:58) -- show location on Google Maps
d01_08 (2014-10-02 11:17:42) -- show location on Google Maps
d01_10 (2014-10-02 11:32:42) -- show location on Google Maps
d01_11 (2014-10-02 11:34:42) -- show location on Google Maps
The oldest building of Salta, San Bernardo Convent can be seen which was built around the end of the 16th century or the beginning of the 17th. During the primer steps while forming Salta was forming into a city, this was only a chapel for Saint Bernard. Then it was converted with the neighbouring building into a hospital in 1586 under the name of San Andrés.

In short 100 years later an earthquake in 1692 completely destroyed it, but regardless to the slow construction, in 1726 the hospital opened its doors again. Nonetheless the medical services by time slowly lost the importance, because this or praying also heals the wounds of the body, in 1846 Don Isidoro Fernández presbyter called over some Discalced Carmelites from Chile who turned the rudimentary chapel and the joining hospital into a haven - beaterío - for the religious people. This is how the nowadays San Bernardo convent was created.

Unfortunate foolishness, I planned to visit the inside after visiting the hill - that time it was already closed.
d01_12 (2014-10-02 11:43:17) -- show location on Google Maps
What's the Gellért Hill and Castle Hill Funicular for Budapest, that's the San Bernardo Hill and Teleférico San Bernardo for Salta.

The construction of the cable car started in 1987 and was completed by December 1988. Between the two stations 1,016 metres distance, 284.9 metres elevation and fluttering at 2 metres/hour awaits the travellers.

One-way ticket costs 45 pesos, return costs 80 pesos - but young and tall males don't need any elevator anyway to descend from 284 metres.
d01_13 (2014-10-02 12:11:49) -- show location on Google Maps

d01_14 (2014-10-02 12:33:51) -- show location on Google Maps
I was just packing my camera into the shoulder bag to start the descent walking, when a running man stepped up to me: Do you want a picture of you? When males alone or in group offer such, the correct answer is: Yes, but hey meanwhile could you please hold my wallet too? Thanks! Wait, I'll give you the bag as well: there's a flash and other lens - if you think you'll need them for the picture.

I didn't really catch what he wanted. He was surely motivated by goodwill, this was assured by his huge smile but if someone wants to take a picture of you in cloudy-gray weather with a gray-dark green background - this person surely doesn't have a grasp of photography, the picture would be minimum underexposed.

Thank you but not. - I replied with a same huge smile, then we bid farewell to each other.
d01_15 (2014-10-02 12:42:58) -- show location on Google Maps
d01_16 (2014-10-02 12:44:35) -- show location on Google Maps
15 minutes later on the ground floor again, where nobody less famous Argentine historical person than Martín Miguel de Güemes welcomes the visitors and casts his protecting eyes upon Salta.

Not by random, Güemes was born here on 8th of February 1785 into a wealthy family. His father was a Spanish treasurer, his mother the daughter of the Goyechea y la Corte family in Salta. Güemes received a proper education through his parents and private teachers but later he realized philosophy and natural sciences don't exactly make his heart tick.

At the age 23 he joined the army to participate against the Brits. During the course of the events he attained the desired fame: the cavalry led by him successfully attacked and seized the armed British Justine merchant ship, while she docked in the Port of Buenos Aires.

In 1808 his voice became twangy during a surgery to remedy a throat disease; possibly the by that time unknown hemophilia was the culprit. Güemes didn't loose his hopes, continued his career and liberator battles in the northern, northwestern part of the country. Such famous battles meet his name as La guerra gaucha in Humahuaca, mentioned in the Northwestern Argentine traveldiary travel. The name comes from Güemes' strategy hiring the local gauchos and gauchas who could offer great help with their guerrilla type attacks: men with the knowledge of the terrain and light weapons served as soldiers, women and children carried out espionage and messenger tasks. As a further strategy when they learned the arrival of the Spanish troops, they took everything useful with themselves during falling back, then destroyed everything else.

So did happen in Humahuaca, when the royal troops with 4,500 men defended the city but couldn't last long against the continuously attacking guerrillas on the scorched ground - by the 1st of March 1817 Güemes took the city back. By this time the general already had countrywide fame: no lesser names than Juan Martín de Pueyreddón, José de San Martín, Manuel Belgrano also assured him their support. In consequence his short and long-term tasks were to lead his army and to stay on the surface of the political waters.

By 1820 Argentina fought a different kind of battle: not only against the Spanish Crown but also the more and more self-aware provinces against each other and Buenos Aires. Güemes in these days was the governor of the Salta Province and since he confiscated the goods of the wealthy salteño and salteña landowners, further by time also gauchos started to become displeased - Bernabé Aráoz, governor of the rival Tucumán Province didn't have to have too much efforts to mount the opponent troops. Hence on the 3rd of April 1821 defeated Güemes.

As an extra misfortune, Güemes stood between guns firing from two directions: the Spanish rustler José María Barbarucho Valdez also wanted to succeed the governor. Valdez due to his employment task list knew the territories around Salta and Jujuy, he again convinced the landowners not to injure their wealth - on the 7th of June took over Salta.

Güemes this time fled from the city but in a fight with Valdez suffered a fatal wound; some sources say Valdez simply shot Güemes in the back. Despite the wound and hemophilia Güemes still reached his troops with fortune, instructed his last orders and ten days later at the age of 36 on the 17th of June 1821 died. Neither the Spaniards nor Aráoz could celebrate for a long time, the reorganized soldiers on the 22nd of July took back Salta for good.

Güemes had one wife Carmen Puch de Güemes, they had three sons Martín, Luis and Ignacio.
d01_17 (2014-10-02 13:05:59) -- show location on Google Maps
Lunch break
Gastronomically and by palate, in the scope of common sense I always attempt to try the whole universe of the kitchens.


A slab of good meat with creamy mushroom sauce and good side dish may always come.
... because of visualities, the tomato and salad shoved into the sauce get minus points ...
d01_18 (2014-10-02 13:52:33) -- show location on Google Maps
Museo de Arqueología de Alta Montaña

I do apologize, it wouldn't be polite to start the entry this way, I'll rather summarize the happenings. I had some siesta after the wake up at dawn, then I strolled to the Museo de Arqueología de Alta Montaña - in Spanish MAAM, in English High-Altitude Archaeology Museum. What could one see in such place?

Service announcement: some of the below links lead to websites where you can see photos of 500-years old Inca children mummies. To avoid sudden surprises, these links have a red exclamation mark at the end.

No photography is permitted but the rooms and the dimmed lights right focus on the story - and like in general I agreed: take a tourist group of any size, there'll always at least 1 person who shoots in Automatic mode, if not then simply forgets to turn off the flash. Also everyone was reminded to turn off the mobile phones, about the all for the eyes, nothing for the hands rule, then the presenter in about 20 minutes explained the artifacts of the museum.

The primary and most important exhibition items are the Children of Llullaillaco(!) Quite likely the pronunciation sounds stumbling but can be learned easily, depending whether the tongue knows Argentine-Spanish or Spanish-Spanish better. In the first case zzsuzzsaizzsako, by latter you say llyullyaillyako.

The three youngster sought and served the grace of the gods about 500 years ago, the present days gave La Doncella (The Virgin, 15 years old), La Niña del Rayo (The Lightning Girl, 6 years old) and El Niño (The Boy, 7 years old) names for them.

Unfortunately I don't remember all the details of the lecture but I got the answer to my thought while I listened to the presentation with one ear and followed the short movie about the excavation with the other eye. The mummies were found on the top of the Llullaillaco volcano at 6,739 metres, where the movie played the working team pretty much in the middle of nowhere, seemingly by random started to dig the ground . Then a few frames later they raised the remains.

How did they get there? Not by blind luck, that's for sure. One cannot even say, they spotted them on the surface; like on the Aconcagua at the foot of the Mount Pyramid. The answer lies within crowdsourcing: on the 1st of December 1952 Bión González and Juan Harseim of the Chilean Mountaineering Club were doing the first ascent on the mountain, when they noticed the remains of an Inca shrine. 31 years later in 1983 arrived the North-American Johan Reinhard acclaimed anthropologist of the Inca culture in The Andes; unfortunately the first three expeditions didn't bring victory. The next attempt started in 1999 again by the lead of Reinhard and on the 16th of January they successfully raised the mummies from the bone-freezing cold mountain. They also found various artifacts close to the shrine and upon the way on the mountain.

Without any attempt of completeness, all the children have an individual story. It's believed La Doncella served as an aclla: these girls from their birth and due to their beauty were prepared to be a queen, priestess or ritual sacrifice (see capac cocha). The La Niña del Rayo got her name because sometime after the burial a high-temperature electric shock - lightning - burned her face, neck, shoulder and arms, also the clothing. El Niño's story gives a bit insight into some parts of CSI: scientists found traces of blood and saliva around his neck, which made them believe the boy died a violent death. Two other scientists argued, they didn't find sign of injuries of the ribs or the lungs but the boy reaching over 6,700 metres probably suffered HAPE, High-Altitude pulmonary edema in his last hours.

If my mind doesn't trick me, each week a different mummy is displayed (I saw The Boy) to have the others available for scientific investigations, also protect them - they're the currently known best preserved Inca mummies.
New stroll in the night
With the motivation of a gastronomical discovery. Whether it's real or only a popskeptic title of Salta but they say The City of Empanadas - upon seeing the menu I had to agree, since you can find at most the carne, pollo, jamón y queso and choclo offer in the other cities.
d01_19 (2014-10-02 19:39:51) -- show location on Google Maps
Don't be silly! It's too early for a dinner.
d01_20 (2014-10-02 19:40:00) -- show location on Google Maps
Deep in the extremities I chose the empanadas with the most complex names.
d01_21 (2014-10-02 19:52:23) -- show location on Google Maps
The evening walk, as it is a must
d01_22 (2014-10-02 21:46:34) -- show location on Google Maps
Más turismo, más trabajo. Recommended by Spider-Man.
d01_23 (2014-10-02 21:56:10) -- show location on Google Maps
d01_24 (2014-10-02 22:09:10) -- show location on Google Maps
d01_25 (2014-10-02 22:12:19) -- show location on Google Maps
The End of the Day
A local 3 dl Salta beer, sleeping. Since I reigned the room, there's no witty story for today.
d01_26 (2014-10-02 23:27:50) -- show location on Google Maps