Sunday, August 23, 2009

Salta: Take Two: “Twice Day”

July 22, 2009

We awoke refreshed, with a fairly simple itinerary:

We were held up a bit with the changing of hostels and hit the MAAM with at least 100 other people. It was quite an unusual crowd for a museum with no special exhibits nor openings, so we decided to jump out to the Pajcha and return in the afternoon.

We arrived at the Pajcha, just as the Assistant Director, Diego, was closing for lunch. However, he was so delighted at our attempt to visit, he gave us a “sneak preview” of the first room and spent a good 10 minutes gushing about how much we would love the exhibition. Unfortunately, the museum wouldn’t re-open until 4 p.m.

Upon his recommendation, we passed through the nearby train station, then hit up Balcarce in search of lunch. The nexus of touristy nightlife was completely deserted and very nearly closed mid-day.

We settled on a bar serving pizzas and filled up before returning to the MAAM. Outrageously expensive by local standards at 30 pesos ($9) per person, the museum featured the findings from an Incan grave site and the best-preserved mummy I have ever seen. The expression on the boy’s face, his skin, all completely preserved.


They also showed another girl, in surprisingly good shape, given her history of being bought, sold, and finally willed to the museum after being kept in the basement of her previous owner.

Next up we went to take care of Tammy’s photos, however the shop was closed for siesta, so we continued on another 20 blocks to the artisan’s market. We bought some goodies—I got a pair of earrings for 7 pesos and a pair of alpaca socks with llamas on them for Martín. We also sampled homemade dulce de leche and these tiny, delicious cookies topped with a thin layer of dulce de leche.

We passed by the very bland Paseo de los Poetas (no poetry, just lists of names of poets) on our way back to the center. We identified some interesting architecture we had failed to notice the first few times we passed Calle Florida, and got Tammy’s photos successfully burned.

We returned to Pajcha with just enough time to zoom through the anthropologist’s private collection, with Diego steering us in his giddy excitement toward the highlights.

Our day wrapped up with dinner and a peña at the highly touted La Vieja Estación . The food was great; we drank too much wine, and greatly enjoyed the show. It was pricey and touristy, but fun.

peñadancers peña peñadancers2

Map picture

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