Salta, Argentina, December 7, 2017

This morning we could see the actual size of the largest swimming pool in South America.  Unfortunately there's no water in it and normally it is full only 2 months of the year.  Weird.  I'd think there would be water in it now because  it's summertime but there were many men working on it last night so I guess it's not ready.  I can't imagine how much pee would be in it if it were packed with swimmers-


I decided to go to the city centre and get a hotel for a couple of nights.  I took my huge backpack because almost all my clothes need washing.  Hugo, Weibke and I took the bus but we had to walk a few blocks, quite a few!

More Chinglish, I guess it's Argentinglish. It just amazes me that with all the translating services on the internet that this kind of thing still happens-


After checking out a couple of hostels, then a couple of hotels, I decided to splurge so am staying at the Victoria Plaza Hotel, right on the square.  My room is at the top right corner with a balcony.  I feel like a princess-


The view across Plaza 9 de Julio looking towards-


Catedral Basilica-


which is pink-


The altar-


 has a gigantic sun around Jesus.  Mass was in progress-


Many people were lined up to visit, pray and touch this side altar-


The floor inside and out is 3D tiles.  Glad I wasn't drunk trying to walk on it-


Next to the Catedral Basilica is the Museum of High Altitude Archaeology.  Mount Llullaillaco, at 6739 meters, is where 3 mummified children were found in 1999.  One of the Inca's most important rituals was the Capacocha (moral obligation) ceremony where one or more beautiful and physically perfect children were taken to the main plaza in Cusco and presented in front of pictures of the creator god.  After animal sacrifices to god, imaginary marriages of the children to the Chiefs were performed to create bonds in the huge territory.  Then the children walked around the square twice.  They were then taken to the summit of Llullaillaco, given chicha (maize alcohol) until they passed out, and buried alive with all the ritual objects important for the ceremony.  They were not thought to die, but to live with ancestors and protect the villages and people.  

The Lightening Girl was 6 years old, found seated with her legs bent.  She's wearing typical Inca clothing and buried with gold, silver and seashell statuettes as well as ceramics, food and textiles.  It seems that after she was buried, a lightning bolt hit her because one half of her body is burned-


The Boy was about 7 and sitting on a grey tunic.  He had short hair and a white feather ornament held by wool, wrapped around his head.  His skull was slightly modified.  He was accompanied by a miniature llama caravan of finely dressed men, a typical male job.  He is the only mummy on display-


The third child is The Maiden who is 15.  She too is wearing a typical Inca outfit but has gold and silver pins on her chest and other ornaments made of bone and silver.  She still had red pigment on her face and cocoa leaves in her mouth!  She was accompanied by a white feather headdress-


Of course pictures weren't allowed so these images are from the brochure.  It was a bit disappointing after seeing all the mummies we saw in the cemetery in Peru.

Plaza 9 de Julio was packed with all kinds of beauty booths.  This is not normal!  Today is the last day of school until March and so it's dress up time-



Even massages were possible-


Peñas are Argentinian folk shows that start at 9 pm and end around 4 am.  Often there's a cover charge and then you eat and drink.  This one reminds me of Nashville-


I visited the Pajcha Museo de Arte Etnico Americano which is a private collection in a converted house.  There wasn't much I hadn't seen before, considering my winter in Central America and the fact we've travelled from the north, but the thing the most interesting was that it's a private collection. 

This pendant is made of gold, malachite, silver and copper.  It's impossible to see with my shitty camera but there is a face not only in the middle - the red eyes, but above.  They had a magnifying glass on it to see it better-


Dolls-


A funeral mask-


Sticks and ball used to play hockey-


Imagine wearing this heavy jewelery which was part of a dowry-


Saint James is the patron saint of cattlemen.  He protects the animals from harm-


When the Catholic, Spanish colonists arrived, they tried their best to convert the Incas but of course were met with much reluctance.  Inca artists incorporated their beliefs in their work.  Jesus is an Inca-


with a feather headdress.  I'm sure the artist was thinking "screw you Catholics!"-


The Virgin Mary with an Inca face-


and she's often seen with a candelabra in her right hand-


In a couple of churches in villages north of Salta, Uquia being one of them, they found paintings of angels with guns.  The curator wouldn't give his opinion but the hypocrisy seems obvious to me.  The Spaniards, preaching Christianity, came onto the continent with guns, forcing their way of life and religion on the occupants.  The same has happened all over the world and still is happening today, all in the name of religion-



Walking home, there were 2 awesome musicians playing in the square-


I wanted to taste some Argentinian beef, to see if all the fuss is true.  I wanted a filet mignon and my waiter said that's what I'd get so.....

When you order meat, all you get is meat so I ordered a side salad that came with ten, repeat ten packets of salt-


I didn't get filet mignon but ended up with a half order, yes this is a half order of steak.  It was very tender and delicious-


It was cooking on a platter with coals underneath-


They brought the wrong salad so corrected their mistake.  Salad completo includes pickled beets, boiled potato and egg as well as shredded carrot, tomato and lettuce.  The only dressing available is balsamic vinegar and olive oil, which is fine with me-


I ended up taking all of the salad and half of the meat home for lunch tomorrow.

I spent a couple of hours on my balcony, listening to the music in the park and drinking awesome red wine!  Looking forward to tomorrow in Paradise!


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  2. Wow! that swimming pool is so bug, it qualifies to be a dam hahaha!. I could swim half of it and be done with swimming for the day. Yeah, I know, I suck at swimming.

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