Argentina: Gauchos and Salta, La Linda
Gaucho Festival in Salta
A traditional parade in honor of the gaucho hero Martin Miguel de Güemes. About 7000 mounted gauchos marched from different regions of the area past his monument. Legislators, authorities and the military were also not to be missed. People danced and enjoyed the festivities with bonfires, these began days before. Hundreds of tourists came to Salta to experience this spectacle.
Propane tank refill
Refilling propane bottles or fixed gas tanks in South America is often a gauntlet for owners of motorhomes. Not for us, thanks to the American thread on our gas tank. The mobile Argentinean propane gas trucks can directly screw on their connection without adapter to fill our propane gas tank.
To refill the tank in Salta, we ordered one of these trucks by phone to the campsite. The filling was done in ten minutes.
Now we have gas again for over three months, provided we don't have to activate the heater every day. At campsites we heat with an electric stove powered by outside electricity.
Our Mercedes starter battery showed on the display after cold nights only 12 volts or even warned at 11.9 volts. In order not to get any starting problems, we drove by Mercedes Salta. According to an employee the biggest and most modern Mercedes dealership in South America.
For the purchase of an original Mercedes battery imported with extreme import customs costs certainly also the most expensive. Thanks to the information of two very nice employees we decided not to buy the Mercedes battery. They gave us the address of an Argentine battery manufacturer.
There we got an identical battery for 40 percent of the Mercedes battery price.
Visa extension at immigration, Salta
When we arrive at the migration at half past eight in the morning, it is already crowded with more than twenty people in a very small space. Ironically, the entrance door has a sticker on the outside, which says that max. 4 people are allowed in the room at the same time!
After an hour and a half of waiting, we had a form to deposit 8,000 pesos for 2 people at the National Bank in Salta.
When we arrive there by cab, we don't understand the world anymore. In order to pay in the current equivalent of 32 SFR. against receipt, we have to queue up at the back of the approximately hundred meter long customer line on the sidewalk. After 2 hours we arrived at the entrance. Inside, after number pulling it takes only a quarter of an hour and we had our stamped payment receipt.
Back to migration where we were fingerprinted. The officials wanted to put us off until the next day for passport collection. We got slightly grumpy, and explained that we would only leave this office with our passports. We got our passports, and a confirmation letter, which had incorrect passport numbers written on it. Just another hour, and we were assured that the renewal was digitally active on the passports (stamps no longer exist), but the letter could not be corrected. We were the last to leave immigration after the counter closed.
TIP extension for vehicle at customs
To extend the Temporary Import Permit for the vehicle we drove after successful visa extension directly to the customs in Salta.
The official told us that it was not possible to extend the visa simply, we had to submit a written request with an appropriate justification. After a long discussion he added and said that only the boss could decide about our request anyway, and he was now at the customs in the airport.
We wrote a letter and had it printed out in a copy store. The next day we were again at the customs counter. We handed our written request for extension to an official against receipt. She said that now everything had to be entered into the computer, many papers had to be made and the application would be approved by the boss when he returned. We should come back at three in the afternoon.
In the afternoon at three then wordy excuses.
The boss had already been here, but had immediately had another appointment away from home. The form had been prepared, but unfortunately not yet signed. Tomorrow, however, we could surely pick it up.
This worked then also.
Now we have extended for persons and the vehicle for the next three months.
We could have spared ourselves the whole exercise by leaving the country for one of the neighboring countries. Would have been however with Covid test etc. also laborious.
Crescent-shaped dumplings filled with beef, chicken, cheese and much more. Each region has its own special variety and they are ideal as a snack between meals.