Since Brett heard about the Argentinean grilled meat culture, he was determined not to miss out. So shortly after we entered Chile, we made a scenic detour into Argentina for about 2000km before entering back. Our first stop was the city of Salta with a population of about 500,000. We were hungry and dehydrated but luckily for us wine was going for 5 dollars at a nearby restaurant. Argentina it appeared would be a great place.
Salta had a lot of character, but we had a bit of a tough time figuring out how things worked, it appeared places either opened in the afternoon or had a 4 hour lunch break mid day. Anyway, everything appeared to be closed at all times. In the meantime as we wandered around various parts of Salta we were having trouble crossing streets, being either too early or too late, than having to run back. We figured the street dogs clearly knew what they were doing, so we followed them.
Eventually we had to leave this lovely city. It was time to check out the Argentinean camping culture, where the main event was meat grilling. We headed to the campground where I would break my vegetarianism by eating Bosnian pljeskavice, made by a Canadian dude in Argentina. Technically, I guess I had already broken the vegetarian diet, as at times we ate chicken. However, in this part of the world chicken is practically a vegetable, so I am not sure if that counts.
The final destination in Argentina was to take us over a pass back into Chile. This was not happening though, due to the pass being closed for winter. So, we drove another 400km to the main pass from Argentina to Chile.
This too was closed due to a persistent snow storm. Along endless rows of truck drivers and a few less cars we waited for it to open. Every day, we tediously showed up at the post only to learn the snow did not stop and it would be at least another day.
Once a week went by and the prognosis turned from days to a week, we sought another way to get to Chile. So south we went, another 600 km to the next border crossing. Frozen to the bone, with wet shoes, a now broken heater and an expired dog permit we hoped they would let us through. And through we went. Once again, happy to be in Chile where the grass is truly greener. (At this time, the main border pass to Chile from Argentina still remains closed with bleak chance of opening any time soon).