Road Trip in the Argentine North-West

I traveled to the north of Argentina in May of last year. Maybe time to share a little bit of that trip! The north-west area of Argentina is often referred to as the NOA (noroeste argentino) and is made up of six provinces: Salta, Jujuy, Tucuman, Catamarca, La Rioja and Santiago del Estero. My friends drove from Buenos Aires and visited Mendoza and Catamarca before I joined them by flying into Salta. We explored Salta and Jujuy and it was amazing! (On the way back we also spent some time in Santiago del Estero, see own post.)

Of the north-western provinces, Salta and Jujuy are the most picturesque and home to endless gorgeous landscapes, mountain villages, amazing arts and crafts, the list goes on. Tucuman is famous because it is where the independence of Argentina was declared on July 9, 1816, in the capital city of San Miguel de Tucuman.

IMG_2452We did a rather standard Salta-Jujuy trip, starting with a few days in the gorgeous city of Salta, which is a colonial in a valley with beautiful mountain views. It is also where I had one of the best vegetarian meals I have had in Argentina, at Chimoya.

IMG_2459From Salta we drove the scenic route to the province of Jujuy. We did not visit the capital, San Salvador de Jujuy, but enjoyed very much the rest of the province. We went to Purmamarca, a beautiful village home to the Cierro de los siete colores.

P1160754P1160761P1160765From there we drove to Salinas Grandes, the famous salt plains. The drive there is absolutely gorgeous although I got a little car sick!

P1160802Made a donkey friend on the way back:

P1160826We spent three nights in Tilcara, which is a fabulous little mountain town, and as Purmamarca, part of the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a narrow river valley that extends about 150 kilometers in the province of Jujuy. As Wikipedia tells us:

The region has always been a crossroads for economic, social and cultural communication. It has been populated for at least 10,000 years, since the settlement of the first hunter-gatherers, which is evidenced by substantial prehistoric remains. It was a caravan road for the Inca Empire in the 15th century, then an important link between the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata and the Viceroyalty of Peru, as well as a stage for many battles of the Spanish War of Independence.


P1160908From Tilcara we explored Humahuaca, Iruya (worthy of its own post), Tilcara itself, and many little towns along the road, like Tumbaya. We also went to the market in Volcan, which is known for its arts and crafts. In most of the towns you can find lots of wool products for sale but usually mass produced and many come from Bolivia. At the artisan market in Volcan, everything is local and handmade. I bought some amazing alpaca blankets and other gifts there.

P1160901Tilcara has a distinct hippie, backpacker feel to it and was a great base to explore the valley. There is also a fantastic restaurant there where we ended up eating twice, El nuevo progreso. Highly recommended! Tilcara also has many artisan shops where you can buy really fantastic stuff. Here is a shot of our hotel, Aguacanto Cabañas. Gorgeous! Great heating, too, which is nice because Tilcara is at almost 2500 meters above sea level.

IMG_2476Lots of tourists visit the NOA, but with good reason: It was one of the most amazing places I have ever seen. Highly recommended!

Posted in Campo, Hotel, Jujuy, NOA, Restaurants, Salta, Travel | 5 Comments

On Argentine TV

I always talk about how I have all sorts of weird experiences here in Argentina (my own private magic realism!) and random things happen that would definitely not have happened in Norway. Here is one of them: On a Wednesday afternoon in March, my phone rang, I picked up, and on the other end was the producer of a TV show I had never heard of, called Bendita. It was funny because he had to explain what the show was about, who the conductor was, I really had no idea. Anyway, he asked if I could come on the show that same night, just a few hours later. They had (of course) seen the video and wanted me to come on to talk about being a foreigner in Argentina. I said yes and it turned out to be a really funny experience, completely surreal! The show was sort of a variety show where somewhat famous people commented on what was going on in the news, mainly of the entertainment variety. They asked me questions about Norway, why I am here, the normal stuff, and they also showed most of the video from El Mundo de las Ideas. You can see the full program here: Bendita, March 9, 2016.


Posted in Buenos Aires, Norsk i Argentina, Noruega en Argentina, Norway in Argentina, Personal | 2 Comments

Entrevista en InfoBae (Interview with Argentine news site)

En enero me entrevistaron de InfoBae, un online news site bastante grande acá en Argentina. Me llamaron porque habían visto el video, y salió simpática la nota. La pueden leer acá: La noruega que reflexiona con humor sobre los argentinos

In January I was interviewed by InfoBae, a large online news site here in Argentina. They called me because they had seen the video, and they wrote a nice article, which you can read here: La noruega que reflexiona con humor sobre los argentinos

Posted in Buenos Aires, Comunidad noruega, Daily life, Norsk i Argentina, Noruega en Argentina, Norway in Argentina, Personal | 2 Comments

Bonaventura Trips: Fabulous Buenos Aires Tours

I have had family visiting recently, first my dad, then my mom, and wanted to do something special for them. I love personalized tours and figured that would be a great way to go. For my dad, I specifically wanted something related to history, as he loves the subject and just retired from being a middle school history teacher. After some googling and asking around I decided to go with Bonaventura Trips. The company is run by Tomás Hughes, a tourguide in his thirties (I think!) who does small tours. He has standard tours and custom tours that he tailors to the wishes of each client.

IMG_3413.JPGMy dad spent a day with him (from 9am to 7pm!) and absolutely loved it. They started at a café with an intro class to Argentine history, and then visited the typical famous sights around the city, starting in La Boca, which were then put into context with the history they had already discussed. They also went to some parts of town that most tours do not include (Tomás wants to keep it secret, though!) They had lunch together, and at some point in the afternoon they also stopped for coffee and cake (perfect for my dad!) A great day.
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Posted in Buenos Aires, Norsk i Argentina, Noruega en Argentina, Norway in Argentina, Personal, Practical info, Travel | 2 Comments

Santiago del Estero – Folk Music Heaven

On our road trip to the north-west of Argentina, we spent a night in Santiago del Estero, the capital of the province with the same name. While Salta and Jujuy are stunning mountain landscapes, Santiago del Estero is very flat and very hot. Temperatures can reach 50 degrees in the summer… We were there in late May, and it was still 27 degrees. The climate was apparent in the pace of the city; siesta lasted until 18:00 and the city is known for having a much slower pace than other cities in Argentina. However, they are also known as the folklore capital of the country, and in the short time we were there, not even 24 hours, I had one of the best music experiences I have had here.

IMG_2518We arrived from Salta during siesta time and there really wasn’t much to do, we explored as best as we could, found an open place to get something to eat, had a little rest, and then headed out at night to find a place with good folklore music. The hotel had suggested a place called La casa del folklorista, but they didn’t have any live music on Friday, only Saturday. He suggested a couple of places, we went to one of them and it was completely dead; they said nothing would start until 1 or 2am. We then went to a combined parrilla and peña, and it turned out to be fantastic. It was already late but people were just starting to eat. There was a small stage, and soon after we got there a sort of MC started welcoming everyone and also asking who had a birthday. My friend did, so the staff took note of that along with several large parties who were celebrating as well.

Then the music started and it was FANTASTIC! The first band was from Tucuman and played lots of great chacareras. Both the singer and the violin player made lots of jokes and had the place buzzing in no time. Then an older lady in the audience asked to join them; she turned out to be a famous singer herself. The band graciously invited her up to the stage and they did wonderful together. That sort of set the ton for the rest of the night: lots of sharing of the stage and joining each other. A total of five groups played, but our favorite was probably the one from Tucuman, La Tucu Gomez.


The birthday thing turned out to be really funny: they made a big deal about each birthday boy or girl, but a particularly big deal about my friend! He got the whole “This man came all the way from Texas, United States, to celebrate his birthday in Santiago del Estero! It is incredible!!” People even wanted their picture taken with us! Clearly, Santiago del Estero does not get a lot of foreign tourists…

I cannot remember the name of the place but will edit the post with the name as soon as I can find it. Lovely evening, that’s for sure.

I love Argentine folklore music, especially chacarera, and here is a selection of some really great ones.

Posted in Campo, NOA, Noruega en Argentina, Personal, Practical info, Travel, Tucuman | 1 Comment

Facebook-gruppe for nordmenn i Argentina

En venninne av meg har lenge hatt en Facebook-gruppe som heter Norsk i Argentina, og har nå bedt meg om å ta over siden for å holde den litt mer oppdatert. Jeg er godt i gang med oppdraget og prøver å dele ting som er interessant for de (få) nordmennene som bor her nå, og hjelpe nyankomne eller folk som er interessert i å flytte hit med det de måtte trenge. Ta gjerne en titt!


Posted in Buenos Aires, Comunidad noruega, Daily life, Norsk i Argentina, Noruega en Argentina, Norway in Argentina, Practical info | 1 Comment

Una noruega en Argentina – with Norwegian subtitles

I put Spanish subtitles on right away, but took a while to do the Norwegian ones, but as of December 8th the video got a little easier to understand for the Norwegians out there. Click here to enjoy! (Click on the CC and then if necessary click on “Settings” to change the language to Norwegian.)


Posted in Norsk i Argentina, Noruega en Argentina, Norway in Argentina, Personal | 1 Comment

Norway #1 – Disclaimer

Several time a year there are articles that show Norway on top, or near the top, of different lists: quality of life, conditions for mothers, equality, etc etc. And it is true, Norway does score high on a lot of rankings, and the quality of life is indeed very high. The country has made some very good decisions, especially as it relates to the management of natural resources, that has allowed the country to share the wealth and not enter into Dutch Disease.

However, I sometimes feel that these stories should come with a disclaimer: Yes, the rankings are true, yes, things are generally pretty good in Norway, but let’s face it, it is a country with major oil and gas wealth, it is a small and very manageable system, it has long traditions of equality and trust and low levels of corruptions; we really should be able to get it more or less right.

Therefore I find more reason to celebrate big gains in places with much tougher conditions: For instance that polio is almost eradicated, with just 71 cases in 2015 and in only two countries (Pakistan and Afghanistan). Somalia was declared of polio after going 12 months without a single case. Brazil was able to reduce its infant mortality rate by a great deal and reached the Millenium Development Goal of a 73% reduction.

Anyway, just a little disclaimer for when you read about how amazing Norway is. I am fond of this particular ranking though, showing that Norway is the best place in the world to be a mother.

Posted in Comunidad noruega, Noruega en Argentina, Norway | 4 Comments

Interview with a language school

After my video I got contacted by an online Norwegian course for Spanish speakers and they wrote this nice note.

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Posted in Buenos Aires, Norsk i Argentina, Noruega en Argentina, Norway in Argentina, Personal | 5 Comments

Una noruega en Argentina

My blog is three years old now, and what better way to celebrate than with a video about, well, being la noruega en Argentina? (Actually, these two things are not related but it sounds good and the timing works! This was part of an innovation course I took, called El Mundo de las Ideas.) Some anecdotes about life in Argentina and some observations about the weird ways of my people, the Norwegians.

Posted in Argentina en Noruega, Argentina i Norge, Buenos Aires, Comunidad noruega, La noruega en Noruega, Norsk i Argentina, Noruega en Argentina, Norway in Argentina | 14 Comments