QuickPeek: Meeting friends. Great host. Tourism.

I have been backpacking for the past 3 weeks to so, but it’s such a different mode than cycling that I am not sure how to approach it. The point to point bus rides and then trying to figure out what to do around a city or so is such an alien concept for me that I am still struggling to make it work. I suppose one idea would be to do smaller bus rides and drop off at random villages along the way, but that does not work very well as a tourist. I guess that’s the fundamental rub, I feel like I am being a tourist and not much of a traveller. It was pretty nice to be able to visit and make friends in San Pedro and Jujuy and Ledesma, but now that I am continuing along in the same vein, being in a city and walking about its center to try to move about in the outskirts is a bit alien! I guess I’d be nice to have the bike, heh.

We had arrived at this town of Santa Cruz at 5 AM in the morning without a host or any idea of what to do. We walked about and eventually decided to take up a cheap hostel near the bus station to relax and wait for light. It was a good idea as we had a good place to store the backpacks while we went for a walk about in the center.

One of the reason we are in Santa Cruz is to meet up with a good friend Maurizio that we had met many months ago in El Calafate. I got in touch with him and he suggested we meet up at a vegan cafe for lunch! We spent the day, after lunch, hanging out and walking about the centro. Eventually Maurizio had to head back to some appointment he had and we headed back to our hostel. I had contacted a couchsurfing host in town and she eventually got back to us and we decided to head out to her place. We met up with her late in the evening and took a bus to her place which was waaaaay out of town. It was nice though because it was away from the noise and pollution and her family was super friendly and nice to meet with.

The next day we decided to hang about town and walk around a ittle. Santa Cruz is not what I’d call a pretty town, It’s a huge commercial center with tons of chaotic traffic. The only thing interesting to me was the design of city itself, it was built in circles from the center and pretty much all directions were referred to in terms of the rings. The other thing I really loved was that in every street corner there were people selling fresh orange juice! Mandarins were in season and for 7 B’s one could get an amazingly refreshing shot of Vitamin C!

We met up with out host Zulma again in the evening and had a long chat with her and some of her neighbors and eventually decided to head out of town the next day. We woke up early, but Zulma had already gone for work. We bid farewell to her Neice and her daughter and headed into town to meet up with Maurizio for a bit of b’fast and took a Trufi (shared taxi) to a small village up in the hills called Samaipata.

Track Notes

Expenses: SG$ 59.70
Comments: Santa Cruz was not an interesting town, but meeting Zulma and Maurizio were surely highlights!