Salta, Argentina is the base camp for many tours. It lies near the foothills of the Andes mountains, and you can choose from any number of day trips that lead to outlying towns. One that I chose was to Cachí (1673), a small town a few hours away, up in the mountains (just under 2,300 meters).
I was the first one picked up in the large van at about 7:15 A.M. We made only one other stop and that was to a large hotel in the town center. The guide told me we would be picking up a bunch of old ladies. We had to wait about 10 minutes for them. As they began strolling out, I just knew I was in for a really boring day.
It took a few hours to arrive at Cachí and we stopped at a few key spots along the way, including a place where a local lady had a baby goat for the tourists to hold and be photographed with, and another where there were thousands of cacti stretching out across the desert.
We stopped for a couple nature breaks on the way up, including a nice lunch, where I ate goat meat—a first for me. Rafael, our tour guide (This was the first tour where he did all the talking. His mentor, however, came along for the ride, just in case of emergency, before setting Rafael loose on his own.), sat at the table with me and we had a very nice chat. He previously taught phonetics so we had a very interesting conversation about language.
We stayed in Cachí for a couple hours, free to wander around. There's the typical plaza, a nice museum with many artifacts gathered from the local area (Museo Arqueológico "Pío Pablo Díaz" Archaeological Museum), and a church. Rafael and I continued our time together while in Cachí. During lunch, he had told me how he calls his buddies "negro" (just a bit of local slang, I guess). When he talks to his American friends, he calls them "nigger," his English equivalent of negro. He had been to this town a few times before on previous tours. As we headed in the direction of the church, I asked him if he'd gone into it before. His reply was, "I'm not a Catholic, nigger. I'm a Mormon!" That totally cracked me up.
On the way back down, the mentor guide began to sing. It must have been a song by some Latin heartthrob (Luis Miguel?), because the ladies began to howl. Before long, they were all singing. This continued for the next hour. Dirty jokes were interspersed between the songs. Pretty fun group for a bunch of old fuddy-duddies. Still working on not making assumptions about people.