After the luminous white of the Salinas Grandes, we hopped back into the car and headed west towards the Chilean border and the picturesque village of Susques.
This was a journey made on a whim rather than any real plan, since we’d have to retrace our steps for nearly 200km back toward Purmamarca. Susques turned out to be a lovely little village with two beautiful adobe churches and some delicious saltenas to keep our spirits up for the return journey. I’m not sure I’d want to spend a week in Susques, but it is worth a visit just for the naive frescoes in the church.
The road west of the Salinas Grandes is hardly less dramatic than the Cuesta de Lipan, we spotted llamas grazing close to some adobe homes but the luminous grass was the scene stealer. Because there is little public transport in this part of Argentina it is customary to stop and give people lifts, which we did on several occasions. This included one old man who was going all the way to Susques (about 60km from where we picked him up) to make a phone call.
Despite the Chilean border being 100km further west from Susques, the Argentinian border control is located on the edge of the village, which means when you arrive you’re greeted by the sight of numerous trucks waiting for border clearance. A bit off-putting but carry on into the village and a different world appears.