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One night of passion in Salta

Most travellers are hoping for some romantic inspiration in a new place. If only for a night. I was no exception. Although going out at night when you’re travelling by yourself can be challenging. Especially if you’re the only person eating alone. I waver between loving it and feeling like a spare tool. The fear of impersonating a lonely spinster wasn’t going to stop me though.

So with a tiny amount of trepidation I caught a taxi to an outer suburb of Salta. To a place I had found on the internet that was meant to be ‘non-touristy’ and totally classic. A place with impromptu music played by locals, somewhere where people can sit around a big old mansion and sing as if surrounded by family. Homey space for people with a passion for making noise.

Accompanied by a stolen Hostel magazine in English, I knew that the eating by myself part was just a formality. The music was my mission. I was one of the first to arrive at 10pm. Walking through a decrepid gate, up some old stairs and into a dubious doorway, I almost turned back because I was a early and the atmosphere was dead. But my stubbornness prevailed.

I was ushered to an outdoor courtyard under a huge shade tree, not sure if I spent the whole time looking like I was waiting for someone, but not really caring. As I finished my dinner, feigning more interest than necessary in my copy of The Economist, I started to hear some noise from inside. Drumming perhaps? Definitely some guitar. I paid my bill and repositioned myself inside.

I chose a table next to two women up front, yes, I only need one seat, that’s right, I am by myself. Si, solo. Smiles all round. I ordered a beer and over poured, the froth bubbling over like the proverbial. Apparently in Argentina when this happens you dip your finger in the spillage and mark your forehead in the sign of the cross. Off to a great start but now with the blessing of God.

In front of me, a group of four men sat. One silver haired Argentinian with a big fur covered drum, also a younger man with a guitar and a beautiful song to sing. Rounding up the quartet was a sombrero wearing man in black, and an older gentleman that looked like he’s played there his whole life. In other rooms I could hear distant songs, poems and clapping.

To say I was lost in the moment would be absolutely correct. I felt the atmosphere wash over me instantly. The smiles on the faces of the people, and sleepy children ready to go home, all adding to the enchantment. I felt completely incognito amongst the people of Salta. Just as I planned.

It might have been that it was a Tuesday night, or maybe it’s just not printed in the Lonely Planet, but I was definitely the only Australian, and possibly the only tourist. I felt extremely lucky to have experienced such a place in Salta.

I could try to describe in detail the passion of the songs, the collective percussion, and the welcoming spirit of the musicians. But I can’t. You will just have to watch the videos (apologies for the lighting – I’m adverse to flash, but you’ll get the idea).

As soon as they realised I was Australian, and there alone, the musicians sat me at their table and sang in my direction. Songs of heartache, nature, family and women. Old songs from the vast countryside and romantic tunes of waiting for family to return from wandering. I was smitten.

If you have one night in Salta, make sure you spend some time at La Casona del Molino at Luis Burela 1. Apparently the best night is Sunday when people start to lament the start of the working week and defy the reality with a night out. Closed on Mondays.

I met some beautiful people and gained an extra bit of confidence after spending the night speaking Spanish and feeling understood. At the end of the day, even if you don’t speak a word of Spanish, you will at least be surrounded by the universal language of music.


Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life. Ludwig van Beethoven

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There are 3 Comments to "One night of passion in Salta"

  • simon says:

    Hey Kris! I am in Salta now, also alone and I heard about this place. I am still deciding if I will go there, but your post is very helpful!


  • kris says:

    Hey Simon, thanks for saying hi and glad it’s helpful. Please make sure you go there; one of my best nights out in all of Argentina (no pressure) 😉

    Let me know if you go and it’s still good. Have fun!

  • simon says:

    Hey Kris!

    I went and it was exactly as you described! I had a great night, came there at 10pm, stayed till 3 am 🙂 Smiles, singing, everything as you described!

    Thanks again!


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