My stay in Salta was to be short. Just one night. I hadn’t booked a hotel but, in the region, it’s never really a problem if you haven’t. When you arrive at your destination, you always have people waiting for the backpackers at the bus terminal and offering one or two options. A lady managed to convince me in favor of a well located hostel. And I wouldn’t have to pay for the taxi. She even came with me to make sure the driver understood that the guy at the reception of the hostel was to take care of the bill.
When I got there, I met two lovely Dutch ladies in my room. One of them was also about to travel South America on her own for a few months. I stopped feeling original about my project a long time ago. If I ever thought I was.
The same Dutchie was kind enough to offer me a padlock, so that I could put my computer and my camera in one of the room’s lockers. This would come in pretty handy in any other hostel I would go to as well as it was one of the things I hadn’t been thinking of when packing.
I thought it would be a peaceful evening that would allow me to do some writing. Of course, I was wrong. At 22.00, the energetic lady from the bus terminal made her entry in the hostel and decided we should go out. It was Friday and, according to her, I couldn’t leave without experiencing the nightlife of Salta. I refused politely. I felt tired. But Rosa is not the kind of girl to take no for an answer. I eventually agreed to have a beer in the hostel. I just didn’t want to leave the place. She interpreted this as “more time to convince that Belgian woman”. Some of her friends came along too but I seemed to be the only one of the hostel guests around the table.
Of course, when you accept a drink, it never remains one single drink. I had a few more beers. And a bit of Fernet with Coke, a popular drink both in Argentina and Uruguay.
At one point, the story of a ghost popped up. Rosa assured us that there was one living in the hostel. A detail she had failed to mention when she sold me a bed at the bus terminal. The lady ghost even got captured on a picture. And, although the picture was not a 100% clear, you could distinguish a human form wrapped in what looked like smoke. Or a cloud. Something that wasn’t supposed to be in the picture for sure. The cleaning lady and another girl in the assistance seemed to have seen it around a few times. And some guests claimed it had tried to enter their room at night. Apparently, other hotels in Salta have that kind of special guests too, due to the fact that they are located in former hospitals and mental institutions.
“I see dead people”
Cole Sear in The Sixth Sense & Rosa, from Salta, Argentina
Now repeat after me: “I don’t believe in ghosts. I don’t believe in ghosts. I don’t believe in ghosts.” Nope. I don’t believe in ghosts. But gosh how I hate the idea of them!
Rosa and her friends went out and I went to bed. For a few minutes, fearing to see the door knob moving and a white lady entering the room, I wondered if it wouldn’t have been a better idea to follow them. Then thought the whole story maybe was a trick of Rosa to get me to do exactly that. I eventually fell asleep.