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Solo Claire

Purmamarca, Tilcara, Humahueca

ARGENTINA | Saturday, 17 January 2009 | Views [491]

Diego, D'arte, Charlie, Mirri and myself spent a day in Purmamarca, climbing the small mountains for a better view of the place. There was a steep, narrow slope up to the top of one of them and I called Charlie chicken because he wouldn't do it. Like a true macho Argentinian he then ran up the slope while I followed at a more sedate pace. Halfway up, when the track is about 6 inches wide, I began to wish I had kept my mouth shut but we all made it up safely. The views were great from the top. There is no undergrowth on the mountains except for some cactus spotted here and there and the stone is varied in colour so it was really pretty. I'm sure we were a sight to see as we all climbed down on our asses as the slope seemed steeper going down and was covered in scree. One misstep and we would have plunged a few hundred metres. That night we over dinner I learnt cursewords in Spanish and some slang. Not much help in communicating but good to know.  

The next day we went to Tilcara and saw the ruins there. Yet again they were built at the top of a mountain with views of all the mountains and valleys nearby. They had rebuilt the walls so that you could get a better sense of what the village was like. They had put a strange monument in the centre. It was a pyramid-shaped house with no entries with plaques dedicating it to the archaeologists that discovered and excavated the ruins. There were lots of people climbing the pyramid up to about halfway so I decided to climb to the top. Once up there, local kids told me to get down as the rangers give out if they see anyone up there. Rather than bother climbing down, I just slid and ended up with a massive bruise on my side from it. There was a Penas on in Tilcara when we were there. It is basically a festival. They had llamas in a caged area and were chasing them to tie coloured ribbons onto their wool. I don't know who looked more ridiculous - the llamas with ribbons all over them or the six or seven people trying to catch one llama so that one of them could tie the ribbon on. There was a small stage set up and kids and adults dressed in local folk costumes were dancing. We had to leave then to catch our bus onto Humahueca so we didn't see too much of it.  

There was not a lot in Humahueca. There is a large monument dedicated to those who liberated the country but apart from that there was nothing really to do. By this stage the lads had started to annoy me as they were never quiet. Despite not having the best voices in the world, they were always singing. I was craving silence and actually stayed in our last night together as I just couldn't take any more noise. They came back late and were suffering a bit the next day when we travelled to La Quiaca

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