Where the canyons are pretty...
Trip Start Oct 28, 2007
24Trip End Dec 29, 2007
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Quebrada de Humahuaca roughly translates to "Canyons of Humahuaca"
I hit a few towns in the area during my brief visit. Towns the likes of Humahuaca, Tilcara, Pumamarca and Maimara. All these pretty and charming villages are small, 2000-6000 people, within a half hour bus ride of each other, and all remarkably similar in design. It's almost as if the pioneers of this region set a criteria for the building of a town. If they did, it would surely go something like this:
All villages in the Quebrada de Humahuaca MUST have -
1. a church - small, white, at least one bell tower.
2. a football field - grass not required.
4. a plaza - so that, in the future, locals have somewhere to sell souvenirs to tourists.
5. streets must have the names Belgrano, Lavalle, Tucuman, Rivadavia and San Martin, at the very least.
6. A big cross on the closest, smallest hill overlooking the town.
Whoever coined the phrase, "It's as much about teh journey as the destination", clearly had the village of Iruya and the Salinas Grande in mind. Both places take an age to get to, particularly Iruya (70km in 3.5 hours...), winding along thin, bumpy gravel roads that snake up and down and around mountain after mountain. Not great for the ass, but truly spectacular scenery. Mind-blowing. Iruya itself is tiny, and built on eitehr side of a canyon, seperated by a now dry river. It will surely get the prize for the most remote town, with a football field, visited on this trip. Salinas Grande is just a huge salt lake
In short, the last few days hopping around country Argentina have been wicked, and not quickly forgotten by this traveller. Andean life - tough, dusty and definetly not for me. But brilliant for a holiday.
I will leave you with two final thoughts from the Quebrada - one, llama is delicious, and two, you haven't lived until you've heard a hip-hop, Spanish version of "Total Eclipse of the Heart". Pure pleasure for the ears.
I fancy a nice glass of red - Mendoza it up...