Daniel and I have a new love story. Not with each other. With a little region called Jujuy.
We step off the bus and red dirt swiftly sweeps our shoes, as if to say hello. We look up to find a dusty town, few cars, few people and immediately know that this place is going to be one that is muy tranquilo. Hello Tilcara, I think I’m in love. As we walk to our hostel, we see that most (if not all) restaurants are serving llama. Being the food obsessed person that I am, I realise that I am going to be faced with a dilemma, do I eat one of my favourite animals?
Our hostel sits on a little hill with hammocks and seats perfectly positioned to watch the sun set behind the mountains. But Tilcara’s true beauty can’t be captured by photos, just being there makes one feel happier and the chilled nonchalant vibe only makes things better. During our first night, we are woken up at 2 am by what sounds like a shot gun, some bells ringing, more shot gun sounds and then loud banging drums and symbols. Convinced that our lives aren’t in danger, we go back to sleep and leave the questions for the morning. We are told that it was a religious ceremony and that the shot gun sounds are actually fireworks – except they are the kind without pretty colours and don’t make that whistle sound at the end.
Over our next few days in the Jujuy region, we do a couple of hikes in Tilcara, visit Purmamarca to see Cerro de los Siete Colores (the hill of 7 colours) and then Humahuaca to see Serranias del Hornocal (the mountain of 14 colours). We learn that one can save $5 by hopping on the back of a ute instead of opting for seats inside the car! After our few days here, we are sad to leave. Jujuy is a place we will never forget, and in fact, a place we will certainly return to soon. We miss you already.
Oh and going back to the initial dilemma – yes, I did eat llama. It was delicious.