Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Quebrada de Humahuaca

I love mountains and I love colourful things, so what would be better than colourful mountains? Not much, I guess. Maybe really huge waterfalls in the rainforest, or a huge marsh with capybaras, or a hidden paradise-like island with friends, but you can't really compare those. I enjoyed all of them and couldn't decide what is better. Actually, life is quite hard if there are so many things you enjoy, because deciding on what you want more is never an easy choice.

Our stay in the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a dry desert-like mountain range in the north of Argentina, started with us having to priorize what we really want to do as we found out we do not have enough time to see it all. The one thing we knew was: we wanted to see colourful mountains. But there were actually more of them over the Quebrada and there were such cute villages to visit and so much cute stuff to buy at the local markets there.

We did try to squeeze it all into one day by getting up even before 6 to see our first colourful mountain, the mountain of seven colours in Purmamarca, at sunrise. It endet up with us sitting in a local café at sunrise as we were way to hungry to enjoy any mountains. But at least we were strenghtened afterwards for a small hike around and a beautiful view on the mountain of seven colours. Also, I got to try coca tea that is said to help in higher altitudes, as we were at about 2800m. It wasn't especially tasty and I did not feel different afterwards, but maybe it helped a little in the afternoon.

Because in the afternoon we visited the village of Humahuaca and the near mountain of fourteen colours, which was more like a mountainrange as it was so huge and really colourful! To get there, we ascended to over 4300m in car and then we only had to walk a little further to the viewpoint. As I was not used to the height at all, I was worried this would be really exhausting, but to tell the truth, it wasn't. I got a little headache and walking up the path was slightly more exhausting, but that was it. Now I really want to come back for some serious hiking one day.

The mountains that were ahead of us were extraordinary. As I love mountains and for me almost all mountains are beautiful, just the view of mountains that high would have been enough to get me thrilled, but all this different colours really made me fall in love. Also, the thin air up there might have made me light-headed but nevertheless it was amazing!

What made it even better was that we saw many vicuñas on the way down again. Sorry, I do not have a good photo but a video, you can ask me for it if you have not seen it already. vicuñas look a lot like lamas, I do not know how to tell the difference. But we were told that the wool of the vicuña is even fluffier than of the lama and the alpaca which must be heavenly as I bought a sweater of alpaca wool and I have never worn a sweater this fluffy. And it is so warm! I am almost looking forward to being back in winter so I can wear it. Almost.

Until then I will further enjoy the dry almost desert-like heat of the Quebrada and all its cactuses, as long as it lasts. Since we are kind of on a tight schedule, tomorrow I will already be somewhere with a completely different climate and landscape to enjoy. And there will be wineyards! Okay, I must confess it is not hard if you enjoy so many things in life because there is always something to enjoy and be happy about.

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