We visited pueblos: Tafi’ del Valle, Tilcara (where we stayed 2 nights), Purmamarca, Uquia, and Humahuaca. We road through a rain forest, valleys called Quebradas (de las Conchas and Humahuaca) and a very steep mountain road to the peak of 4000 meters (over 12,000 feet). We saw ruins of villages that started in B.C. and were abandoned when the tribes were conquered by the Spaniards (after over 100 years of resistance). Quilmes is in ruins still, but Pukara de Tilcara has been restored. The hillsides; foothills to the Andes (some more mountain than hill) were beautiful with many colors from the different geologic eras and materials- red, pink, yellow, green, grey and more.
There was an awesome Museum, Museo Pachamama (mother earth) which was designed and built by an artist, Hector Cruz. He used the prehistoric cave designs of the tribes in his art, buildings and statues. Simple llama figures and the “Zuri” which is like an ostrich; frogs, 2 headed condors and more. We also visited many different styles of churches and cathedrals.
Our accommodations ranged from deluxe (the first night in Cafayate) to basic but good in Tilcara (we shared a 2 BR cabin with 1 BA). Tracy also helped us with shopping for the native arts and crafts and jewelry. The most unique experience, however was that Dianne and I consulted with a Shaman, medicine man, named Carlos. We both felt immediate trust in him and enjoyed the experience. He accurately found my current symptoms and prescribed a cure. I am following his instructions with the tinctures. I hope it works, you never know.
Along with this great experience, there is a negative. On the first day, at the ruins of Quilmes, the wind and dust got to Jim. It started as an allergic reaction, but has not cleared up. He has been coughing, not sleeping (I haven’t either) and today is feeling pretty bad. Last night we found a 24 hour pharmacy and got him some cough medicine. He slept better. Today he is taking it easy and sucking on cough drops (they have sugar free ones!!). He also started taking the antibiotics that I brought along for emergencies. Since we leave on a bus tomorrow, we are hoping he is greatly improved. He has had this problem before, relates to allergies and asthma. He feels that no matter what, he can ride on a bus! We are 20+ hours by bus back to Buenos Aires, but are only doing 4 tomorrow. We hope everyone else is in good health, Saludos, Cheryl and Jim