Purmamarca, Tilcara and Humahuaca are all part of the “Quebrada de Humahuaca” and offer, again, splendid walks and views. When the bus taking me from Cachí to Tilcara made a technical halt, a young woman standing in the queue before me greeted me and asked me how I was. I answered with a smile and thanked her for her concern. “Do you recognize me?” God I hate that question. Because, most of the time, the answer is obviously “no”. She and her mother had been on the same excursion as me in Cafayate. I would say that I am normally a physionomist. What I don’t remember are names. But I had been meeting too many people in a short lapse of time, and my memory was getting full.
Same story once I got in Tilcara. I went to the Waira hostel, as the three girls from Tandil I had been traveling with a few days earlier were staying there. When I arrived in the common room in search for them, I was greeted with a smile from a guy, nodding his head in recognition. Same gesture from me. I did know I had met him before. At first, neither of us could remember where or when. But we both quickly remembered: Cafayate. Excursion. Apparently, everyone visiting the region was doing the same tour.
The spirit of the Waira was very close to that of the Huayra Sanipy. People getting acquainted rapidly. Sharing a mate, a meal, a glass of wine. And another glass of wine. And another. And another. That’s the night when I discovered what a peña is. What Belgians would call a “guet-à-pintes”. A festive and alcohol- flavoured trap. With folkloric music in the case of the peña. And a night walk including star-gazing while laying down on a bridge. I remember I saw a falling star. And didn’t know what to wish for as my life at that precise moment seemed to be just perfect.
You can often measure the fun you had at night by the hour on which you get up on the following day. In my case, 13.00. Just in time to enjoy some barbecue- cooked chicken, prepared by Leandro, one of my peña buddies. The other two being Marcelo and Korea. They were also great company during the following days. For a walk to my Garganta del Diablo #3. A pizza dinner. And another night at the peña.