Chili con tattooed carne

From Tilcara, I also went to Humahuaca for a day, where I met again with Anabela, Ana Paula and Jimena, who had left the Waira hostal the day after I had arrived. Another quiet village. But, apparently, I missed the most beautiful thing to see there: the mount of the 14 colours.

I did see the mount of the 7 colours though. But that was in Purmamarca, where I stayed for a night on my way to Salta. There again, I was stunned by the landscape. Sometimes, it seems as if Argentina is another planet. Nowhere else had I seen a grey, a green and a red mountain next to each other. It was gorgeous. And gorgeous were the people I met there.

Isabel. 59. A teacher. Like 50% of the Argentinian travelers I was meeting. The other 50% being lawyers. I thought it was a strange fact, until I understood these were the two professions who had two weeks of holidays just then. The equivalent of our Christmas holidays. Isabel is also a single mom and traveling on her own. If, in Europe, being a single mom – by choice – is getting more and more accepted, it was certainly not the case in Argentina in the 80’s. And although I can see there are ever more young women traveling alone, it is something that is still regarded as being adventurous. And is certainly less common in ladies her age. She’d had to face a lot of criticism in her life. Got rejected by some more conformist acquaintances. And has therefore become a strong and independent character.

And then Germán. Who, without me realising what was happening, had sold me 3 of his handcrafted jewels. He invited me to some mates to soothe the pain of my wallet. As a well- traveled man, he also gave me some tips on other things to see in the province of Jujuy. Too bad I had to leave that same day to be able to catch my flight in Salta. But I took the map with his indications with me and promised myself to go back to the Quebrada de Humahuaca one day. With more time.

At the beginning of my walk around the mount of the 7 colours, I also bumped into Korea, Marcelo and Leandro, who were there for the day – it IS a small region – and then an unknown rastaman.

He was coming the opposite way, all teeth out, and asked me where I was from. The 5 following minutes, I was unable to say a word.
– I’m from Chili and I’m staying at the camping over there. See? And I love tattoos. See? This is a recent tattoo I have done. And this one.
Actually, from what I could observe, except for the face, there was barely a square centimeter non-tattoed flesh to be found.
– And I tattoo other people myself. See? – showing me on his digital camera – This one I made today. And this one yesterday. What are you doing tonight?
Oh boy. Why didn’t I see this coming? And why did I give this stupid answer?
– I have no plans.
– I’d love to have a drink with you
– I have no plans and I’d like to keep it that way.
Nice recovery.
He kept on insisting. I kept on refusing. Told him I had to move on.
– (Touching my shoulder) I love your freckles!
(Holding my cheeks and trying to kiss me) You’re beautiful!
(As I told him one more time I was not interested) OK. See you then!
Yes, yes. Adios, amigo!

Small village. It appears he had met Isabel too. And promised to kidnap her.The quickworking type, apparently.


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