Tilcara is a bigger town than Humahuaca with a bit more to offer.
My first day I hiked up the “Devil’s Throat”, aka La Garganta del Diablo.
Forty-five minutes into the hike you can see why the locals call it the Devil’s Throat.
The gorge was formed over thousands of years by the Huasamayo river but as the below video shows, the river is now just a trickle.
From the top of the gorge you can hike upwards along the stream that is Rio Huasamayo.
I did the hike with a guy from Uruguay who I had met at the trailhead, Mauricio Betran Garcia.
By the time I had arrived in Argentina my Spanish was as good as it got in all of South America. I was able to carry on a conversation with Mauricio, solely in (basic) Spanish, for about three hours, mostly because Mauricio didn’t speak much english.
My ability to speak Argentinian Spanish, however, is a different story.
In Argentina “calle” (street) and “pollo” (chicken) are pronounced “Kai-shay” and “Po-sho” instead of “Kai-yay” and “Po-yo”, as in the rest of South America. The double-L, which normally has a “Y” sound in spanish, has more of a “sh” sound in Argentina.
I guess the difference is comparable to english in the south of the United States vs. the north. For instance, the five word sentence: “Its at the add line” (think an oil change) in the north of the U.S. is pronounced with only one word in the south, “Satadline!”, typically with a mouthful of chew.
Thankfully Mauricio was from Uruguay so I didn’t have problems understanding him.
Mauricio and I’s topically varied conversation continued after our hike was over and on into dinner.
We talked about a lot of things but as I usually do, I steered the conversation towards the place that the person I’m talking with lives, in this case Uruguay, and its sociopolitical role within South America.
I had heard some interesting things about Montevideo and Uruguay from Matan Vax, my Bolivia travel partner for 3+ weeks. Matan had traveled in Uruguay right before he met me in Bolivia.