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summarizing salta

salt flats - jujuy province

salt flats - jujuy province

... jokes aside about the Pacha Mama and her party pants… the Salta leg of my trip has really blown my socks off… for the first time in the six weeks i have felt like a stranger in a strange land…

… as i said in the last blog this area is made up of a largely indigenous population and what’s more it is a UNESCO world heritage site because of the culture and tradition that has been preserved over the centuries.

Many of the villages in this area are so remote that the inhabitants live a subsistence existence and in some villages there is very little evidence that we are in the 21st century… i met countless children who thrust scraps of paper with their addresses on into my hands so that i could send them clothes, notebooks, anything…. my heart melted on several occasions because these kids were so pure, unaffected and happy… they recited local poetry, sang, played music for us … in return for so little … it was a very humbling experience…

The culture carries with it many rituals and traditions and also a local folk music as well as the typical pan pipe music of the Andes… ( of which i will never tire…  it lifts the soul even in the darkest moments)

Many of these rituals are dedicated to worshipping mother nature … but others are designed solely for courting purposes… we will ignore the one where the guy gets a trial period with a girl to see if she will make a good wife… my favourite is one that was told to us by a local guide (Oscar) of the village of Humahuaca.. basically if a guy is interested in a girl he sends a messge using a mirror and if she is interested she sends one back and a meeting is organized… this is all well and good … so long as the right sister replies… Oscar has recently discovered that SMS is much more reliable than mirrors!!! … i’m sure he made it all up… but hey, why let the truth get in the way of a good story …!!

pumamarca

pumamarca

...tomorrow i head off to Iguazu on my longest bus journey yet…. 26 hours of contemplating my navel….!!!

with he children in sn antonio de los cobres

with the children in san antonio de los cobres

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