25.04.2016 - 28.04.2016
So with my first border crossing under my belt, we began our lonngggg bus journey across the north of Argentina. We were headed for the province of Jujuy, where Juan has a friend we were hoping to track down. Thankfully these buses were pretty comfortable, although they love to blast the air conditioning throughout the night- blankets are a must! Being dressed in shorts for the 35 degree daytime heat, is not suitable for the 4am everybody-leave-the-bus-police-check. To my surprise also, we had several films to watch, and let me tell you, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles dubbed in Spanish is a must see!
So we eventually arrived in the very beautiful town of Purmamarca, home to El Cerro de los Siete Colores, the hill of seven colours. This is where Juan's friend Pato worked, but when we arrived Pato was away for a couple of days so we stayed our first 2 nights in a campsite. I should say that Purma is around 3600m, so the nights here were incredibly cold!! There was an incredible group of travellers staying here, and we had 2 amazing nights of music jams, it seems everyone can play the guitar, and I learned that Juan is incredible at improvising reggae/rap. I felt pretty uncool here!
Once Pato returned to Purma, we spent a couple of days with him, and exploring the area. There is a beautiful walk around the coloured mountains, and I really can't describe just how amazing the colours are. It took me a good few days to convince my head that the massive green mountain wasn't actually covered in grass. But green rock?? And blue, and purple, and yellow, and red... As well as the incredible colours, the mountains are dotted all over with huge cactuses (cacti?!), some of which were several metres tall.
After just a few days here we realised there was some kind of charm to Purma, that made the idea of leaving a very hard concept to grasp. Many people we met had been there for a lot longer than originally planned, and it wasn't hard to see why. It's an incredibly peaceful, powerful and beautiful place and we were struggling to resist.... This was helped along by meeting two guys who were working on a project in town, which gave us an idea to stay for just a little longer...