Argentina

Quebrada De Humahuaca

The Colors of Quebrada de Humahuaca

Jujuy Province

Argentina

May 23, 2012

Hello,

Just outside the town of Purmamarca, the Secretary of Tourism and Culture of Jujuy Province posted a display of large photographs and geological information.

Here is the English translation:

What we commonly call the Seven Colors Mountain is the outcropping of some rocks in different times, the result of the interaction of huge forces in the terrestrial cortex and its erosive processes which belong to the region called Easter Mountain Range.  The variety of colors is the product of the accumulation of sediments in the nautical and continental watersheds for some 600 million years.

Humahuaca

Purmamarca

Jujuy Province

Argentina

May 22, 2012

Hello,

The trip today epitomizes the advantages of independent travel. 

I awake at sunrise.   From the hotel window in Purmamarca (pop 510)    I take photos of the surrounding mountains.  After breakfast I stroll around the streets and up the hills.  I stop for a chat with a lovely schoolteacher.

 I drive north in the direction of the border with Bolivia.  Still in Argentina, I stop in the Quechua town of Humahuaca (pop 7985).  I wander around the town.   I visit the outdoor market.  I buy socks and a hat. 

Purmamarca

Purmamarca

Jujuy Province

Argentina

May 22, 2012

Dear Friends,

No more group tours.  I decided to be adventurous. 

In Salta, I rented a car for my three day trip into the mountains of Quebrada de Humahuaca in the northwest corner of Argentina.

When I am alone in a car in a foreign country, there is one major element to consider: the unknown. 

Yes, I received “get out of town” driving instructions from the staff at my hotel.  I have my road maps.  I am confident with a manual shift transmission.  Still, there’s always the unknown.      

Cachi

Salta

 Argentina

May 20, 2012

Dear Friends,

I am curious, so I stop in at the Via Guemes Viajes y Turismo (Travel Agency) on Alvarado Street in Salta.  Agente de Ventas, (Sales Agent) Alejandra presents me with a menu of local guided tours: Cachi, Cafayate, Salinas Grandes, Humahuaca, San Antonio de Los Cobres and a City Tour.

I am tempted by three of the tours because the guide books are overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the beauty of this area of the Argentina.

And, OMG, I actually book one!

Jewish Salta

Salta

Argentina

May 21, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

The plaque on the wall reads “Estudio Contable, Ema Jaffi de Kohan, Contadora Publica National.

 After almost two weeks in the “deep freeze” of Patagonia, I wander about this lovely city with its spring-like weather (actually, right now it’s late fall). This city of about 500,000 is known as “Salta la Linda” – Salta the Beautiful.

I find the Cathedral, the Church of Saint Francis, and the Monastery.  Orange trees line the residential streets. I photograph the preserved colonial homes and offices with their ornaments and pastel walls.  I stroll through the Plaza of the Ninth of July where the kids are enjoying the mild temperatures. And by accident, I find that brass plaque affixed to the wall of a narrow street. 

I normally think of the surname Jaffe as a possible Jewish name.  But, Kohan? A possibility.

Colorful Salta

Dear Friends,

Years ago, at the Aventura Mall near Miami, a retail store manager greeted me in Spanish, “Hola. ¿Cómo está señor?”  “Why do you assume I speak Spanish?” I asked her.  She responded, “You look like un Colombiano!”

In 2003, in Hanoi, when I traveled with Sushma and Paawan from Mumbai, they admitted to me later that at first they guessed I was from India.

Last December, when I was in Cairo, the hotel staff addressed me in Arabic.

Recently, in a retail shop in Miami, once again, the sales lady spoke to me in Spanish.   This is just the latest example of a common occurrence.

What’s going on?  Do I present “international” facial features? Some “trans-national” coloring? A “global” carriage? Posture? Bearing?

What’s in my blood?

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