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Crayon Hills Gone Loco

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Published: June 16th 2017

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Geo: -23.7334, -65.5

The HILLS! They’re red, purple, green, yellow, grey, brown, pink–in layer after layer of impossibly colored ridges bathed in mist and spanked by the sun. Of course, the ones that caught my eye are the bright red ones–you’ll have to come here yourself to see the purples and yellows.

We drove into Purmamarca in the north western corner of Argentina and thought we’d driven into a box of crayons. But with low clouds and rain threatening, I knew we weren’t seeing the whole of it yet. These photos are actually from two different days because of that.

After siesta we went to dinner at a great little restaurant with the BEST food we’ve eaten in this whole country (see photos), then tucked ourselves into our cool little hotel.

This area of Argentina has the best food in the whole country. They call it comidas regionales, regional food. The multi page menus have a separate page in the front for them and they are the love of all.

There’s a wonderful thick stew called Locro made of tender goat, hominy, pumpkin, carrots and onion; humitas, which are similar to tamales but much better because the dough that wraps up the stuffing is

made of fresh sweet corn; tamales that Bob says are the best he’s ever had; and empanadas–a pasty filled with beef, pork, chicken, cheese or vegetables and either baked or deep fried.

Every section of the country has empanadas, but Salta’s are the BEST because they’re moist and flavorful.

Our first night in Salta we ate at a great little restaurant down the street and on the table was a selection of hot pepper flakes, green onions, some kind of salsa and a spicy flavored oil–all there to add to the locro. This is unheard of anywhere else in Argentina–they use salt as their only condiment. Well, salt and sugar–they love their sweets. But no pepper, no garlic, no anything with any flavor.

That’s one of the things that makes this area such a delight.


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