tilcara, Tilcara, Argentina
The Ruins of Pucara at Tilcara -This travel blog photo’s source is TravelPod page: imprint

Last week I wrote about Purmamarca, this week further on up the road, past the 12th century ruins at San Francisco de Tilcara is the town of Humahuaca, best known for it’s unique church.

The famous Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria Church in Humahuaca

Humahuaca is the last biggish town heading north towards Bolivia at a height of 3,000m absl (9,000ft).

It was my first experience with ‘sorochi’ or altitude sickness, quite nauseating.

I have never suffered since.

Once people who suffer this malady, it is rare they suffer again; and not everybody suffers and some more than others.

The traditional narrow, cobble-stoned and colorful streets and adobe homes.

Saint Franscisco Solano's midday blessing

Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria Church was built in 1641, the Cabildo with a clock featuring Saint Franscisco Solano’s a real size image, the doors open to reveal the Saint at noon each day.

In 1996, I spent a week exploring and resting in Humahuaca before I traveled north for my first Bolivian encounter. Because of the altitude and being July, it was cold. Despite the sun shining the atmosphere was very chilly and the streets icy.

I had planned to return to Brazil via Paraguay, but one morning at breakfast I was thumbing through one of my travel books and saw how close I was to Bolivia, a mere 160kms (100 miles). I had never been to Bolivia before…

The seed was planted. After breakfast. I went to the hole-in-the-wall that served to sell bus tickets. There was a bus at 11am to La Quiaca and the Bolivian fronteir; back to the hotel, paid my bill, packed my bags and the rest…

Well, that is another story.