Jul 29, 2009

Overwhelmed with Beauty in Tilcara, Jujuy

Here we are in the Andean northwest of Argentina, which is so very much like the American Southwest: high desert, adobe buildings, indigenous presence, more tranquil, less populated. In fact, this town of Tilcara is simply beautiful and charming. We got off the bus last night around 8:00, and went in search of a room. Lots of dorm space available, but no rooms with a double bed. We searched and searched! After stopping at something like 6 places, we found two lovely places, and opted for the more economical choice. We may serve ourselves up some luxury in a few days however.

Everywhere you look in this town you are treated to unlimited blue sky and mountain views that go on and on. In one direction there are badlands, in another polychromatic hillsides, in another sweeping foothills that carry your eyes up to more adobe buildings fitting solidly into the hillside.

After finding our new digs last night we went out to vanquish our mounting hunger. By that time it was around 9:00, so were right on time for dinner. Usually we are the only ones in the restaurant for supper because we get there around 6:30 or 7:00. Here, as in many places in the Latin world, the evening meal doesn't really get started until after 9:00 and many cafes and restaurants don't even open their kitchens until 8:oo.

We ate in a place just a few steps from our hospedaje (hostel/hotel) a lovely sienna adobe building that had been so tastefully decorated that I was almost overcome by the beauty and couldn't stop looking around. How do people create such beautiful spaces? As someone who struggles to maintain order with unruly material things, I am in awe of such skill. I told Elizabeth that I feel like I need to apprentice myself to a friend of hers who also creates beautiful and simple spaces.

We both had delicious stews for supper, traditional local fare that was perfect for a chilly Andean night. I had carbonada, a delicately seasoned pumpkin, corn, bean and meat stew. She had a lentil stew that was smokier and more tangy. A nice glass of Argentine red was perfect with the meal.

Elizabeth's blog: http://libbessinsouthamerica2009.blogspot.com/

More later.

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