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What a mission. 27hrs after leaving Iguazu we are finally in Tilcara, a dusty village that conjures up thoughts of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. The second part of the journey was very enjoyable as the landscape changed dramatically into picture perfect rugged red mountains abundant with cacti and not a soul in sight. Every 5km’s or so we passed small clay houses and the odd horse.

When we arrived in Tilcara it was noticably colder (about 2300m above sea level) and much more rural. We headed to a cheap eatery near the bus station (everywhere is pretty close in this ‘ole town) and ordered the set menu from the chalk board, without being 100% sure what it entailed. When a plate of tasty meat, rice, sweet potato and spicy salsa arrived we were over the moon. Even though V could have named which vertebrae they had on their plate, it was so yummy and tender she didn’t care. After mopping up the remaining sauce with some fresh bread rolls and feeling completely stuffed we were brought some soup. Our second course apparently. So after mopping up the remaining soup and feeling completely stuffed we were brought some flan for desert!

Our three course meal(s) and a litre of beer cost us a whopping £5.

We went for a stroll (more like waddle by now) around the town to find a hostel after a few viewings we found one we liked.

After showers and teeth washing (the general de-bus routine) a girl working in the hostel gave us a run down of all the things to do here, surprisingly understood by V considering she spoke very fast and zero English! Muy bien chica!

Popped into the horse trekking place to get some quotes then back to the hostel to play on the Internet (J) and snooze (V-aka ‘el sleepo’). Woke up in time for dinner! Walked around the village again in search of din dins and noticed what a difference the sun makes to the temperature, it was freeeeezing.

Hurried into an empty restaurant and soon realised it wasn’t empty because we were early (it was about 8.30pm) but because they didn’t have any meat or drinks! Next stop was J’s choice in a posh looking dimly lit place with bife de chorizo and llama on the menu. One of each please señorita! We washed ‘beefy’ and ‘llamy’ down with a bottle of malbec then went to bed. It was yet another hard day of eating, drinking and snoozing.

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