The next stop was Tilcara, in the Quebrada de Humahuaca.  It was only about 40 kilometers from where we were, and we almost made it without having to pull over for Jason to check on something. Almost.

Another cute desert town – another town filled with tourists.  We found a camp site right away – there are at least 3 in this town. This one had horses and several friendly dogs. One took a quick liking to us and he became our camp dog – Rosco. Bode ran off with a handful of carrots to make friends with the horses.

One thing we’ve noticed since being in Argentina and Chile is that people camp. Since way back in Mexico, we really haven’t seen many campers or organized camp sites. Here, almost every town has a municipal campground and there are people enjoying them. Jason has a theory (one of many) that a general population has to reach a certain level of affluence before the idea of sleeping outside is novel enough to be entertainment. In certain parts of Bolivia, for example, it’s not called camping: it’s called Tuesday.

We’re also seeing locals with RV’s. Not the mega-sized American style of RV, but a small pop-top trailer or camper van. For the last 12 or so countries, if we ever saw another camper, it was practically guaranteed to be French or German. So, we met a few really nice Argentine campers and got some tips for the seeing country.

The other big news is that we finally stayed up late enough to go out to dinner and see some local musicians. The trick was empanadas on the way to the restaurant. The restaurant opens at about 9, everyone got there at the same time and filled the place up. One waitress took every customer’s order in the whole place before serving drinks. Food wouldn’t come until much much later.

As we were discussing how much it feels like we’re in Europe, we notice that the guy at the table next to us had his dog with him. Dressed for dinner. In a chair. Bode swears the dog was drinking out of the guy’s beer glass. Awesome.

There were also a few neighborhood dogs coming and going. Everybody pets the dogs and then it seems to be part of the waiter’s job to shoo them out after 5 minutes. When the next customer opens the screen door (another one of Jason’s theory’s is about places with screen doors – you have to go in – it’s always good), another dog comes in and the process starts over. It doesn’t stop.

The ‘dinner and a show’ type of dining here seem pretty popular. We saw two bands. Apparently, they were some popular songs because every table was clapping and belting out the words. We wonder if we’re going to learn some of these before we leave the country.

There was also a Peruvian band with traditional instruments. So, we tried to figure out how many Peruvian folk songs Paul Simon ripped off. About this time, the kids started nodding off. Ahh, so that’s how they do it…kids just sleep in the restaurant. Cool, now we’ve got this down.

I’d rather be a hammer than a nail.
Yes I would.
If I only could,
I surely would.

-Paul Simon

5 thoughts on “Tilcara

  • August 9, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    I believe when you see a peruvian flute band you are not to approach it and immediately mark down the flute bands location!

  • August 9, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    Aaah! A rabbit pile of feet. We do those too…

  • August 9, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    do you know how to say levi’s in espanol? i think you do.

  • August 9, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Almost 2 years out! WOW! Great post. It’s not called camping, it’s called Tuesday line: CLASSIC.

  • August 13, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    Did you really miss all those camping places in Colombia? There were plenty, but mostly set up for tent camping where you couldn’t drive in with the van… And Costa Rica had quite a few, too!

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