After the Salinas Grandes we started to head back to Salta via Purmamarca (Thursday, Nov 8). The road gets really quite crazy here as we drop from an elevation of 4,170 meters (13,681 feet). There was no way you could possibly sit up on the roof as the switch backs were hairpin turns.
As we headed down, we went through some dense cloud cover and once we came out we had a couple of teasing views of the hillside around Purmamarca.
This area is known for the amazing striations of color in the mountains as there are many different layers of sediment that were been upturned as the mountains formed. The “Hill of the Seven Colors” is here, too.
As we continued down the switchbacks new clouds set in, rain clouds, dark and heavy! I couldn’t believe it!
We stopped in town and had a 30 minute look around but the clouds prevented us from really experiencing the full glory of the colors around this area.
Truth be told, the “Hill of the Seven Colors” is quite small compared to the rest of the range (which is also very beautiful!) and the town is built up so close to it that for the best views it seems like you would really need to go up on a hillside opposite town. As I say, the rest of the mountains are also splendid!
The town itself is totally geared toward tourists. I think this is the highest concentration of souvenir and gift shops I have seen on my travels. Some were pretty nice but you would really need time to hunt through and find the nicer ones if that was your goal.
Let me also say that by now my hair was a bloody rats nest after sitting on top of the truck and bobbing up and down out of the its roof all day, and I think I have also had a microdermabrasion treatment! A long hot shower and LOTS of hair conditioner needed, pronto!