Iruya is tiny and the few people who come here from Tucuman often come for a one-day visit. We had planned to stay a couple of nights and soon realised that was going to be a great choice while riding towards this secret corner of the world. One of the reasons why you would want to spend more time in Iruya is the incredible mountains by which the village is surrounded. Colourful rocks, so many shades of reds and greys, hardly any vegetation, the whole landscape is so dry and wild it manages to be scary and fascinating at the same time. We adventured walking on the bottom of a wide valley, following a quite powerful creek, towards the village of San Isidro. You can only walk to San Isidro (3000 m) and this by itself makes it a special place to my eyes. It's a 3 hours hike with the almost sure company of condors flying over your head. Bolivia is less than 100 km away and while hiking here you feel you would want go on, cross the rocky peaks in front of you and get there by foot, most likely without meeting a single human being on the way. Towards the end of the valley, feeling a bit confused about where a village could fit in that landscape, we started hearing voices singing sweet religious melodies. The echo from the valley somehow amplified this music in such a way we could not really tell where it was coming from. A few rocks later we spotted a couple of donkeys and climbed up (literally) to find the village and the origin of the music. Turns out the 15th of September is a day of massive celebrations (Holy Mary assumption) for the entire region of Salta, and for San Isidro this entails literally the whole village being involved in what looked to us quite a fun celebration. Magically, even if we were completely unaware of this, we got to San Isidro 10 minutes before the beginning of a dancing procession of people, from the alleys of the village to the church. Most people were wearing costumes, mainly traditional or religious ones, but few guys were also dressed like horses! Everyone looked quite surprised of having these two unexpected guests (us!) among them but after a few minutes they seemed relaxed about our presence and let us stay for their celebrations while also offering us also some Lochro lunch. People of all ages together dancing, praying and offering bloody legs of a freshly killed lamb to flower-full holy Mary. Quite an incredible show for our eyes and spirit. In San Isidro people live of what they manage to grow and of a few animals. They are not a lot and they seem quite happy to be up there, not having to deal with a lot of the downsides of the modern world. We hiked back to Iruya feeling lucky to have a taste of this. In order to connect even more with the landscape we were crossing we jumped into the stream for a great refreshing bath, which washed away all the dust accumulated after days of motorbike riding…Some days are just so full of life that years would not be enough to contain it.