From Salta our bus journey back tracked to Purmamarca. We tried to get accommodation here but everything was full, it was a long weekend in Argentina with Monday and Tuesday being National holidays. We had to pay over the odds but we booked an apartment at Tilcara just 30 minutes north of Purmamarca. We wanted to explore this area before leaving Argentina. We had seen some of the multi coloured mountains during our bus journey from Atacama to Salta but we wanted a closer look. Tilcara is on a hillside, the bus terminal is at the bottom and our apartment was almost at the top. Even though it's autumn, the temperature here still hits 30 Deg C (what's it like in the summer?). We couldn't find a taxi so we plodded up the hill. The two noticeable things about Tilcara are that it is not as developed regarding tourism and it's not as clean as most places we had visited so far. There is a great souvenir market on the plaza but you have to search out the tourist agencies which are scattered (hidden) around the dusty streets. The guy at the tourist office spoke no English but eventually we got details of a walk we could do on our first full day here. After a nights sleep we set off on foot during the cool(er) morning to the Devils throat, another gorge walk up in the mountains. We hadn't expected to see many people but it was Sunday of a 'bank' holiday weekend and Argentinians were out in force. There is also a dirt road alternative to the footpath, by the time we reached the path down into the gorge there was already plenty of cars parked up. This is Argentina which meant another ticket office. It was a pound each to access the gorge so we didn't mind. The path descends then criss-crosses a stream a dozen or so times until a waterfall is reached. We had our trail boots on but there were plenty of people who had driven most of the way there and were now trying to keep their white trainers dry and clean! The walk back was a much hotter affair, thank goodness it was downhill. Great views of the mountains surrounding Tilcara. After cooling off we walked to Pucara, a reconstructed Pre-Inca fortification. We saw the price and decided to walk on giving it a miss - way overpriced. We circumnavigated the town getting hotter and hotter. We deserved an ice-cream so we got one, Tiramisu flavour for Donna and Crème Brulee for me. Another walk from our apartment, we strolled down to the main road to head up into the mountains opposite to find the caves 'Cueva del Waira'. I had downloaded a gps track to assist our navigation. After just 15 minutes up the hillside we were met by a local woman with a book which we had to sign and then pay an entry fee (another pound each) - can you walk any of Argentina for free! With her was a guide who was to accompany us for another fee (£8). We didn't want a guide, we just wanted our own freedom to walk and stop as we liked. Then ensued a friendly argument about going without a guide. Eventually the guide set off with another lady who had already paid the guide to accompany her - and he wanted the same again from us! We trailed behind them, our GPS device followed the same route so we were confident we were on the right course. The higher we went the steeper and looser the hillside became. With the caves not far above us Donna said I could go on alone. The remainder of the route was difficult to ascend, especially with me still trying to adjust to the altitude of just over 9000 feet. At the first cave I spoke with someone from Buenos Aires, the cave got lower and lower the further you went in until you had to crawl on hands and knees through inches of dust and sand into a dark abyss. He assured me it was safe to go in, but I should first ask permission from the gods and I should take 4 stones in with me as an offering! I could here growling noises but it was only the guide that we didn't hire already in there and messing about. He and his lady customer crawled out into daylight. I decided I wasn't going in there on my own! A narrow path around the hill took me to another cave which had been illuminated with a few candles. There were 4 day sacks left at the cave entrance as this one was even harder to access. I ventured in for a nose and then carefully made my way back down to Donna. We sought out some shade for lunch and headed back to town (for another ice cream). Even though Tilcara is a small mountain town distant from any major settlement we had BBC world service and English movies. It gets a bit tiresome flicking the channels to try to hear your native language and just getting Spanish (and not understanding it). Whilst we were here we had a dog camped outside who tried to enter each time we opened the door and a cat on our window ledge (on the other side of the mosquito net) meowing for attention or food. Both of them enjoyed titbits which Donna insisted on feeding them, If she could Donna would feed every dog in South America - woof!