Iruya
Argentina Destinos

Diario de viaje: Iruya, el pueblo colgado de la montaña

Sus colores, su gente y su cultura te dejan las ganas de volver, siempre volver, a reencontrarte con el pueblo que nutre de anécdotas a los viajeros. Junto a dos amigas viajé al norte argentino. Fue un viaje inquieto, nómada, siempre de acá para allá, total todo está “ahícito nomás”.

Iruya era uno de nuestros destinos planificados antes de salir de casa, las fotos que habíamos visto por Internet, y las historias que habíamos leído lo convirtieron de antemano en uno de los destinos clave.

Llegamos en un micro que salió de Humahuaca a las 10:30 am y costó $40. Fueron tres horas de viaje por un camino entre la montaña y el vacío. Con los colores, animales y el Río Grande encantando el recorrido. El boca en boca decía que Iruya era un sueño, que parecía sacada de un cuento…Y era cierto.

Iruya se encuentra en el límite de Salta con Jujuy por el este, a 2.780 metros sobre el nivel del mar. La primera impresión es que está colgado de la montaña, a través de la cual se asoman construcciones de adobe, piedra y paja. Las calles de adoquines son estrechas y en subida. Hermosas, aunque difíciles de transitar. El premio de caminar hacia arriba son las vistas increíbles que se van abriendo. Además cuanto más alto en la montaña, más económico es el hospedaje. 

Las casas de familia ofrecen camas, cocina y duchas. En la mayoría hay una terraza que funciona de lugar de encuentro. Así era la casa-hostel donde dormí. A las 21:00 el humo y olor a asado envolvían todo el espacio, las botellas de Norte pasaban de mano en mano, surgían los primeros partiditos de truco y las conversaciones entre argentinos y españoles tenían como cortina canciones de rock nacional.

Desde 1995 Iruya es Lugar Histórico Nacional, gracias a que sus costumbres, vestimentas y viviendas siguen la misma tradición que hace 250 años. El pueblo aborigen se entrelaza con el hispano y funcionan en armonía todas las culturas. Los habitantes hacen un gran esfuerzo para que no se pierda su identidad a pesar del intenso turismo que baja de micros y camionetas todo el tiempo, en especial durante el verano.

En Iruya hay una plaza principal donde los chicos lugareños juegan picaditos con los turistas, después se sientan a la sombra en las gradas de cemento y toman una gaseosa fría. También hay un mirador en la entrada del pueblo que funciona de plaza y antesala de la Iglesia, amarilla con tejas celeste. 

Ahí, con vista al Mirador de Los Cóndores ubicado en el pueblo vecino, La Banda, nos sentamos como muchos, a tomar mates con tortilla y ver ocultarse al sol para dar paso a la luna que por la altura se esconde tempranamente tras el Mirador de la Cruz, que funciona de espalda de la mágica Iruya.

Mientras contemplaba todo sin querer sacarme nunca esas imágenes de las pupilas, llegó Jazmín, caminando con su amiga Brisa por la calle que sube de la plaza. Tenía cuatro años, pero por su desenvoltura parecía de más. Llevaba su pelo oscuro atado en una larga cola de caballo. Su sonrisa era enorme y brillante, y con los ojos cafés también sonreía. Vivía en La Banda, cruzando un puente de maderas y tensores. 

Me contó que todos los días se levantaba, desayunaba y jugaba con sus hermanos o miraba Violetta

Jazmín y Brisa llegaron caminando con la confianza intacta a la tranquilidad de su pueblo que duerme la siesta, las recibe con calidez de hogar, las cría con valores casi extintos, con la humildad, la paz y la simpleza como emblema.

A mí me llama la atención. Quizás es el miedo, la paranoia a la que estamos expuestos. Quizás es el estado constante de alerta en el que vivo, el “cuidado si vas a tal lugar o si volvés tarde”. Pienso que sería hermoso, de verdad hermoso, poder confiar con los ojos cerrados, con la noche encima y la calle oscura en la tranquilidad de mi ciudad, que es parte mía, de mi identidad.

Pero volvamos a Jazmín. Jugamos toda la tarde. Nos reímos, gritamos y saltamos. Al final del día, me contó en secreto que ella era una princesa y por eso llevaba una tiara rosa en la cabeza. Cuando nos despedimos puso su corona sobre mi pelo y me aseguro que yo también podía serlo.
Mientras la miraba y agradecía para adentro su confianza e inocencia pedía que por favor, nunca nunca se le fueran.

Nota publicada en Blasting News.

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