10.12.2012 - 12.12.2012 40 °C
So we arrived to Cordoba in time for breakfast, hurray! The hostel is about 20 min walk from the centre – not too shabby (says Warren, only with his own colloquialisms). Our room overlooks a main road, but it’s otherwise really nice. The ceilings are super high, and for some reason, we’ve been given the six-bed dorm as a private double.
This means we’ve got a bunk for Woz’s crap, a bunk for mine, a kitchen bunk, and one to spare. All for the price of a private double, shared bathroom!
Woz realized this morning that he had lost his wallet somewhere. We searched all of our bags twice, and contacted our last hostel, but no luck. He didn’t have any cash in it anyway, just a few cards and his English driving licence. We cancelled the cards today and will sort him out a driving licence when we get back to the States (his idea, not mine).
As far as the actual city of Cordoba is concerned, we went to a Jesuit Crypt in the city centre. It was recommended in the LP, but it was a bit of a disappointment. There wasn’t any dead stuff or skeletons to speak of! Having said that, it got us out of the hostel and only cost 4 pesos for the both of us, so not a massive loss.
We decided to get a better map from Tourist Information on the main plaza, and also went into the cathedral which was cool compared to the temperature outside. We dropped a bit of change in their donations box as well, so I didn’t feel so guilty about checking things out indoors.
It reminded me of Baz Luhrmann’s take on Romeo + Juliet; I guess that goes to show how Europeanised it is here in Argentina.
Consulting our new shiny map, we walked around the Jesuit Block; a UNESCO world heritage site. The buildings were mostly pretty old and cool looking, but occasionally there’d be a 70s cement heap chucked into the mix.
Apparently Cordoba is known for its universities and there were loads of students in the area. There were quite a lot of bars and cafes as well to serve this sort of clientele; all in all we thought it was a bit rundown and preferred pretty Salta.
Well, today changed our perspective a bit. We took a different route to the city centre this morning, and it was a lot...friendlier than yesterday’s.
We bought tickets to Buenos Aires through our hostel, saving us the taxis to/from the terminal, and decided we’d visit Alta Gracia tomorrow to check out the Casa del Che – a museum about his life. The staff in the hostel explained that we could rock up to the terminal and buy tickets before we wanted to go; it was all very straightforward.
We again tried a public post office here in Cordoba to send Ash some post, but the queue was massive (I’m talking over two hours wait) so we gave up on that, and decided to wait until Buenos Aires to try again.
The variety of food available in Argentine super markets has been exceptional. We had a package of rice for tea.
That sounded like I was taking the piss, but I wasn’t. It was really tasty Uncle Ben’s sort of rice. A+.
In addition for the planning for tomorrow, we’ve also been super forward thinking and booked/paid for a tango show in Buenos Aires via TangoTix (a website).
Woz also found a free walking tour we hope to take advantage of in the big ol’ city. (Called Buenos Aires Free Walking Tours, if you’re interested.)
We slapped ourselves around a bit to get back to the present and into Cordoba. We decided to walk around Nueva Cordoba and watched some water dance (big fountain). Oh, and the Capuchino church deal:
After snapping these shots, we carried on walking, and had ice cream near another park/plaza dealio before trekking back.
After supper, the lady at reception commented on how my skin looked horribly red, and explained in great detail a special plant called: aloe vera. Oh, you’ve heard of it? Yeah, so had I.
She was so concerned about my skin in her somewhat drunken state, she cut some up for me and encouraged me to smear it all over my arms and face.
I wasn’t even properly sunburned – that’s just the colour of my skin!
Anyway, she was nice and was concerned for my health. I shouldn’t be so harsh...
Today was 41*C. HOOOOTTT. It’s our final day in Cordoba, and the heat is overwhelming. There was a lot of butt sweat. (I’ll leave the photo out of the blog for those of you with weak stomachs.)
At breakfast, we met some young American lads who gave us some travel advice for Buenos Aires. They’d been attending uni there for the last semester and had just broken up; they were doing a bit of travelling before heading back to los Estados Unidos.
They gave us a few restaurant and tourist attraction recommendations, but made us feel properly old.
We checked ourselves out of the room, and deserted our bags for the day to kill time in Alta Gracia. The staff were right; we turned up to the terminal, bought tickets, and were on a bus within 20 minutes. Tickets to Alta Gracia only cost 9 AR pesos per person, per journey. The trip took about an hour.
After having lunch in a mystery park we wandered around aimlessly looking for tourist information. We decided instead to wait for a taxi to collect us and take us directly to the museum. This was the right choice.
Tickets into the Che Museum were free for people living in Alta Gracia, 15 AR pesos for Argentineans, and 75 pesos for foreigners. Glad to know we’re keeping them up and running.
It was a worthwhile experience in the end, and we’re both pleased we made the effort to get out there. Especially as we had recently read both Che and Alberto’s travel journals.
Back in Cordoba for the afternoon, we walked back from bus terminal to the hostel. An uneventful event made slightly more eventful by a dog that decided to follow us for 30 minutes. She continually checked our location if she fell back or had gone too far ahead.
A local tried giving her some water and told me the reason she was following us was because she was thirsty. She’d just had a massive drink in a fountain though, and gave the water a quick sniff before catching us back up.
A few blocks before we reached our hostel, she lost us. Woz was pretty sad, but I was glad – it was too hot for her to sit outside our hostel doorway where we couldn’t provide her with any food. Hopefully she found a giant steak somewhere.
From then on we camped out on the hostel’s roof terrace until it was time to leave for the bus terminal tat 9ish in the evening. The bus journey to Buenos Aires was easy, and we both managed to get quite a lot of sleep. There were a couple of younger (well-behaved) kids sat in front of us, and I woke up to the girl being sick, but fortunately we were nearly to the terminal.
We did a swift feet up/bags up routine, and were pleased that she’d not yet had breakfast.