Thursday, 5 May 2011

Argie Bargie Part II: Cordoba -> Mendoza

05 - 12 Dec 2010

We arrived in Cordoba deflated after saying goodbye to Letty but also bouyed by the adventure of being on our own again in South America (pero ahora con poco mas Espanol).

I was also extra happy as they served raspberry jelly on the bus and katy didn't want hers.

Cordoba's bus station was bustling as they all are but pretty well developed. The town too was far from a crumbling ruin that you might find in Bolivia. Not quite Oxford Street, but not far off (ok - quite a long way off).

We found a nice enough hostel after trekking across half the city with all our gear and went for a wander. The city was OK but was always going to be struggling to compete with Buenos Aires. The place didn't have much going on, then it dawned on us that it was Sunday and the longer we left it, the less chance there was of eating as things were closing-up around us. We nearly ended up in McDonalds (yes, the place was 'that' civilised) but instead opted for cheap if uninspiring pizza next door.

The following day was much better... bars open, shops open, people milling around, generally a much nicer place to be.

We enjoyed an ice-cream in the tree-lined town centre until katy was poohed on by a bird... its a sad fact that this was the most interesting thing to happen that day.

Later that night we had a ten bed dorm all to ourselves... almost. We were sharing with an Argentinian called Martin who - after exchanging pleasantries proceeded to talk at great length about the history or Cordoba and argentina which was pretty interesting and filled in some of the many gaps in our knowledge but then somehow managed to twist the conversation onto the topic of religion.

He was very religious, we are not. We held out for as long as possible, but were too tired to be preached at any more and went to bed.

The following day we were back on the road once more. This time Mendoza.

We'd heard good things and were looking forward to our last few days in Argentina. We arrived at the bus station on a beautifully sunny day and were accosted quite nicely by someone wishing us to stay at their hostel.

It was on the way to the city but very close to the bus station (this normally being a bad sign as they tend to have more down-and-outs) but we took a look and the place was actually really nice. We haggled a good deal on a nice air conditioned room and went on the hunt for breakfast.

The walk from the hostel to the city centre was 30 minutes of tree lined avenues and many small parks with either bandstands, monuments or pagodas.

We eventually arrived at the edge of the town centre and found a rather lovely cafe which wouldn't look out of place in an italian city.

And the rest of the city just kept on giving. Perfect sunny days and wide pedestrian streets buzzing with people spilling out of cafes and restaurants.

We then spent a nice afternoon people-watching in the central park where we also made the mistake of befriending one of the many dogs in the city... lovely, but he adopted us and almost followed us all the way home.

In fact the only thing that let the place down was the 'Pub Liverpool', a heavily Beatles biased 'brit-pub'. We didn't go in.

The following day was baking hot, but of course this didn't deter Katy from a run. I opted to take things easy and chatted with a really nice young Canadian guy (aren't they all?) named Cam, who was there for the mountain climbing. Later we walked right across to the other side of the city and found the real backpacker district, full of great looking (but expensive) hostels, bars, restaurants, cool shops and the university.

We continued on and found a great park with a rowing lake and yet more beautiful walks. This place might not have the size and diversity of Buenos Aires but it has much of its charm.

For our final day, we headed out to the city's outskirts to embark on a wine-tasting bicycle tour. All was going well: we'd caught the right bus, we'd got off at the right stop, someone even came over and asked if we were looking to go on a wine tour. To which we obviously replied 'yes'. The guy even happened to have a bike rental business... how lucky are we?! Not very as it turns out. Even in this busy part of the country, everywhere still closes on a Sunday. Guess which day we were there. He told us there would only be one place open, so we gave it a miss. Anyway, it gives us a reason to go back again. We like Mendoza. Alot.

1 comment:

  1. I see you've got the washing done ... but you won't be let out until you've finished the ironing! ;))