Córdoba and Carlos Paz

The bus to Córdoba took about six and half hours following an hour delay and I got to my airbnb having split for different accommodation spots with Joao. It apparently wasn’t a super cheap entire apartment as had been written. It was instead a private room with two other guys living there permanently. Any complaint I had was short lived as they gave me beer, asado (barbecue) and some quality games of table tennis, for the rallies that were spoilt by the cat trying to get involved.

The next morning started with a long walking tour at the San Martin plaza in the northern part of the city centre. We learned a bit about the history of the city and some key figures, as well as seeing the ‘worlds thinnest’ building with a width that varies from 3m down to 80cm! They couldn’t get a bed in it so it’s just used as offices and apparently they do generally let tourists go in and look around. Choripan is apparently something you have do in Córdoba and there is an international choripan festival here! We went to “el Dante” Which was recommended to us by the tour guide. It’s quite deep into the park so took a walk to get there and out again in the heat. It was nice enough, but nothing special… I preferred the first one I had in Rosario! But it was good to meet and spend the afternoon with some new people at least.

I then headed back to pick up my stuff from the Airbnb and after a quick chat with one of the guys there, headed to my new Hostel (babilonia, pretty good) where is treated myself to a couple of nights on a double bed. I chilled here for a bit, showered and changed then helped myself to one of the many guitars until I had to leave. I didn’t realise a couple of guys in the patio behind me listening in but as I left they asked if I cared to jam with them, and one gave me a pretty impressive demo from the makeshift drums he had. I apologised as I had to leave to meet up with Joao for food but suggested maybe later.

I had got a few recommendations from various sources and we checked out a couple of places before settling on a food truck place with music anfew minutes the other side of the canal ( La Cañada de Córdoba). I had a nice burger and a fernet cocktail… so a really unhealthy day of fast food. Joao ordered the same (lo mismo también por favour!) but they managed to cock it up and give him the other item in their two part menu. Not sure how they managed that but he dealt with it and ate the pork sandwich type thing which apparently wasn’t bad. We went to ‘Maria maria’ afterwards for a drink as we figured out what to do next and were handed some “resaquit” hangover cures at some point too by some passers by with free samples! Afterwards we met up with four people from the tour earlier and headed to a place called favela, Which had an impressive cocktail selection but despite the Brazilian name… no caipirinhas! Baffling, but the one I eventually got was amazing… something like a “pechentea” with Campari and some fruity elements. Some of the guys hadn’t eaten yet so after asking around we managed to find a place with a kitchen still open, before Joao, Raul and I headed to a club called Ganesha where we had a good dance and chat with some locals. I genuinely dealt with the Argentinian accent a lot better, and have recently read that there was a study showing a significant improvement in language ability after some alcohol! So I have my anecdotal evidence to add to the wisdom now!

They party so late here too and reminded me of my trip to Madrid early in the year… so I became a bit nocturnal having a lazy day with most of time watching Netflix, napping and chatting. I did venture out to the Shopping mall for lunch and got a chocolate sundae from an ice cream place I’d seen all around but hadn’t yet had a chance to visit. We went out to a place called canario negro, which was packed and good fun for that night as well.

I shifted accommodation and headed out for a guided tour on the south side of the centre which took you through a different part of town. I didn’t realise but apparently there is a zoo and snake sanctuary pretty central here. Apparently up in the mountains there are a couple of venemous snakes that can be deadly but the hospital is linked in with the snake sanctuary where they can produce anti venom as and when needed. Handy! We also visited the Bicentennial Park which has 200 colourful rings in it, with one for each year that has a fun fact of the city’s history. My birth year’s fun fact was an assassination of a senator… :/

There were some beautiful churches and other architecture as well as some cock ups:

A wheel built allegedly by Eiffel (of tower fame) was put together incorrectly so the material started warping and it can no longer be used.

A polar bear sculpture was commissioned for the Antarctic square and then it was realised that’s actually the arctic and it was shifted to a different part of the city to try and hide the embarrassment but keep what is a lovely sculpture in view.

A statue of Anne frank (second largest Jewish population in Argentina here) got damaged in a protest. The sculpture had died and so someone else took a crack at it… so now she looks like a dude. Poor thing.

They built a lighthouse as they wanted a tall structure and made a concrete surround which is to look like waves with very Steve sides. Tragically a small child died playing on these and now they have to employ a 24 hour police guard to stop people going on it.

It was an enjoyable tour and a cool group, the tour guide took us to a bar where she managed to get us two for one drinks all night. I also met up with a group that were going to Mendoza which was perfect as I’d been looking for some people with whom to go wine touring down there, and spent lunch and the next afternoon with them also.

The day after that I linked back up with Joao and we headed to Carlos paz, which is a quick bus trip (under an hour away). It’s a beautiful place, no doubt assisted by the brilliant sun and blue skies that have become a bit of an everyday occurrence here and now! There is a lake and riverside promenade called the costanera which we walked both up and down, and is definitely worth doing although the more savvy traveller would have got off the bus earlier and walked along it to get into town. It was then back into Córdoba for a tango class with Rocío. This was a bit disappointing to start with as it was very slow and we were just walking in time to music with 90% being chat about the music and general tango related trivia which wasn’t my desire or expectation! The lat thirty minutes at least were cool and we learned the basic step and Ro learned the “ocho” which is the figure of eight move for ladies. I tried to copy it a bit also to many frowns from the others so stopped…. then it was an average dinner at parilla de Raul Which came highly recommended so was a bit disappointing then bed relatively early but still 1 or 2 am.

The next day was free entry for tourists in basically all the museums so i made use of this opportunity to check out some places with Ro and the mendoza crew. Starting with the tribunales, then swapping over to the museum of natural sciences just after lunch, followed by the palacio de ferreyra and Emilio caraffa museum which were great. We also visited la memoria which was a small museum dedicated to the atrocities and political kidnappings plaguing Argentina’s recent history. The last part of the day was a nice beer or three having joined up also with Joao and Raul again to say goodbye to those guys. A good bunch, and will be keen to see them again one day – possibly relatively soon in Brazil for Joao and carnival if that happens!

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