10 September 2015

Argentina - 100 Curves Drive &Cordoba

100 Curves Drive Argentina
A chilly morning at 8 degrees! Our first outing of the day was to do the 100 Curves route around the lake. The houses here are much more palatial with glorious views. At one of the view spots, littered with rubbish, I spotted a pink bra hanging from the tree. The mind boggles as to why this was left there! Further brought us to Dique San Roque Dam. 

Dique San Roque Dan Argentina

100 Curves Drive - Argentina!
The huge drain hole at the dam is very scary, so much so that there is a friendly guard on duty! The sidewalk stalls were open and the smell of braaing meat made us think of home.

From this point we took the scenic route to Cordoba - this meanders along a river where we spotted a number of black comorants, each sitting on their own rock.
And what did I spot on the way into the city? A huge Makro store!
Cordoba was founded in 1573 and is the 2nd largest city in Argentina. With a population predominately of Italian descent, it has some interesting colonial architecture which includes the Jesuit Block.

Traffic into Cordoba was via a 4 lane highway, going in only. I suddenly saw the sign that said trams, busses and taxi in the 2 right hand lanes only. As this was where James was driving, he had to switch to the car lanes quickly!

We spotted a car park so decided that was the best option at 18 pesos per hour.
Everybody reverse parks - no idea why.

Our first sighting was an "Oscar" look alike. He moved at a fast pace on his prosthetic legs so we could not get a glimpse of his face.
On foot we headed towards the centre of the city and suddenly came upon a lady wearing a South African sweatshirt. She very kindly pointed us in the right direction and also said to take care with 
my camera.

We found Plaza San Martin and the monument to Jose San Martin, the liberation hero. This part of the city is pedestrian with stalls and cafes set amidst some beautiful old buildings. 

Street Music - Cordoba Argentina
 Pedestrian traffic is heavy; I always wonder where people are coming from and going to. Cell phones are very visible with the ladies texting and talking, mothers with babies, school children, university students and even a lone black busker.
We stopped at El Ruedo for an interesting salad. The ham here is delicious. Beers are served with peanuts - yum! 

The waiter also told me to put my camera away. To be honest we did not feel threatened in any way as there are no beggars about - maybe the criminals are well dressed?

Students selling their wares Cordoba Argentina

Everywhere we have been there are thousands of shops. I am convinced that every local family must own a shop somewhere. Shops are just EVERYWHERE! But the supermarkets still remain elusive. 

And the buildings remain rather drab and ugly to my jaundiced view.
The Tourist Information was very helpful and some of them speak English!
Many trucks here run on gas - the very large gas cylinders are fixed in the back.
Finding our way back to the car park?  Yes!!! We asked again at the tourist office for the road that has the trams and taxis. Apparently there are 2 of those but we did narrow it down to Av Colon. Off we headed and thankfully found the car park!

On the way home we stopped at a Shell Service Station.  The petrol attendant was most interested that we were from South Africa and mentioned Nelson Mandela and the Springbok Rugby team! This young man collects foreign money but unfortunately we had no South African coins or notes on us.
We passed a number of horse and carts on the way out of the city. ...However the highway got us back to Villa Piren in about an hour.
A long but fun day!

Graffiti in Cordoba Argentina

© Judelle Drake

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