Cordoba, Argentina

Jan 2, 2011 by     No Comments    Posted under: Activities, Discover, Motorcycle adventures

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Estancia La Paz, about 35 miles outside of Cordoba, Argentina, which itself is 435 miles NW of Buenos Aires.  A glorious place, in the style of Tuscany, with gardens like a grand English manor.  The sunlight shining yellow on the wet grass, following a short but strong afternoon downpour.  Small parrot lorikeets (who appear to have followed me from Manly Beach),  scream from the tall trees.  I sit on a long porch, Malbec in hand.

The motorbikes have arrived, been checked, with many in the group, far more mechanical than I, having sweated over installation of GPS units and other technical trickery in the afternoon heat. I didn’t know how to even turn on the GPS I bought prior to departing, let alone download maps, waypoints and breadcrumbs (whatever they are), so I opted instead for a run around the beautiful grounds.

The nerves I felt prior to leaving melted away on the flights over.  The day started early, searching for an open cafe on a Cordoba Sunday morning.  Churches were open, and nightclubs were starting to close, but the streets had not yet come alive.  Coffee was eventually found, and while the traditional local cookie, alfajores, was not yet available, sweet pastries with dulce de leche were.  A visit after to Plaza St Martens, and the De La Iglesia  Anglican Cathedral, built in 1677 to confess my culinary sins seemed appropriate. We spotted our first rally cars, obvious in commercial livery.

Estancia La Paz is worthy, and will be the subject of, its own post, and for the moment I will allow the images to speak for themselves.  It was built as one of the homes for an Argentinian President in the 1800s, and life was clearly very good for him.  Cordoba was once the largest Spanish city in Argentina, and a World Heritage site due to its number of 17th century Jesuit churches.  Even more relevant, the ranch town of Alta Gracia nearby was where one of the great motorcycle adventurers lived as a youth – Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

The Rawhyde Adventure Tour of the Dakar Rally is now reality.  Come join the journey.

Postscript (Dec13): Cordoba is now better known as the center of Jesuit culture in Argentina, highlighted by the appointment of Pope Francis I, the first Jesuit pope in history.

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