“Juliette… I think I found a plan,” Feng announced the following day.
“Plan? What?” I replied sleepily. I could still picture the cockroaches that had haunted my dreams.
“No Santa Fé. We go the other way.”
Originally, we thought we would bus back to Buenos Aires, from the geographical heart of the country to the capital city—Córdoba, San Francisco, Santa Fé, and so on. But if we didn’t like Córdoba that much, there was a big chance that smaller towns wouldn’t be our cup of mate de coca either.
Feng had done research and he was suggesting to fly West to Mendoza instead, and take it from here.
I was in. Bye bye, Sierras Pampeanas!
I thought about it over breakfast. The hotel felt like an hostel and the owner/manager walked me through the fridge (single-serving portions of butter, cream cheese, jam and dulce de leche), the pile of sliced bread and the medialunas. All I needed was coffee. I gave Mark his usual jam sandwich that he may or may not eat (none of us was hungry because of the heat) while Feng was trying to book the tickets upstairs with our spotty Internet connection.
I felt bad for Córdoba, thought, so after we booked the tickets I decided to explore the city better and give it another chance. We walked past the historical centre, toward the Parque Sarmiento. The avenues were less crowded, more peaceful. The museums were all closed for the afternoon, reopening in the evening after the “siesta”, but at least we got to see a different part of the city. We visited a few more churches, the plaza, the Jesuit Block, the former Jesuit reduction built by missionaries that contains the University of Córdoba, one of the oldest in South America. Incidentally, I know quite a bit about the Jesuits from my Chinese studies, because there was at one point the first foreigners to settle in China. I respect them as scholars (and I will never forget that my final exam at university for that course was on, I kid you not, “The missionary position in China”!)
In the evening, we went back to a friendly restaurant we had found and I stopped by my favourite bakeries.
I’m still glad we visited Córdoba. I didn’t fell in love with it but I don’t blame the city. I think it just wasn’t what we were looking for. I like people, art and political places. Feng enjoys natural scenery and relaxing spots. Córdoba was neither. The heart of Argentina felt a bit plain to my eyes, although friendly.
I still wasn’t sure how I felt about the new plan. Relieved, I think. We had a plan, new places to look forward to visiting. From the Atlantic… to the Andes.
A change of scenery, again.
Two lost souls and a dragon looking for the best.