The 5 P's of Argentinian Cuisine

Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
Trip End May 15, 2011

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Flag of Argentina  , Central Argentina,
Sunday, December 19, 2010

    With a small change in plans we decided to head Northwest towards the center of the country and the university town of Cordoba. We had originally planned to move south down the Atlantic coast, but were all beached out after our time in Uruguay. Mara's skin is starting to resemble an African lady, so we need a break from the sun. However, after we arrived in Cordoba we realized that it is about 100 degrees and our desired break from the sun was not to be. We really liked the vibe we got from this place as soon as we arrived. It was sometime in the afternoon and we got there after a 7 hour uneventful bus ride from Rosario. Cordoba has a big city feel, with lots of Taxis and people walking down the streets. The buildings are more modern and well maintained than in Rosario. We arrived in our hostel an immediately liked it. The girl at the reception was friendly, and the layout of the place was really nice.    
    The first night, we followed a recommendation and went to the local art fair. Cordoba is known for its high number of artists so we were eager to see what they had to offer. This was without a doubt the best art fair we had ever seen. First of all, it was lively and lit up up in very cool ways, and because it was at night had more of a festive feel. It extended around a few streets with many stalls selling very impressive art. Every stall had unique items of really high quality and such reasonable prices. Unfortunately many of the things we liked, we could not purchase because it would not be feasible to carry them with us and the shipping cost would be way to high. We found a nice tie- dyed cloth piece that we were able to roll up and keep in a small pocket our backpack until we get home. At the fair, there were also many people selling fresh baked empenadas, artisinal beers and pastries. The food here in Argentina is very delicious but can be somewhat monotonous. I have coined with the term, "The 5 P's of Argentinian Cuisine. These items can be found on every menu in every city with slight varieties depending on the place.They are 1) Pasta  2) Pastries  3) Parilla (Grilled meat, usually steak)  4) Pizza  5) emPenadas. I realize the last one is a bit of a stretch, but it works.
    Day number two in Cordoba we ventured outside of the city limits into the Sierras, to the small town of Rio Ceballos. The small hill like mountains can be reached by a local a local bus which takes a couple of hours. We were told to get off at the dam and then walk over it to see a river. We should then follow the river for two hours to reach a waterfall where we can relax and go swimming. It was very hot outside, so the thought of this waterfall was good motivation to keep on hiking. There was no real path after the first few minutes, so we spent much of the hike climbing on boulders in the middle of the small river. We crossed back and forth about 50 times until eventually we arrived at the waterfall. It was small but very nice, and created a pool of emerald green water. However, when we got ready to jump in, three huge cows came out of nowhere, scared us a little and also defecated right in the pool we had intended to swim in. We decided to skip the swim and just relax near the water. Also on the hike we saw horses, interesting birds, a snake, colorful bees, and fish.    
    That night, the hostel was hosting a make your own empenadas event. It was fun to learn how to make them, and really simple. After they were cooked, everybody sat together around a big table, drank beer and ate. This was one of the best nights we have had in hostel because everybody was so friendly and sociable. We met people from all over the world and had a great time.
    On our last full day in Cordoba we wanted to see a little bit of the city. We walked for about an hour in the sweltering morning sun to get to the university. By the time we arrived we were so hot and tired that we just decided to skip it and find a cold drink. The students are all on break anyways for the holidays. After seeing the inside of a couple of really impressive churches around the main square, we walked though the hoards of people doing last minute Christmas shopping at the pedestrian mall and went the local cinema to escape the heat. We asked for the next English movie they had which was a comedy that ended up being really funny and the perfect break from the sun. That night we splurged and had a nice steak dinner, and bottle of wine at a restaurant that had a dance floor in the middle fro people to dance tango. We didn't dance, but enjoyed watching the other, more experienced, couples as we sipped our Malbec. That was about it for Cordoba. It was a nice few days in a really good city. Next we take a 24 hour bus ride south into the Andes mountains and the Lakes District of Patagonia.
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