Cordoba: A Disappointing City in Argentina

The bus ride from Mendoza to Cordoba quickly taught me a new adaptive skill for traveling. The skill to consume mass quantities of wine in order to pass out cold on a 10 hour bus ride. Apparently there was a thunderstorm and Mark was climbing over me to take pictures and I had absolutely no reaction to being stepped on. Great skill if traveling with friends who remain vigilant on the bus ride. Not good if you have to be on your toes and make sure your shit isn’t getting stolen or you’re not getting kidnapped.

When I woke up apparently it had been worked out that the British Rummage guy would be joining us in transit to our hostel since he didn’t know where his hostel was due to the  lack of wifi on the bus.  When we got to the hostel it turned out that Aracely, Mark and I had booked a 4 person room so that we could have a safe place to lock sleep and keep our bags – and in order to maintain this safety we invited this random stranger to stay with us. Totally safe and not at all like taking a free ride to school from the white unmarked van with tinted windows because you were offered ice cream.  I mean nothing says safe stranger like a self-proclaimed “English gentleman” who just happened to enjoy a casual game of Rummage with strangers.

The view from the Hostel

After checking into our room and showering not in the shady bathroom that just had a shower head over a toilet and a bidet, we headed out for breakfast and to see the sites. Despite having the kind of dry heat that causes severe sweating and a rampant desire to be hosed down like a girl gone wild, there was apparently a Presidential Plaza, a river and a nice park that Trip Advisor promised would be worth braving the sweltering heat for.

The Presidential Plaza

As you can see from the picture, it was totally worth it.

Trying to make the best of what thus far was a comically disappointing city the guys checked a few sites and decided on a nice rooftop restaurant for dinner. After a brief siesta we headed across town (FYI: Cordoba is the second largest city in Argentina after Buenos Aires) to the restaurant.  Which was closed. Not willing to admit defeat so easily the four of us walked through the lively area looking for a place to eat. Our stipulations were simple, nothing too fancy or expensive and no pizza. Half an hour later we ended up at a pizza pub. We settled down for a dinner of quesadillas, lomo (a meat which I still haven’t quite figured out what it is) and Quilmes – the local beer that’s served by the liter. There also happened to be a Bocas Jr game on which was apparently why everyone was at the restaurant to begin with . The guys really enjoyed the game and I don’t mind soccer football futbol? so it was kind of like being at Hooters except without the cute waitresses. Who am I kidding, I have yet to met a cute Hooters waitress.

The one relatively cool thing we saw in Cordoba that wasn’t a football match

After dinner we got a drink and then headed back to the hotel where Rummage and I decided to keep drinking. Sort of. I had half a beer and Rummage drank the rest of the liter because a) he’s an English gentleman, and b) after eating a meal of South American portion sizes I drink beer like a bitch. Plus, as an indication of my level of drunk I also brought up that I know all the flags and capitals of the world and sat drunkenly on the floor of the hostel identifying flags by description for Rummage and other random hostelites which was a clear indication that it was time for me to go to bed.

The next day, knowing the awesomeness that is Cordoba and not being motivated enough to follow my Uruguayan Couch surfer’s advice to go to Carlos Paz lake we made like rats and left the hostel only for food and then scurried back home to the air conditioning and wifi of the living room. I’ve never spent so much time actually in a hostel as we did in Cordoba, but on the bright side, the staff and guests at Mate! were pretty awesome.  And as it turned out on that day, there was a Barca vs Real Madrid game that we were able to bootleg stream from the internet to the projector in the living room until the three of us thankfully had to leave for Buenos Aires.

Summary of Cordoba

Basically, Cordoba kind of sucked but in its own weird way things kind of worked out. We met Rummage who will also be meeting us in Buenos Aires and Rio, and we got the chance to relax for a few days and do what we would do on a Sunday in New York – watch sports and drink beer. Which kind of brings me to another realization. While I’m going to be spending the next couple of months fortunate enough to live each day as a day full of new experiences, it’s always be nice to sit back relax and do nothing in good company.

A church next to where we ate breakfast
Dear Marietta,
I love you to death, but a hardcover 400 page book is not the most practical travel gift for a backpacker. Thankfully I finished this book in Cordoba and was able to leave it for the next traveler. Spoiler alert, the ending sucks.

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