Sierra cordobesa

  • We’re on day three of our trip in the Sierra cordobesa. We left on March 1, the first days of school and hence of low season.

    The first two nights were spent in Capilla del Monte. Things to do are trekking and staying by the pool, and having asado or Milanesa for dinner.

    Prices to dine out are higher than in Palermo and we’ve already left before ordering a couple of times.

    Last time was at a parador along the route, where they advertised parrillada $260 and when we sat down not even the small portion of French fried was that cheap (it was $280). One portion of mollejas $1250, one choripan $300, one empanada $75 and so on.

    So far, not impressed by what was going to be our not-so-much-but-cheap vacation.

    I hope the next days justify a 10 hour trip by car.

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  • Thanks for the update serafinia.....looks lovely although the dining sounds a rip off!!.

    When the missus and I went on road trips in the UK we would self cater most of the time. Not so much to keep costs down we just found it easier. It meant we could eat what we wanted and when we wanted to. Probably not so easy in this weather to carry foodstuffs right enough.

  • Today we moved from the average-Argentine destinations (Capilla del Monte, Villa Carlos Paz) to the less inflationed Nona, Mina Clavero, San Javier. What a change of both scenery and towns! And prices... it’s about 30% less

    We bought 3 dozen of alfajores for $250 while in capilla del monte we paid $180 for six.
    2 liters of olive oil for $210. A big jar of olives for $180. Zapallo en almibar for $170.

    A change for the better.

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  • Yesterday we slept in San Javier, very green woods and a Hindu-aficionados community in the middle of nowhere, between San Javier and Villa Las Rosas. The town was small and uninteresting, like all towns here. At least it was not overly touristy-kitsch like in the other ‘big names’ of the Sierra.
    We slept in one of the Hindu places and managed to break just one rule of the many. We brought some egg-containing food on the premises. However, the owner didn’t reprimand us.

    Today we reached Villa de Merlo, one of the most sought after destination because of its micro-climate which make it perfect for the elderly. The town is fairly big and lives on tourism, but it’s a more wealthy tourism than the first towns we visited. Not like Cariló, let’s say a sort of Mar de las Pampas of the mountain. We did some light hiking in a park called Bayo Mogote and then took a panoramic ride on the Cerro de oro.
    Amazing scenery, windy road and windy all the way also the weather. There is a paragliding business (!) and a cable you can use to throw your self from the mountain. Just mentioning for the more adventurous members!
    You can hang by the river but the water is not deep as to be able to swim, just to dip your toes and lie.

    On the way back, we met a silver fox. I took some picture using my reflex but I won’t be able to download them until we get back to Buenos Aires, so here’s a picture in picture!

    The food is again a rip off: we went to a place 5 km from our posada and it was $900 a picada and from $450 upward a burger. The place was listed as Cajun/Creole but there was nothing Cajun... they had some Arabic food, though (hummus, babaganoush, labneh).

    The beer was ‘just’ $250 a pint during happy hour (16-19), and we went there past that.

    We bought a pizza to leave ($260) elsewhere and called it a night.

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  • Today we drove to Villa Santa Rose where we spoke with a guy who used to rent from us in capital. He’s been here for a few years and for a mere 300 usd per month he lives in an independent house with pool and a huge garden!
    The weather is nice most of the time but in winter, at night it gets VERY cold, he says. Still, there is no safety concern and it rarely happens anything.

    We then drove to Villa Berna, where our current hotel is located. This is the first of the German cluster of towns in this part of the Sierra, just a couple of hours drive from Cordoba Capital.

    We went to Santa Rosa de Los Calamuchines and found it touristic but tasty, albeit not our kind of destination. We are now having dinner in Villa General Belgrano, the self proclaimed beer capital of Argentina and host of the local Oktoberfest.

    There is a strip of ten blocks which are German-themed, but restaurant menus are mostly Argentinian-Italian. There are a few places serving basic German dishes but most people seem to prefer pizza, bife and mila essa, anyway.

    Stores sell German-themed souvenirs like beer pint vases, Tirolese-themed cook garments and the like.

    Really weird. Looks like a German-themed Argentinian town, albeit many Germans actually settled here after WWII.

    Most people looks like average Argentinians and I look the most German of them all. It says it all.

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  • The place you are talking about was born in 1930's and founded by a german from Prussia,

    Helmut Cabjolsky.s you may see, the family name looks from slavic countries, as it is common in Prussia., The main settlement was called "La Cumbrecita".

    These first settlers were not Nazi, as many people say. They were mostly working in German companies of Buenos Aires during the Weimar Republic and even before.

    Then at the beginning of WWII, many sailors of the Admiral Graf von Spee were interned in Argentina, not as POW, because Argentina was a neutral country. They stay in a place called (El sauces) the willow, but one day in 1943 they get drunk and replaced the argentine flag by the Nazi flag. There was a tremenduous scandal fueled mainly by the allied lobby (and I think they were right). The germans quickly apologized and asked that the place will be called

    Villa General Bel grano as to pay homage to the creator of our nationla flag.

    Nazi or not nazi, they made a delicious place to stay there. Perhaps it looks as a bit depayse (se the french say) but are not comparable to Disney. And I like, as a non german stock argentinean, that these people had come to my country. They transformed a savage place in a beautiful holiday place. Until 1980 the place was protected paradoxically because there were not paved roads to get there. Then they made an excellent paved road and now is plenty of rough tourists, ugly and undesirable. No wonder if the real germans had abandoned the place

    I regret this too much.

    Cordoba was never a place preferred by the BA inhabitants. They do not consider a place for vacation if there are no coast to the sea.

    This made the place an affordable and easy place to have fun in their landscapes, which I recognize, are not popular. Mostly people do not like small mountains and the lack of sea coasts.

    But if you are informed well, you can skip the numerous kitsch towns as Carlos Paz and see nice, homely and charming small places.

  • Yesterday we visited La Cumbrecita. Cobblestones on the way to the tiny town, you pay $400 per car to park and spend the day there. You can enter multiple time. In the morning, we did some hiking to see the fall. It’s not for everybody and it is not recommended to elder and unfit people. While most people entered the same, some even with flip flops (although a sign said you needed hiking gear, but nobody was checking and I wonder how many Argentinian can afford hiking boots anyway).

    There are also other hiking paths available, but I was not up to it. The town is small and it is a mountain town with a small river. Most places are Alpine in look and are hotels or houses rented to tourists. The center is accessible by foot only, unless you stay at a hotel. There are cafes to eat usual Argentinian food and some German dishes. There are some locally crafted beer brands.

    Overall, it is tourist-centered and not very true to the German tradition, and it was very odd to be in an Alpine town with 30+ degrees.

    They are making a feeble attempt to establish a chocolate tradition (much less than in Bariloche). However, no pretzel 🥨 to be seen anywhere, but some blonde locals were at the pub where we had dinner and my husband enjoyed watching Boca win the Super Liga. The place literally trembled when Tevez scored and Boca fans were screaming when the referee closed the match. 🥳

    At night, most cafes were closed and the tourists had left. It was nice to go back to dine there and enjoy the silence of a mountain town at night.

    Our hotel was in the neighboring town of Villa Berna, 10’ by car away.

    Today we are in Cordoba.

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  • Very short travel log today.
    We left Villa Berna and headed to Alta Gracia, to visit a Jesuitic building where there was a mill. The Jesuits were later replaced by a family and subsequent it changed hands until 1969, when it was donated to the Presidencia de la Nación. The town of Alta Gracia is quite big but with no charm despite it has been populated for a very long time. The guided tour was overcrowded and we toured at our own pace. We were out in 40’.

    Later we arrived in Córdoba Capital, the second biggest city in the country and home to a reputable university. We were expecting to visit about 5 churches (all closed), a Jesuitic estate (also closed), two museums (one closed), and the municipal building (partially open, no legend to walk through, and guides only work from Monday to Friday.

    The town was deserted. There is more people walking in Milan despite the coronavirus curfew.

    In Córdoba, all there was were homeless drunk or asleep in the center and in the main plaza. Whiff of piss smell alternated with hot hair. Pigeon poop was everywhere. It looked like India. It was disgusting and unsettling.

    Our hotel was in the peatonal and the area was a bit sketchy and the only open shops were McDonald’s and Grido. No people in sight. It was truly depressing and we left the hotel right after we checked in to anticipate our stay in Rosario.
    We had to pay the full rate because we booked through Booking. There was really nothing to do and we’d rather be on the road than in a shopping mall spending more money to wait until tomorrow.

    We are on the road to Rosario.

    Very few nice things to portray in Cordoba.

    First, the Cabildo inner patio. Second, inside patio of the only open museum. The contrast between these nice buildings and the outdoor surrounding them was depressing. It looked like a backward invasion by a less cultured civilization.

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  • [quote='UK Man','']

    The wife has relations in Cordoba...not that I ever wanted to but I can't see me going to visit them. ^^


    Stay away. 🙄

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