Sunday, 5 February 2017

Only 7 hours too early

We caught the overnight bus from Mendoza to Cordoba to help pass the 11 hour journey.  Without the nauseating Andes to interfere with our slumber we did manage to sleep most of the night through.  

We’re using Airbnb for most of our travels and our host had pastries and Danishes waiting for us at our apartment.  The media luna (literally translates to half moon, or croissant) is served with coffee in Argentina and we have taken quite a liking to them.  Luckily we’re doing a lot of walking so we can burn the extra calories.  We bought a dozen today for $AR66 and they gave us the energy to continue.

On Sunday morning, we all awoke from an 11 hour sleep.  Beds will do that to you.  Our backs were sore from lying down for so long and we think after two overnight bus trips we are now suffering from Bus-lag.  It’s when your bum is 8 hours behind your current time zone. We eventually left the apartment and as we walked through the centre of Cordoba we realised that even at 11:30 a.m. we were too early as every store was closed.  We aimed for Paseo de las Artes to check out the local artisan markets.  A paseo is a walk or a walkway.  The streets were quieter than a sock falling to its death in a pile of cotton wool.  The markets don’t open until 6 p.m. Unperturbed we locked our sights on a green space on the map.   The first stop was the Paseo del Bicentenario, which was created to celebrate the 200th anniversary of May Revolution in 1810.   It is a series of 200 coloured circles dated with an important event from that year.  Imagine a time tunnel made out of giant Fruit Loops.

Zebra crossings appear to be how the local government uses up white paint.  They don't seem to serve any other purpose.  It's a special sort of paint that can't be seen through the windscreen of a car, especially taxis.   Pedestrians know that those white rectangles won’t offer you any protection.  In fact I think when you step on one, you too become invisible.  Stop signs are merely a suggestion, when you can see them.  Intersections that don’t have traffic lights or signage have a convex mirror on two corners so approaching drivers can decide if they're going to slow down or floor it through to the other side.

In Parque Sarmiento, the Harper senoritas wove baskets from some willow trees for some wabi sabi time.  It was a very therapeutic hour and the kids are now keen to set up some sort of shop once we arrive in Nueve de Julio.  Insert parental eye roll here.  Usually when kids want to set up a store they mean they want us to spend a day helping them sell 50 cents worth of products.

After enough time had passed, we returned to the Paseo de las Artes and the place had been given a shot of artisan adrenalin.  The streets were clogged with cars beeping at each other, people manoeuvred around each other on tiny footpaths and every shop was open selling anything from shoes, haircuts, food to hand made goods.  Two blocks were closed off to traffic and vendors claimed the streets as their shopfronts, set up elbow to elbow with other artisans selling their handmade goods.  

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