I was so happy to be back in Spanish speaking territory after the disaster of not understanding Portuguese – except for “can i?” which is “posso?” – same in Italian! I have lost so much Spanish from just three weeks in Brasil it was remarkable.
Cordoba is a very agreeable town in the north of Argentina. It is a big university town, so there’s young people everywhere. We had a good time there. There are mountains surrounding the town of 2 million and nice churches and colonial architecture.
We stayed in a lovely boutique hotel that I chose – NH Hotel – and it was a lot like the hotel we stayed in when in Quito, except this time we had our own rooms with fluffy robes, slippers, posh bathroom products, big flat screen tv, and big soft fluffy beds. It was joy!
I had my first “mate” pronounced ‘muttt-ey’. We went for a walk by the river to check out the night markets and it took about four cafe’s before I found one that serves mate. Mate (remember utt-ey) is like a strong herbal tea that all Argentineans drink. You see them walking around with their cups, metal filter straws, and thermos’ of hot water to top it up. It is traditional to share your mate with family or a group of friends – you drink the water in it through the silver / metal straw, then pass it on.
Mate tastes like mixed herbs – hard to put a finger on the exact taste. Mixed herbs is all that I can compare it too.. I had to add sugar to it and I can’t say I overly enjoyed it. It’s not the sort of drink you have sitting in a cafe – the Argies walk around drinking it, work in shops and offices drinking it, and sit in parks drinking it. I can say that after drinking mate, I felt happy, light, energetic, and fantastic! I also wasn’t hungry. I later discovered that mate has extremely high caffeine content – maybe I should persevere and learn to like it?
We didn’t do much in Cordoba, a city tour where we met the lovely Raquel from Madrid, and I did some shopping. Admittedly, we both spent a bit of time in our beautiful rooms just enjoying them, reading and watching TV. Joy.
From Cordoba, we had a 10 hour over night bus ride to Buenos Aires. !0 hours on a bus..why did I sign up for that?!?
Next stop: our home for the next month, Buenos Aires