Friday, August 26, 2011

Traslasierra. Top Ten Things I thoroughly enjoyed.

The magical Argentine province of Córdoba is divided straight down the middle by a mountain range called las sierras. Traslasierra, or behind las sierras, is the name given to the land in the shadow to the West of these mountains.

When we left Villa Dolores, we bordered the sierras’ western coast heading first south along route 14 slowly meandering through small town after smaller town until we reached the city of Merlo. There we promptly turned around and then headed north. North north north! Sneaking around the northern edge of the sierras and dropping into hippie town San Marcos Sierras.

The trip, like the hilly terrain, had its ups and downs. I struggled while trying to adapt to traveling with the company of another person. Being a fairly independent, know-what-I-want traveler, sometimes traveling with others can be a challenge. But perhaps it’s another thing to learn in this great quest of mine to learn absolutely everything I’m faced with.

Because I’m falling behind on my blog writing, I won’t go into details about this leg of the trip (mostly because I have newer fresher very exciting adventures to write about). But it was an amazing adventure and I don’t want to skip writing about it all together. Maybe a top ten list will suffice…

Traslasierra. Top Ten Things I thoroughly enjoyed.

In no particular order.

1. Climbing a walnut tree and harvesting the few lonely nuggets still hanging from the branches.

2. Meeting the apiculturist. Hearing his story. Meeting his bees. Eating the most delicious honey. Paradise for my taste buds. Paradise.

3. Artisan ice-cream in Merlo on a very hot day.

4. Nighttime truco tournament in the tent. After losing the first two nights, I launched a major comeback and won the next two nights. Especially interesting when there’s betting involved.

5. Countryside dirt roads. Wide open skies and vast prickly views. Of even more countryside. Singing at full volume into the wind. Waving to the families in scattered houses staggered along the twisting turning winding climbing road.

6. Museum Rocsen. The most satisfying museum I have ever been to. If you are every graced with the opportunity, I implore you to go explore it. You will not be under whelmed.

7. Experiencing for the first time, the wind-shield effect of traveling in pairs. It’s amazing. The first cyclist blocks the wind and the other cyclist tailgates. Basically rides for free. Then switch! Alternating being human shield, you use less energy and pedal the same distance. The laws of physics never cease to amaze me.

8. The Cordoobés accent.

9. The in-your-face contact with nature. Leaving the main road and disappearing into the back country. Barefoot. Listening to the trees; it‘d been a long time since the trees had talked to me… or maybe it‘d been a long time since I’d sat to really listen. Playing with cold stream water. Watching the moonrise over the glistening golden red sierras. Admiring the waxing moon as it slowly swells to full capacity, threatening to burst wide open, throwing moonlight shamelessly down at those brave enough to face it. Bouncing along unpaved dirt roads, avoiding rocks, thorns, and washboard bumpity bumps. Cooking by campfire, cautiously aware of the firewood used and the responsibility involved in aspects fire-related. Basking in the sun’s radiant energy cascading down from the cloudless sky.

And, 10. arriving to San Marcos Sierras

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