Over the mountains and through the plateaus…

Léa’s host mom, Isabel, picked us up from our hostel in Córdoba early in the morning. We then embarked on what felt like a cross-country driving trip, though I honestly have no idea how far we went. We drove all day, stopping regularly in pueblos (villages) along the way.

The landscape of central Argentina

The first pueblo was having a Flag Day celebration outside a historic fort, but we were still able to enter the fort and check out the museum-like rooms inside. Somehow related to the Flag Day holiday, we also landed free hot chocolate!

Flag Day celebration in a small village of central Argentina

Las Presidentas de Alta Gracia?

 As we were walking back to the car, we came across a group of high school boys selling locro, a local type of stew, as a class fundraiser. People were lining up with pots to fill and take home, but Léa and I snuck through the crowd to see the cooking process and take pictures— and sample!

This picture doesn’t do justice to the size of that pot

Sampling locro, a local type of stew
High school boys making locro as a class fundraiser
Neighbors waiting to buy the locro

Later we tried having a picnic lunch on the plateau, but it was too cold and windy. We stuck it out just long enough for a couple photos…

The plateau
Léa and her host mom

We got to Isabel’s vacation house mid-afternoon, and spent a happy hour or so taking turns riding the family’s horse on a slow walk.

Bella Negra = Black Beauty

Isabel’s friends were renting the house for the weekend, so a crowd of seven or eight of them were already there, chatting over tea and cookies in the living room. Léa and I joined them, and enjoyed the friendly conversation until we had to go.

We drove to yet another pueblo, looked around in a couple of cute stores, and then went to the home of Isabel’s friends, an older couple who had just moved there for some peace and quiet. They were as friendly and welcoming as they could be, and served us a wonderful dinner of wine and cheese, homemade empanadas, and homemade pizza. We lingered, chatting, until it was time for Isabel to drive Léa and me to the bus station for our next overnight bus… to Mendoza!