23 May 2017

A Cultural Diversion

Having had to make a dash for the pass to avoid getting snow bound in Chile and then moving straight on to the Hostel in Mendoza to avoid getting wet, we found ourselves ahead of schedule, with seemingly not an awful lot of interest on the way. But having already done over 5,000 miles we did not want to deviate too far off route, so we decided to follow the weather and headed north to San Juan, where we had  2 really sunny days relaxing in a camp site.

Searching the Lonely Planet I saw that Che Guevara spent his youth at Alta Gracia, south of Cordoba and there was a museum there, it was an the way so that is where we headed. On the way to Alta Gracia we stopped off at the Rocsom museum, the most diverse we have ever seen, from a wooden framed bicycle to a 2 headed cow, various examples of old x-ray machines, a room full of old dentists chairs, old carriages and cars, the variety and multiplicity was endless.

Alta Gracia turned out to be one of our favourite places and our best camp site in Argentina, and ended up staying for 5 days!. As well as the Che museum there was also a museums dedicated to Manuel de Falla, a Spanish musician who spent the last years of his life here, plus a Jesuit Estancia, which was the centre piece of the town, including church, residence, slave quarters, a clock tower and a small reservoir. To top that we also found an Irish pub with a locally brewed version of Guinness.

On the Saturday there was a 10k run setting off and finishing outside the Estancia and after it had finished I wandered into the church and found a guy tuning Harpsichord, turned out there was a Barroc concert that evening with a mix of original and replica instruments of the time, the sound was amazing and it was free!!!

So impressed with the Estancia we then detoured slightly north of Cordoba, t visit 2 more Estancia, Santa Catalina in the middle of the countryside and Estancia Jesus Maria on the edge of a large town, where we are now camped in a delightful little camp site. So what we thought was going to be a boring trudge across Argentina has turned out to be quite a cultural experience! However, the next 2 days will be driving, mostly motorway, until we get to Uruguay.

Heading towards Cordoba, just as the sun sets, the rain clears and we get the most amazing sun set
The wooden framed bicycle in the Rocson Museum (made in Italy in the 1930's

Two headed Calf

A Collection of Gramophones

A Room full of Dentist Chairs

A 9 foot high projector, used in a New York Cinema in 1950

A pair of Armadillo's

A Ceiling full of Lamp Shades

And a room Full of old cars and car parts
Our camp site in Alta Garcia

Had some amazing old trees and this huge Cacti
And an airfield next door, continually dropping people out of the sky

The finishing line at the 10k run, with the church of the Estansia in the back ground
A model of the Estancia 

Inside the Estancia

Typical Bedroom furniture

I find a guy tuning a replica of a Clave (sounds like a harpsichord) in the church
And then see this poster in a shop window
The sun starts to set on the Estancia

and the reservoir
And we had to go to the concert, which sounded amazing in the church

The house that Che Guevara grow  up in

his bedroom

the bicycle he put a motor on to do his first road trip

and his famous motor bike

Chris poses for a picture with him in the back garden

and the routes of his various road trips (from a distance it looks pretty much like our own route

Caricatures of composers from Bach to Faller on the wall in Faller's house

Estancia Catalina

With a completely overgrown Reservoir

Estancia Jesus Maria

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