Posts Tagged ‘Dechi’

Happy birthday Den!!

Te iba a hacer uno de mis dibujitos kitsch, pero después encontré un japonés que pinta un poquito (sólo un poquito) mejor que yo… qué se le va a hacer…

te quiero nena! Feliz cumple!!

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Trip to Mendoza: Day 4

On Tuesday morning we woke up early again, and headed toward the station with Romi. This time we left earlier and didn’t have to push the car, so we arrived with enough time to not have to jump on the bus while it was leaving. We would stop in Potrerillos for a while before taking another bus to Uspallata.

The trip was much shorter than we expected. In fact, it takes me longer to get home from the city center at rush hour than it took us to get to Potrerillos.

Getting off the bus was a bit difficult. There were life 5 different signs announcing our destiny, and they were all separated by a couple of kms., so it was hard to choose where exactly to get off. Puzzled, I asked the driver if we had passed our stop and he said he could stop anywhere, but that was not as useful as I hoped, for I had no idea of where we were! I asked him what he suggested, and he said he’d let me know. Dechi and I stood at the front of the bus with our bulk and sort of bothered the people that wanted to get on or off the bus before us, but we managed (“sorry, we’re tourists!”) After something like two minutes, the driver stopped at a junction and told us that we had arrived. We got off to a somewhat deserted place…  seriously! the road was empty, it was extremely quiet, and there was a map on the roadside that was too complicated for us to understand. A couple of other signs promised a camping place, a grocery store and other amenities, but all of these oasis were on another road and out of the reach of our sight, and we preferred to skip the adventure at that point…

We were right next to the dam. The sight was breathtaking.

We remembered seeing some houses and a tourist information office on the way, and decided to walk back and try to find them. I started regretting not getting off the bus at an earlier stage, but it was too late to think about that by then, and we still had to walk uphill for a while.

There were two possible roads to take… We couldn’t really decide which one to take, so we chose the one that bordered the dam, so that we could take a look at the scenery on our way up. I was quite happy with the idea of doing some exercise, for a change… The view was really nice, even though we basically walked by the road and had to be cautious not to be ran over by a car.

After some time and quite a lot of effort, we made it to the village (Villa Potrerillos) and quickly found the fabulous “t” that indicated that someone could give us information on what to do and where to go. A very friendly young lady told us about the many activities we could do. She told us about the “biblioteca popular” (a library run by the community), a museum of the old railway station, an archaeological museum and a new government-built school were between the highlights. Then she mentioned a couple of nearby towns we could visit; they looked really close in the maps she showed us, but they were at least 20 kms. away!! So we decided to stay around V. Potrerillos and try to make the best out of the few hours we had before continuing our trip to Uspallata.

We were told to look for a shop with a sign saying “artesanales” (we thought it would be a souvenir shop, but instead it referred to home-made alfajores). We walked around and couldn’t really tell where the place was. On the way, Dechi couldn’t help noticing that the streets and houses were all too neat and perfect: the trees were perfectly trimmed and planted, the houses all looked too similar, the roads were perfectly paved. This place was a paradise! But Dechi could smell that something had to be wrong behind all the shiny surface…

We didn’t really find the place we were told to look for, but instead we found a place where regional food was sold, and we asked the owner how to get to the archaeological museum, and he told us to go back to where the “biblioteca popular” was, and see if we could find one of the young people that were running the place.

So we walked back, knocked on the door, and met Miriam. Miriam is a twenty-something-year-old cinema student who is running, together with some friends, a youth-led group that focuses on social communication. We learned that they publish a local magazine every month, with information from and for the communities in the different neighbouring towns. She also told us that they used to have a radio but it was shut down, and that now they were fighting to recover it. She also showed as a short documentary on the making on the dam, and how it meant the displacement of the whole village of Potrerillos, with the worst consequence being that most people lost their means of self-sustainability and, most importantly, their homes.

———

I always thought of myself as a citizen of nowhere and everywhere. It has been my dream since I can recall to live abroad, live a perpetual expat life… move to a somewhere new as soon as I start feeling too comfortable in one place. Of course, that’s just a dream. But I’ve always had it as an ambition, as something possible, as something I could choose to do.

I have heard stories about refugees before. In fact, I’ve been to refugee camps and I’ve talked to people who have been displaced. I’ve heard their stories and I’ve empathized with them. Their cases were extreme cases, cases that one hears and tries to imagine, but situations that one certainly never expects oneself to be in. Even with the outrageous number of displaced people in the world, one always thinks that it is someone else, and not oneself, who will live that situation first hand. That’s the problem with extremes… they are real, oh so real (regrettably), but they look so far away from what could ever be our own reality…

In the case of Potrerillos, the situation was not extreme (well, one could argue this, but I mean that there was neither a war, nor a natural disaster destroying people’s houses). It was a subtle means of aggression that slowly pushed the inhabitants of the village away from their homes. Some of them had been born and raised under those roofs. Some had built their houses with their own hands. Some had lived a whole life -a life that was their own and no one else’s- in between those four walls. The testimonies showed in that movie made me feel terribly sad. I kept thinking about how injustice keeps ruling in our country and silence is its accomplice. It shook me, that sometimes tragedy comes in an invisible form. It need not be visually impressive, like the well known images of destruction, malnutrition, catastrophe, etc that we see so often in the news. It need not be the news of the day, it need not be acknowledged by us to be real.

But what touched me the most was the response of the community of V. Potrerillos to the injustice they had been victims of. I admired their strength, their determination. The people of V. Potrerillos had united their forces to fight the system that had forgotten them. They have a common goal, they have a dream and they are working hard to see it materialize. The main leaders of the community seem to be Marta and Claudio, a middle aged couple who have made it their life project to see Potrerillos return to its splendor. Marta is a teacher and has promoted the creation of the popular library. Claudio had to change jobs after the relocation, he now bakes regional “alfajores” for a living, and helps in archaeological excavations as a hobby. Claudio was one of the members of the community who refused to pay for the house he was relocated to.

Claudio explained to us the reality behind the perfect neighbourhood.The government moved everyone to houses uphill, in barren land. So most people lost their crops and found it impossible to grow anything in their new lands. The homes were all beautifully designed, but they lacked phonelines, gas pipes and electricity was poor. But what was worse, was that the people were actually charged for these new homes they were forced to move to.

———

We spent the rest of the the afternoon talking to Claudio and Marta, learning about the railway station where the train once stopped, bringing promises of prosperity. After the privatization of the trains, V. Potrerillos became a sort of ghost village. Social need quickly turned the station into a popular library and community center. But with the building of the dam, that product of cultural thirst was threatened to be lost under the water.

Abandonment got the worst out of the people; some started dismantling the station and taking its belongings, forgetting that they were everyone’s property. We learned that Claudio then decided to stay at the station on a 24hs guard, preventing robberies and earning some time before the lake was filled and drowned their community efforts. Finally, a group of committed people “un-built” the station and saved every single piece of it, keeping an inventory of everything they had managed to save. The remains of the station now lay at Marta and Claudio’s backyard, the stones -numbered- divided in four groups, one for each of the walls. The station benches, the sign with the name of the town, the bell… Everything is resting there, as if time had stopped, as if relying on people’s memory, if nothing else, to give shape to it again (I’m sorry that I have no pictures of this). Claudio and Marta lead a group of people that are working hard to find funds to recover their station, even if it’s at a new location.

——–

By the end of the day, Dechi and I had done very little sightseeing. It was half past three by the time we realized that we hadn’t even had lunch. We had had a very untouristic day, but we were happy becasue we had come to learn of a reality that we would have otherwise never been exposed to. We were glad we took time to talk to those who had so much to say.

Right before taking the bus, we had a quick snack. Whole-wheat crackers and some creamy cheese that we shared with three dogs. Some minutes before 4 (time at which we were to catch the bus), we looked for a toilet to wash our hands. We asked a woman who was selling handicrafts at the bus stop, and she told us to ask Doña Rula if we could use her toilet. We found her place, an old house with a hand written sign saying “showers” (as in, you can shower at my place for a few coins). We knocked on the door and asked Doña Rula, whose real name was Dominga (which she said she preferred to her nickname), if we could use the toilet for non-showering purposes. She agreed. Her house was the most heart-warming place I’ve seen in a while. I was impressed (as you can very well witness)…

Dominga is a sweet woman, and she was really kind to us. She told me a bit about her life before we left in a hurry to catch the bus (it was almost 4!!). I wish I had taken a picture of her.

At half past four, after 30 minutes of me freaking out, fearing we had lost a bus that I mistakenly thought was meant to pass at 4, we continued our trip to Uspallata.

Trip to Mendoza: Day 3 (part 2)

Back in Mendoza, we walked from the station to the city centre and stopped at a shop to buy some cous-cous, then hit the supermarket and bought the rest of the ingredients to make a dish that Cristian always praises, together with a chocotorta for dessert (recipe at the end of the post!).

Pipi, Dechi and I spent the rest of the afternoon cooking, and enjoyed supper with the wonderful company of our friends. We decided that we’d gather up the rest of the UWC graduates from Mendoza and get together that Friday, after we came back from our trip to Uspallata.

Now the recipe for the famous chocotorta (let me warn you, you need dulce the leche!)

Ingredients:

-500grs cream cheese (ideally Casancrem or Mendicrim- red label)
-500grs dulce de leche (instructions for making your own DDL)
-3 or 4 packs of Chocolinas
– 250ml of warm coffee

Preparation:

Mix the cream cheese (CC) with the dulce de leche (DDL).
Soak each chocolina lightly in the coffee, rinse, and place side by side on a square or rectangular baking tray, until you cover it. Spread the CC-DDL mix until the whole layer of chocolinas is covered, and then prepare another layer of chocolinas, preferably alternating the disposition between layers.
Repeat until it’s reached your preferred height (or when you run out of cookies), then improvise a decoration for the cake. As you can see from our pics, we free-styled a bit…
Finally, refrigerate for a couple of hours… and enjoy!!

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And, why not, the recipe for the Cous-cous dish (piece of cake!)

This is an improvised dish that I prepared a lot while in boarding school, whenever I felt hungry and couldn’t wait until (or had missed) supper time. Unfortunately, I don’t really know how much you’ll need of each ingredient… anyways, it’s a matter of trying it out and fixing the quantities according to your own personal taste. It’s an quick and easy-to-do dish for those days when you are so lazy you are thinking of ordering from McDonald’s delivery…

So here’s what you need:

– cous cous (as much as you think you’ll need… remember it hidrates up to 400%)
– peppers, preferably green, yellow AND red.
– black olives (actually, the purple ones are better for this)
– tomato
– mozzarella cheese
– origanum, other herbs you might like…
– oil
– olive oil
– salt (as much as you like)

Instructions:

Boil the cous-cous. In the meantime, cut thin slices of the three kinds of peppers and fry till they are tender (do not use olive oil for the frying, preferably use a neutral oil like maze or sunflower oil). Cut the tomatoes and the olives in small squares, and set aside.
Once the cous-cous has little water left, lower the fire, throw in the cheese, cut in squares and let it melt.
Mix in the peppers and herbs. Salt is up to your taste.
Remove from fire. Mix in the raw olives and tomatoes. Add olive oil, and voilá!

Mendoza: Day 3 (part 1)

Up early in the morning, we were ready to hit the road en route to Tunuyán. As I said previously, both the women at the tourist info office AND a little guidebook of the region had convinced us to head that way.

The previous night, however, destiny had thrown a little advice, but we didn’t hear it… When we told Martín (another friend, he also went to Mahindra) about our plan, his face gave out the sinister truth about it, but we didn’t pay attention…

So we woke up early, had breakfast and left with Romi toward the bus station. Romi’s car had run out of battery, so our adventure started when, running a bit late already, we had to push the car for a couple of meters until it started…

We got to the station when the bus was about to leave, we hopped on and the door closed right behind us. And so, the trip to Tunuyán started… I don’t really remember the details of such trip, but we arrived in the city of Tunuyán quite quickly. It looked pretty much like many other small cities in the country… but we were hopeful!

Once we were off the bus we looked for a tourist information desk at the station, but there was nothing apart from two bus company ticket-sale offices (hint #2). We asked in one of them how to get to the “Manzano Histórico” (a historical apple-tree that both Romi and Martín had mentioned as THE worthy attraction in the area). We were surprised to know that there were no buses going to such place (hint #3), but we found that there was an alternative means of transport to get there. What scared us a bit was the name of these so-called vehicles: “truchos” (which means something like “fake”), but we still decided to give them a try. We walked some blocks along an avenue; the place was deserted (hint #4). We got to the  Our hopes were smashed when we heard the word “sixty” (hint #5). Sixty pesos for a ride in one of those splintered cars?!?

No way. We turned back and thought of having a coffee (just to justify the ride there) before heading back to Mendoza, or maybe somewhere else…

What followed seemed like an endless walk. The streets had somewhat more people than before, and there were plenty of shops along the street we were walking through, but no signs of a place where we could sit and enjoy a warm drink. I was almost losing hope when Dechi saw a sign that said “cottages in El Manzano Histórico- ask here- information”.

Bingo! We entered the place- it was a furniture shop- and asked the woman in charge how to get to see this famous tree. Bingo! Her husband was headed that way in only a few minutes, and he could give us a ride for a modest sum of money.

Our luck seemed to gave a sudden twist. We hopped on a SUV and drove off to the Andes, eager to find something that would make the day seem worthy. The guy who drove us was really friendly. Along the way he pointed out the different plantations: peaches, elms, apples, etc (it turns out that tourism is far from being the main activity in the area, where agricultural exploitation is at its peak). We also passed by the bottling plant for the water “Eco de los Andes” (this water flows down from mountain glaciers, drains underground and stays there for around 60 years before coming to the surface again, some kms. away from the foot of the mountains).

We passed by “El Manzano” and drove a bit more until some cottages that the man owns for rental to tourists. We looked around and promise to promote them, so I better look for the brochure and post it soon :) I must say, this man’s hospitality deserves to be highlighted! After “only a few minutes” (ie: half an hour or more!) we drove back to the historical place and had a chance to take some pictures.

At first sight, if I am to be honest, the place is pretty unimpressive. There is a little park where you find the Tree, which happens to be a grand-son of the original tree, there’s a little museum of Sanmartinean History that focuses mainly on the expedition across the Andes, and a monument to San Martín’s* return from Chile.

I was never a big fan of Argentinean history, or history in general… Or maybe I was, but I don’t recall those days anymore… So when confronted to these high doses of patriotism, I was a bit afraid that I’d freak out. Luckily it didn’t happen and, surprisingly, it was quite the contrary. I had a sudden interest in these bits of history. I read those 19th century letters sent between army men who were fighting for independence and had a weird feeling. I was impressed by their passion. The letters were not public communications written to convince the public to keep paying taxes to support the invasion of a foreign country. No, they were private letters, one man writing to another, expressing very ordinary needs and very extraordinary feelings, all in the same page. It was great… It felt a bit akward, to be reading someone’s private correspondence, but it also gave me an insight on their humanity, which I had somehow neglected with my deliberate non-patriotism.

After the museum, we climbed up the monument. It’s size was tricky, it definitely looked smaller than it really was. It is probably the best monument I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen quite a few! I acknowledge it’s a subjective appreciation, though!). It is quiet, or at least it was quiet that day, and it somehow heightened the sense of solitude and instrospection that one would imagine San Martín to have had after crossing the mountains with his army. The monument shows SM on a mule, beside him and hugging him is Olazábal, who waited for him on this side of the map. On the rear face of the monument there’s a bronze plaque with a transcript from Olazábal’s memoirs (translation). Reading it was certainly touching. Once again, what passion! I was totally absorbed… and the setting was perfect.

Little after that we met the man, and started the return to Tunuyán. On the way back we saw a condor flying above the car. We also saw a little fox crossing the road. I had mixed feelings. The road was an alien in between such miracles, yet it was allowing me to witness and enjoy them…

The man (I must remember his name!) left us at the river bend, where a famous local festival takes place at some point throughout the year (not when we were there, unfortunately). We walked a bit but quickly realized that it was late and we had neither had a coffee nor eaten anything in a long time. We sat down for a pizza, which we gulped down in order not to lose the only bus that would get us back to Mendoza on time for cooking supper for Romi, Martín and Cristian. We barely made it.

(to be continued)

* in short, José de San Martín crossed the Andes with his army and liberated Chile, Perú and Argentina… for more info, I guess wikipedia will do :)

Why people should visit Buenos Aires

by Dechi
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Why come to Buenos Aires? Well, let’s see… there’s a Museum of Pathology were you can see a two-headed cow; there’s a Canadian totem pole and a Mesopotamian column (which incidentally also has two heads); there’s a giant mechanical flower that stays open during the day and closes it’s petals at night; there are two intersections that feature streets with the same name (there’s also a street that goes in a circle and intersects itself); there’s a little house built on top of a ten-story building (the owner had it made so he could take a nap there and not have to drive home during siesta hours); there’s a theatre turned into a bookstore (with a lovely café where the stage used to be); there are restaurants built inside train wagons, ones where you can eat while you’re blindfolded, ones where you can draw on the tables and ones with really weird themes (like the one with all the Peron memorabilia or the one with the opera singers); the Museum of Photography is actually a café with glass tables that hold really antique cameras; there’s a shopping mall with the most beautiful paintings on the ceiling; there’s a subway line with carts that are probably form 1913; there’s an Olympic-size swimming pool inside University of Buenos Aires’ Law School (not on campus but inside the actual building – there’s also a basketball court but I think the pool sounds way more impressive); there are lots and lots of trees (which I think is something really important for a city to have) and quite a large number of parks and squares; there’s a lot of chaos and a lot of silence and a lot of garbage and a lot of flowers; there’s a lot of everything and a long list of things that are missing; there’s a lot of room for improvement but we are still optimistic.

Yet another unusual event…

Last night we took Martín to Ezeiza (he’s off to Brazil for a conference on political sciences). Knowing him as we do, we asked him to check the details of his flight several times, and reminded him yet twice again on the day before his departure.

Saturday, 6am. Are you sure? Yes. Are you very sure? Yes. How sure? Very sure.

Good, so after having mate at a very late hour at a very unusual park in Puerto Madero (Parque Micaela Bastidas) we went for a pizza at “Los Inmortales” (great pizza place in Av. Corrientes) and finally drove to Ezeiza at around 2am.

Parque Micaela Bastidas

Los Inmortales

Los Inmortales

We got there some minutes before 3am, only to find out that the plane was actually taking off at 7am (in addition to labels, one shouldn’t trust Martin’s space-time orientation). Nevermind, we actually got to spend a bit more time with him before he left, so it was nice.

But Sleep had followed us all the way from Buenos Aires, and caught us unguarded at the airport seats while we were waiting for Martin and his colleagues (Leila, Lali and Tincho) to do the check-in.

Sleep and I had some unfinished business (I had spent 44hs awake between wednesday and friday), and I was feeling a bit weak, but luckily Dechi was there and together we confronted our rival bravely. Our weapon: music. Yes, believe it, we started singing folkloric music and, even though the people next to us stood up and decided to sit a bit further, we feel we did a good job because they would still look back at us and smile (or were they laughing at us? I’m not sure). Thing is, we managed to beat that invisible force that was pulling down our eyelids and forcing us to yawn uncontrollably… And once our voices were all warmed up and our confidence had boosted up, we changed genres.. We sang a bit of cumbia until at some point I came up with Madonna’s “La isla bonita”, to which Dechi declared that she didn’t really know the lyrics and I had no choice but to confess that I didn’t either… that was the end of our promising careers as pop stars.

When Martin and the others came back, we stood up and started walking a little, ready for a second round against Hypnos, who had now teamed up with other forces of nature to mess around with the air (it felt damp and extremely warm). As we passed by the screens we read that there was an early flight to Cochabamba, and for some reason we thought it was odd “peculiar”. A few times throughout the hours of waiting we would remember this flight, or mention Cochabamba, and smile.

At around 6am we reminded everyone that it was probably a good time to go pay the airport taxes and head toward the boarding gate. Lali and Tincho were already captured by the oneiric promises of the airport seats, while Leila was socializing with a Belgian guy who had been smiling while we sang. After a slight response-lag, everyone was up and ready to depart (except for Dechi and I, who despite our desire to buy a ticket to just anywhere -Cochabamba included-, had no realistic plan and had to drive back to Bs. As.)

We said good-bye right before the migrations clearance and were soon following a stampede of red lights back home. As the tall shades of green passed by through the mist of the premature dawn, Dechi and I were debating about the number of toll plazas that we would come across before entering the city. She said none, I said one, we ended up crossing two. The whole situation had a taint of error and as we advanced, breaking into the fog, we couldn’t help feeling as if though we were inside a dream.

Our tired brains tried to solve the puzzle: why did we pass by two toll plazas? Did we take the wrong path? Where should we have gotten off the highway?

We Dechi suddenly remembered that soon after leaving the airport an orange light had caught our attention: petrol was out. Slowly, images of the previous minutes came back to our minds: at some point along the way, we had maneuvered intrepidly in order to cross four lanes and enter a petrol station on the side of the road. We Dechi figured that we had probably missed the exit because of that; the solution was smart enough for me and, hence, that marked the end of our uncertainty (it all probably lasted very little, but my brain cells were sleepy and lazy, so I felt like I was in a Hitchcok film).

We agreed that we would take the same route we had used to get to the airport, and we watched out for exit “Av Jujuy”. We saw the sign that promised we’d be on the right path in only 400mts, and stayed on the right side of the road… 300mts… 200mts… and the exit passed by, dissembled, without us having a chance to catch it.

I would be lying if I said that I felt scared, or that some unexplained mystery soundtrack started playing in the background (or inside my head). No, I was just too sleepy, and I’d guess that Dechi was so too. She explained the reason why we had missed the exit, and I not only nodded but complained about how badly engineered the highway was (Hypnos had cut the wires that connected my speech to the part of my brain that contains reasonable thoughts…)

We recognized the next exit: “Av. Entre Ríos”. We knew it. We would get home. Later than we’d have liked, but we’d get there nontheless. We did get on the exit this time, and were soon on an unknown narrow and shady street, facing a traffic light and confronted with an existential question: should we turn or should we keep going straight? Dechi suggested going straight, I was dubious. Dechi was right. We quickly came across Entre Ríos Avenue and signalled that we’d be turning as soon as the lights went green. While praising my friend’s sense of orientation, I looked out the window in order to find out what street we were on: Cochabamba.

We turned and, now comforted by the thought of the generous breakfast we’d share as a reward, we joined the delegation of motorized early birds inaugurating the day. As the sun brought along the blue tints that lit the sky, the radio station that had accompanied us throughout the ordeal started playing “La Isla Bonita“.

Mendoza: Day 2

We arrived at 9am at the bus station in Mendoza. We had to wait some time until we could meet Romi (a friend from there who attended school in India — check UWC for more on this).

[Ok, this is probably the time when I explain a bit about how I know Romi, and so on… Romi and I met in 2001 while applying for a scholarship to attend one of the -at the time- 12 UWCs around the world. We got along from the beginning, and I was happy to find out that we had both gotten a scholarship: Romi went to  Mahindra UWC in India, and I went to Waterford Kamhlaba UWC in Swaziland. Romi and kept in touch ever since, and have met a couple of times after graduation, since we both returned to Argentina to study medicine. Apart from Romi, there are many other UWC graduates in Argentina, and many of them live in Mendoza, so this was a good chance for me to meet up with them.]

So, back to the trip. We had some hours to kill, so we stopped at the tourist information office inside the station, and asked for tips on what places to visit and so on. Two very helpful ladies gave us all sorts of advice, and recommended that we visited Tunuyán (west of Mendoza city), where we’d find a paradise of home-made gastronomic goodies mixed with an oasis of spirituality. We were not fully convinced at first, but after reading a little guidebook that they gave us, we decided to visit Tunuyán on the following day (here’s the chronicle of that trip).

After gathering some touristic information, we left the station and walked towards the city center (blue line, X1 on picture). We walked along Sarmiento, a pedestrian lane, and sat down at a bar to have breakfast and make a plan for the week (we realized that we had taken a bus for 14hs and had no idea of what we’d do in the 7 days we were ment to stay there!)

Once we had sat in one place as long as we possibly could, I got a bit anxious and asked to walk around a bit, just so as to use up some of the energy I had accumulated over the previous weeks, when holidays seemed like a far off dream. We walked to a second tourist office, to find out how to get to the higher mountains (the once with snow, you know… we wanted snow!! :) And soon after we found ourselves on board of a streetcar that drove around the city centre (purple line, X2). Well, a wanna-be streetcar, for it turned out to be a normal bused dressed up as a trolley. Nevertheless, it had its charm (like a bell used to ask for a stop) and not many people use it, so it turned out to be a kind of private ride.

At around midday Romi picked us up and took us to her apartment. She lives in a lovely and quite big apartment that she shares with Pipi, her dog, another two people.

We used the afternoon to go back to the station and get bus tickets to Tunuyán. Then we had a look at the city, visited the Foundational Area and its museum, sat down at the foundational square, listened to folkoric music as we watched a group of people dancing to it…. I learned a bit about the history of the city, which in some way made me feel good. These years of studying medicine have made me forget how much I enjoyed history lessons!

As the sun was setting, we headed back to Romi’s house, where we had supper and a long chat with her. It was a lovely day. We hit the bed early, for a very exciting day in Tunuyán would be waiting for us the next morning!