Tag Archives: couchsurfing

Ok, so where were we..Tucuman

Alright, we left Tanti Hostel and moved back down to Cordoba as we had to connect via bus to Tucuman to trek further north. The one great thing in Argentina (and throughout South America I believe) is that they have an absolutely amazing bus network system. These are not just any buses (We have used the Andesmar line a few times) these have chairs that range from 45 degree reclining to Fully flat (a la First Class on a plane) These buses are airconditioned, have TV on board (Mostly Spanish movies – obviously) offer food and some have WiFi (we haven’t used those ones yet) So, but travel here is a pleasure, oh and you don’t have to book weeks in advance, for the most part, we arrive a the bus station and get on a bus within an hour or two…really great system.

Now, back to where we were. So we left Cordoba and went off to Tucuman. We had arranged to do some couchsurfing there on the first two nights, but that was a bit of a disaster. The story (at a high level) goes like this, we arrive at Tucuman at 21:30 in the evening and catch a taxi to the Couchsurfers residence. We get there and ask for him and he isn’t home, but we are told to wait. It seemed that he lived in a commune in a rough part of Tucuman, so we wait. About half an hour goes by and then one of the “residents” shows us to our room, this was a shocker….(I wont post the images here, but if you really want to see, let me know) and still we waited. After an hour since arriving (approx 11 pm), we ask one of the guys to call him and he says he will be there in another hour or so, that makes it midnight at which point I thanked him and said we would find accomodation elsewhere, which we did.

Tucuman by all accounts is a great, smaller city in Argentina. It has some beautiful buildings and is surrounded by some smallish mountains. In general we really enjoyed the time there, we managed to relax a bit and plan the next leg of our journey. As always, below are some images.

Photography Notes:

Most of the images here were taken at dusk or just after the sun had set. Here is what I do to make sure I get the images i want:

1. Take a light meter reading off the sky and set my camera to correctly expose for this.

2. I take a test shot and if the subject (i.e. the Cathedral is too dark) I then adjust my shutter time to allow more light in by making my shutter time longer i.e. long exposure

3. I use a tripod as far as possible, in all of these shots, no tripod was used however

4. The Government Building shot was actually a composite of 6 images stitched together digitally… I love photostitching

5. The landscape shot of the interior of the Cathedral was two blended images, 2 F – Stops apart and blended together to get correct exposure, I love this too…

6. Lenses used: I have a Sigma 10mm – 20mm wide angle lens and that was used on most of these images

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Downtime in Tanti

We have spent the last 4 days in the Punilla Valley just outside the city of Cordoba in a small town called Tanti. It really is a small place with only  approximately 4700 residents living here. It has been a wonderful place to settle down for a few days. It has been quiet and peaceful and has given Francis and I a chance to plan our next steps. The great thing about being here is that we have been pretty much self contained, what I mean by that is, we have not had to go out and look for dinner or spend the day walking the streets of the town, we have pretty much relaxed, read our books, updated our blogs, eaten food prepared on the premises and been pretty lazy. The food though, has been amazing. Tanti Hostel (where we are staying) is run by a few young guys and the chef is the father of one of the guys, his name is Carlos and boy can he cook. We have eaten far too much and the food has been great home cooked Argentinian fare. It is not too foreign, in fact it is very much what we would eat in South Africa. In Argentina, meat is a staple food almost, so it is served at every meal (no problem for me there..) and it is generally really well prepared as the Argentines enjoy their cooking. So, we have had plenty to eat (maybe too much) and tomorrow we will be leaving this peaceful place and move on to San Miguel de Tucuman. We have a couchsurf planned for there and hopefuly we will be able to get into the mountains so that I can get some images of the landscapes of the North Western parts of Argentina (take a look at the blog on the link) it is a rugged arid part of the region that should give me some great photographic opportunities. So, heres to the next step in the journey…

Alejandro and Mariana – couchsurfing hosts

Alejandro and Mariana were our first couchsurfing hosts ever. We have hosted many couchsurfers back in SA, but have never surfed a couch. We had an absolutely amazing time with them, they have a beautiful apartment in the old part of  Buenos Aires called San Telmo. The apartment is really a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the BA city streets and when you are there, it seems that all the noise and craziness that is BA, has been turned off. Alejandro and Mariana were also great to chat to, we spent many hours, late into the night chatting about politics, music (Alejandro plays guitar and they have an extensive music collection) marriage and life in general. Mariana is a great cook and she made us an Argentininan speciality while we were there called Empanadas (similiar to cornish pies, but with spicy Chourizo sausage, cheese and mushrooms inside, very tasty) They also have a similar sense of humour to me and I left them with some Goon Shows to enjoy. We will never forget our first couchsurf and we will never forget Alejandro and Mariana…we left feeling that we had made new friends. Some images (of course…) below

Sergio’s Home – Couchsurfing Host

The Garden

We had the privilege of couchsurfing at Sergio’s home in Fune, our second couchsurfing experience. Fune is  a suburb in Rosario.  Rosario is an interesting city with a lot of history and lies next to the Rio Parana a navigable river that has ships travelling to Brazil from Rosario and oven from Buenos Aires. At its widest, the river is 64 kms wide…amazing.  Sergio was an amazing host and a truly amazing chef. He cooked dinner for us on both nights and we had a true feast he had even made chocolate mousse….very good.  He also happens to have a beautiful home and garden and we were very excited to have been there. Thank you Sergio, you made our stay in Rosario truly special… here are some images from his place…

Sergio drinking Mate (Muh - te)
Swimming Pool
Sergio prepares dinner
Dinner time

Moving on to Rosario

We are having a great time at our couchsurfing hosts Alejandro and Marianna. They are really special people and have welcomed us into their lovely apartment in San Telmo as if we were old friends. We chatted with them until late last night and drank some amazing Malbec wine from the Mendoza region. They are really interesting people and we chatted about politics, music, marriage and couchsurfing for ages.

Monday we leave the big city of Buenos Aires and move onto Rosario, a smaller city approx 300kms away from BA. It is an important city historically as it was the first city where the Argentinian flag was raised ever, it is also a city where Che Guevara lived for a time, so we are looking forward to being there. We will be hosted by another couchsurfing host there….so Rosario here we come.

To check out more about Roasrio, click here

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia