Crossing the South American Continent, from the Pacific to the Atlantic: Valparaiso to Buenos Aires

We are planning on spending some time in Buenos Aires, but first we have to get there, and it’s on the other side of the continent.  We could do it all in one very long, journey, but we decide to split it up and stop in Cordoba, Argentina, for a couple days.  So it’s 23 hours from Valpo to Cordoba, and then 10 hours from there to BA.  The trip to Cordoba is in two halves, on different bus lines:  the first takes us all day, and we arrive in Mendoza, Argentina, late afternoon.  We change our Chilean pesos for Argentinian pesos and make a small profit, weird we think but at this point we don’t realise fully the state of Argentinian finances.  A beer and a couple of hours later we set off on an overnight bus ride to Cordoba.  Of course, because the locals like to eat and party late, they show a late film (the rather strange Hereafter) which doesn’t finish till 2am, but who needs sleep ?
About the only thing we knew about Cordoba is that a number of people disappeared there during the military dictatorship in the late 70s and early 80s.  A couple of months ago, I took a cycling trip down the Most Dangerous Road In The World, near La Paz, (it’s not that dangerous) and also on the trip was a Scandinavian human rights lawyer, who had been working in Cordoba for some months on matters arising from this.  Aside from this memorial and museum, you wouldn’t know.  The lines here are the names of those who disappeared or died.
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Nearby there’s a beautiful cathedral.  We’ve seen a few good ones on our trip, but here the inside and the ceiling paintings are pretty impressive.
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One evening we go to see the local free show: water and lights choreographed to music.  Much more interesting are the antics of local young women, dressed to impress for professional photoshoots.  Diane tries to imitate but is lacking both the evening dress and style !
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Also while we are there Bradley Wiggins wins the Tour de France !!  We watch the last stage around the Champs Elysee in a bar, as the TV in our apartment doesn’t work.  Nobody else in the entire town, and possibly the country, seems to care, but we do.  Fantastic.  Anyway, a couple of days later we’re off in the bus to Buenos Aires.

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