Time Out

Well, folks, we are 5 weeks into this 9 week trek. It feels quite different from the 2 months we spent in Europe. We have talked quite a bit about why this might be so. For me there are a few differences.

One – There is a big difference between hiking every day for a month and then touring, as we did last spring, and just touring, as we are doing now. We were both ready to head home after a month of visiting various locales in Spain and Portugal, after completing the Caminho Portugues. Yet, neither of us were ready to leave after the completion of the Caminho.

Two – We have been in big cities so far: Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Santiago, and to a lesser extent Montevideo. And while we have not been walking city streets from morning until late into the evening, we still have been surrounded by tall buildings, bus, car and truck traffic, and highly peopled streets when we are out. That is, excepting our few days in Punta del Diablo.

Three – After our days of hiking and staying in smaller Portuguese towns and cities, and with the exception of a few days in Barcelona and Madrid, we were in smaller, lower density places: Evora, Obidos, Viana del Castelo.

It catches me by surprise, this feeling that maybe 2 months is too long. I wonder, “Is this enough – to travel, see, and experience other places? Or, is there a way to travel that includes something more? Something more fulfilling; a way to contribute to the places and people we are visiting.”

Or maybe it’s just that 2 months in Argentina is too long. Last night, I was almost paniced with the realization that “we have to be here for another 4 weeks.” Maybe it was due to the long day we had spent traveling to and from Cacheuta for the thermal water and natural cold spring park. Maybe it was sitting at the bus station on a sweltering evening at 10 pm waiting for the 11 pm bus that would take us to Cordoba. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t been able to shower after spending a day in said waters.

Travel can be wearing, taxing, disorienting as evidenced by the above ruminations. I hadn’t had the energy to post the past few days. Curious, as that wasn’t my experience on the Caminho.

Travel can be  a wonder of sights, learning and renewal; a recognition that a feeling of the moment does not define the entire experience. That is what kept the panic at bay. So that even after a night on a bus, I awoke with a new attitude in a new locale.

I am now sitting on the patio of our brick cabin overlooking verdant hills, birds calling in their variety of languages, a cool breeze wafting by. We are in the small community of Colanchanga, outside of Rio Ceballos, which is an hour by bus from Cordoba. It is just what I need at this point in the journey. Quietude, abundant plant life, and a hammock for afternoon naps under the roof of the quincho.

Our host for this leg has been generous with her time. She picked us up at the Rio Ceballos bus terminal; took us for provisions to a market, a green grocery, and a panaderia. She gave us a short tour of their extensive lands, pointing out trails and destinations: to a spring fed pond for bathing, a waterfall, and places with benches just for sitting and gazing.

I started writing this last night, the 16th of febrero. Today, our first full day in this rural paradise, I conclude this post. Next, I plan to write about a quintessential Argentinian day out in Cacheuta.

As internet is about non-existant here, all my posts may become available on the same day.

Abrazos fuertes, Paula

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