Argentina 13

On the 22nd of February I leave Rosario and head to Cordoba, which I have heard many good things.  As I leave town, I drive by this beautiful bus station in Rosario,

This was the view from my hotel room in Rosario.

I could see 15 church steeples from one window.

On Friday the 23rd, I enjoy Cordoba, Argentina.  I decide I need a little exercise (I really need a lot!), so I leave the motorcycle at the hotel and walk about 7 miles before the sun sets.  The first place I head is Park Sarmiento, which looks as though it has been abandoned.  The first thing I see is an 'All Black" ferris wheel.  A black ferris wheel does not have the fun look of a brightly colored wheel. 

I find the location of a huge swimming pool, which I was searching for in order to take another 'Then and Now" photograph.  The problem is the pool which is at least 500 feet from a 10 foot high fence, which is completely locked up.  There is a sign which states that "$1,250,000 has been allotted to refurbish the park", but the restoration has not yet begun.  So I walk around the huge park looking for an official, to no avail.  After walking about 3 blocks around the pool area, I find an area where there are park maintenance people.  I ask for access to the pool area, which is immediately granted.  I am feeling lucky!  They were happy to oblige me.  

This pictures was from James Fitzpatrick's Fireside Travels.  It looked very grand in 1948.

It was a shame to see it in such disrepair.

I sure hope the restoration is successful.

On Saturday, the 24th, I return to the main church on the central plaza in Cordoba.  I requested permission on Friday to gain access to the roof of the church.  I was told to return at 8:00 am and ask for Juan Manuel.  Around 8:15 Juan shows up and asks that I return at 9:00 am.

The picture, below, is from J.A. Zahm's book entitled "Through South Americas Southland", which was printed in 1916.  I needed access to the roof in the area behind the dome at the back of the church.  In the bottom right hand corner of this picture you can see the steeple of the church one block behind this church, which was the target of the next "Then and Now".

This is Juan Manuel, which gave me authorization to access the roof.
I thought that Juan was going to follow me to the roof top, but he merely pointed at the ladder.

This was the first climb to the roof.

This ladder was very solid.

This was the next small ladder.

It was not connected to the wall and was fairly steep.

To get to this ladder, I had to steep over power lines.  I have never moved so slow and cautiously.

If the ladder were to fall backwards, this would be your fall.
A roof top adornment.
The final climb to the spot where Sydney Clark took a picture in 1940, for his book "East Coast of South America"

(Notice the shadow of the roof top adornment from the picture above.)

This was one of my favorite "Then and Now's", for many reasons.  The challenge to gain access to the roof top of the Cathedral, and the chance to stand 60 feet above ground level, in the exact location of a man I really admire (Sidney Clark, a travel writer from the first half of the 1900's).  And the photograph is within inches of the old picture.  If you look closely at the lower small spire of the church I am standing on, the tip of said spire is centered in the round window of the church in the background, just like the old picture above.  Everything fell into perfect alignment.

After taking the "Then and Now's" around Cordoba, it is time for a day ride in the local area.

About 20 miles Southwest of Cordoba, I visit the town of Alta Garcia.

This is the town where Che Guevara was raised.

In the background is the home where Che lived from 1932 to 1943.
Typical Che image.
A friendlier looking Che.......
Che was a small school aged boy when living here.
The golf course opened in 1913.....

Che learned to play golf and was a  caddy here in Alta Gracia.

The golf course is still open nearly 100 years later.....
Che continued his interest in golf into his Cuban days.....

Che rode a 1936 Norton motorcycle on a trip, now made famous by the movie "Motorcycle Diaries".  The trip was taken in 1951.  I am not sure if this is the actual motorcycle he rode, or just the same model.  What I find funny is he only rode the motorcycle from Argentina to Santiago, Chile, where the motorcycle broke down.  Other modes of transportation were used for the balance of the trip.  The motorcycle was used for only 2,500 miles.  I have ridden 2,500 miles in the last 3 weeks!  I am approaching 20,000 miles since my South America Adventure started.

Che and I.....

Since I have now decided to scratch Venezuela from the trip, due to the arrogant Hugo Chavez, I will be clear about my feelings towards the jerk.  What an idiot.  Well, as it turns out, Castro and Chavez visited this house less than 10 months ago (I believe it was either in June or October of 2006).  Castro and Chavez in front of the same picture that I am standing in front of in the picture above.

A "Then and Now" without the jerks...... (see picture above)

I seriously had a real strange feeling being in Che's old home, knowing his history, and also realizing that Hugo Chavez and Castro had also been here so recently.  For Chavez and Castro to pay homage to Che and the violence he caused, causes me to wonder why I am here.

Che was trained as a doctor, with nothing but good intentions.  Then he went on the motorcycle trip and became a supporter of the poor, which is 100% all right.  But then his methods of trying to change society went a muck!  Enough said........

Time to say goodbye to Che............

It was time for lunch.'

Two homes down the street from Che's home was a Cuban Restaurant.

It was time to eat something a little different.

And on the wall is a picture of my waitress (and restaurant owner), with a smirk towards Castro.

This is the owner of the restaurant.  Is it just me....... does her smile seem more sincere in this picture?

Continued on Argentina 14...........

For "Argentina 12"  hit the "Back Button".....       For "Argentina 14"  hit the "Next Button".....

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