Playing the Part of Tourist

We left the Diems' house in Villa de Totoral behind for a few days to explore more of Argentina. Some of the places they had already been and others were new to all of us. 
We drove by this lake on our way into the mountains, and I just had to stop for a picture! So beautiful! 

Again, gorgeous.

We stayed in a vacation house owned by a family friend.

Our first adventure day, we spent time in Villa General Belgrano, a German settlement southwest of Cordoba. Here's a German-inspired store.

There were lots of tourists and photo opportunities in the downtown area. 

I found it funny that they celebrate Oktoberfest all the way in Argentina! This was not the only sign I saw announcing the October event. 

A view of the main street. 

At the park, there were two zip lines that were super fun! Elliott and Josiah were entertained for hours! 

Our second adventure day was in the town La Cumbrecita, also southwest of Cordoba. It was a ''pedestrian-only'' town, and you had to park your car before you could cross the bridge into the town. 

Becky and I on the foot bridge

There was a hiking map that was quite extensive. 

The view from the mountainside

Ironically, even though the city was peatonal, there were somehow cars parked at the hotels. Hmm...

Again, there was lots of interesting architecture. This house was literally nested in carved rock. 

I couldn't help capturing some of the beautiful greenery. Winter in Argentina doesn't mean that everything is gray (like it does in the States). 

We found a trail with the promise of a cascada grande (large waterfall), so of course we decided to try it out.

Josiah and I made it to the waterfall first, but it wasn't as big as we had hoped.

The trail was kind of challenging. Lots of rocks and tree roots. 

Then Gianna announced that it was her naptime. This was her way of communicating this idea: 

Her communication technique was not as effective as it would have been in a town with cars, but it was still funny to capture with photos. 

And finally we adults were just as tired as Gianna and decided some sleep sounded like a great idea. All in all, a great few days of exploring like tourists! 

Climbing a Mountain (with 3 Kids in Tow!)

Adventure time! We buckled the kids in the truck, drove for about an hour to Cerro Colorado, and chose our trail up the steep mountain.

We circled the mountain a few times in car before deciding our angle of attack.

The land around the mountain was extremely flat, which made the Cerro Colorado even more inviting to climb.

Bringing kids did not stop Steve and Becky from going as high as possible. Some of the rocks were really steep, so we were teaching the kids to stay on ''hands and feet''. 

The boys kept finding caves. Elliott wanted to stop and ''make a fire.'' A gaucho in training. : ) 

The red rocks were easy to walk on, even though the angle was somewhat steep.

I thought this plant resembled the aloe vera plant, but it was much thinner and didn't have as much water absorbed into it.  

Ouch! Stay back! 

Josiah and I held up the boulder together. We're really strong as a team : ) 

Me and the boys

Gianna on her daddy´s back. She looks so tiny here! 

Another spiny something. It reminded me of a radish... except the pokey part, haha. 

We crawled on our bellies into this cave. This is one of my favorite pictures from my visit with the Diems! 

We walked back down the mountain at sunset. Beautiful colors! (and whew! We all ended the adventure in one piece!) 


Casona Tour

A Diem family friend, Domingo, gave me a tour of the town’s historic homes. A lover of history and an avid reader, Domingo filled me in on the dates of the houses’ construction, who originally lived there, and who lives there now. Many of the houses are now summer vacation homes for people living in the city. 

I loved the wrought iron gates. Such intricate designs!

And introducing Domingo, my tour guide. 

Teaching English

Part of the ‘’pop-in’’ visitors are students asking for help with English homework. Becky usually helps out the students, but I stepped to help this week.

Word got out that there was an ‘’English teacher’’ living with Steve and Becky. The first day, 4 kids showed up for English practice, and the second day, 5 kids showed up for help studying for an English test. They were an energetic group that reminded me of teaching my 4th graders. 

The Diem dining room table full of 3rd graders needing English practice.

An energetic bunch! 

We drew pictures of a house to help the kids remember the names of the rooms.

A college student, Lorena, also stopped by for English exam study help. She was really fun to work with, and we laughed a lot together!