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¡Champaquí!

Hiking to the highest peak in the Córdoba province, El Cerro Champaquí (9,154 ft), in the Sierras Grandes mountain range.

semi-overcast 60 °F
View A Rough Outline of our Trip on daveliz's travel map.

Cerro Champaquí, Córdoba, Argentina, through the clouds.

Cerro Champaquí, Córdoba, Argentina, through the clouds.


Elizabeth and I often reflect on our year of travel and have the strange sensation that the past 14 months have been a dream. We've found that one of the best ways to inject a dose of reality is to visit people we've met along the way. This is one reason why I was so insistent that we climb Champaquí, the highest mountain in the Córdoba province, with a few of the Argentinians I met on Kilimanjaro.

Perhaps, subconsciously, it was also why I misinterpreted the Spanish dossier sent to me by Miguel, my Kilimanjaro friend and guide for the Alto Rumbo Champaquí hike. I initially translated it to say three day hike with three to four hours of hiking each day, so Elizabeth agreed to do it with me. In reality, there were three to four hour hikes in the morning and then in the afternoon. Sorry Elizabeth!

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Elizabeth wasn't too happy with my mistake since hiking seven hours a day for three days straight isn't her thing. Now that I say it, it doesn't sound fun to me either! Never-the-less, she made it to the top easily with only a few (hundred) minor complaints along the way ;-)

Elizabeth wasn't too happy with my mistake since hiking seven hours a day for three days straight isn't her thing. Now that I say it, it doesn't sound fun to me either! Never-the-less, she made it to the top easily with only a few (hundred) minor complaints along the way ;-)


How many women would within a year live in a car, sleep in a tent, hike mountains in the rain, use bathrooms ill-suited for humans, take cold showers and not kill their husband? I'm a lucky man!

How many women would within a year live in a car, sleep in a tent, hike mountains in the rain, use bathrooms ill-suited for humans, take cold showers and not kill their husband? I'm a lucky man!


We hiked with a group of nine fun and friendly Argentinians. Raul, with whom I hiked Kilimanjaro, was the only English speaker.

We hiked with a group of nine fun and friendly Argentinians. Raul, with whom I hiked Kilimanjaro, was the only English speaker.


Miguel, our Alto Rumbo guide, describing the history and geology of Champaquí and the Valle de Calamuchita in Spanish. I tried to translate for Elizabeth, but my Spanish was pushed past my limit. Miguel would talk for five minutes and I would inevitably translate, "that rock is of some importance."

Miguel, our Alto Rumbo guide, describing the history and geology of Champaquí and the Valle de Calamuchita in Spanish. I tried to translate for Elizabeth, but my Spanish was pushed past my limit. Miguel would talk for five minutes and I would inevitably translate, "that rock is of some importance."


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Everyone made it to the top successfully just in time for siesta.

Everyone made it to the top successfully just in time for siesta.


Our group at dinner the night of the summit. Even though we didn't understand everything they were saying, they made the experience enjoyable. We made them all a bit jealous with our 14 month trip. Extended travel is even more unheard of for Argentinians than Americans.

Our group at dinner the night of the summit. Even though we didn't understand everything they were saying, they made the experience enjoyable. We made them all a bit jealous with our 14 month trip. Extended travel is even more unheard of for Argentinians than Americans.


"Equipo Kilimanjaro." Me, Miguel, Viviana, and Raul.

"Equipo Kilimanjaro." Me, Miguel, Viviana, and Raul.


After the hike we explored Villa General Belgrano, a little German village that serves as the base camp for Alto Rumbo.

If people weren't speaking Spanish you'd think we were in Germany.

If people weren't speaking Spanish you'd think we were in Germany.


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It's amazing how many towns and cities we've seen in a year. We've taken countless bus trips from town to town. Córdoba was the next city to mark off on the map. We got a small dose of life in the city before our next destination, the province of Mendoza.

Elizabeth gets cozy for our overnight bus trip.

Elizabeth gets cozy for our overnight bus trip.


Córdoba has an extensive network of pedestrian ways.

Córdoba has an extensive network of pedestrian ways.


The ubiquitous Argentinian town plaza with man on horse in the middle. Every city and town in Argentina centers around a large square.

The ubiquitous Argentinian town plaza with man on horse in the middle. Every city and town in Argentina centers around a large square.


The architecture is very European.

The architecture is very European.


Córdoba is a Jesuit town with churches on every corner. Each one has its own character.

Córdoba is a Jesuit town with churches on every corner. Each one has its own character.


Córdoba has the largest university in Argentina. Nearing the end of the school year, sorority girls make a little noise marching down the main street.

Córdoba has the largest university in Argentina. Nearing the end of the school year, sorority girls make a little noise marching down the main street.


We had to buy the peculiar looking green fruit from this peddler. Two days later we realized it was a fig and not some tropical Argentinian fruit.

We had to buy the peculiar looking green fruit from this peddler. Two days later we realized it was a fig and not some tropical Argentinian fruit.


One thing we find hard to swallow in Argentina is the diet. Individually the meat, empanadas and sweets are delicious. However, a typical breakfast is white bread with dulce de leche (caramel spread), lunch consists of ham and cheese on white bread, and dinner is some type of meat, meat, meat with a combo of rice, potatoes or pasta. Fruit and vegetables are rarely on the table. We were surprised that even the athletic hikers didn't vary their diet to give them more energy. Meanwhile, our insides feel like glue.

Onwards . . . a few more bottles of wine, a handful of empanadas and alfahores, and some Latin dancing in Mendoza and our trip will quickly come to a close. We're looking forward to seeing our friend Valeria and her family in Santiago, Chile, soon where it all began. It's sure to be a sentimental and emotional experience!

- Dave

Posted by daveliz 03:38 Archived in Argentina

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Comments

Elizabeth is a great partner!
You are a lucky man!!!
See you soon in Santiago!!!

by Valeria

once again, luved seeing this trip. how are u ever going to come home????? luv linda
happy chanukah.

by linda e. greene

We have so enjoyed reading about your adventures! I'm surely going to go through blog-withdrawal once you come home. Enjoy your last few days...

by Holly

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