Published: June 28th 2012June 28th 2012
Rumi says that we should sell our cleverness and buy bewilderment. He also says a lot of other things that are right on and lovely, but I´m sticking with this one for tonight because it seems to apply for Cordoba. Usually, when I sit down to put one of these posts together, an attempt is made to pick out one story or situation and make it bigger than it was using words (cleverness). Tonight I say nay! Let´s follow this pro-bewilderment trail and see how it goes.
Cordoba started out not so great. I arrived early in the morning after a sleepless night on the bus, arriving to my hostel cranky and hungry. After a cup of coffee or two I headed out, ready to orient myself in another Argentine city. I had heard nothing but good things about Cordoba... It is oh-so colonial! The mountains are nearby! It is more peaceful and laid-back than BA! At first glance, I found none of this to be true. Everywhere I looked were shops, restaurants or bars. The city seemed run-down, past its prime, even a bit depressed. True, there is a central plaza, but if that is what makes up the entirety of the colonial architecture, I think I´ll pass. I was truly bewildered at why this city had been recommended to me.
And then Becca arrived, bringing a bewildering amount of my favorite treats from Ecuador. Coco cookies dipped in coffee! Chifles- a whole bag! We set out again the next morning, and I remembered why traveling with her is always a good idea. Every few feet she stopped to snap a picture and call my attention to something beautiful. After following a side street on a whim, we found what would be one of my favorite museums, completely by accident. Again I was smacked on the face by bewilderment- by how quickly I had discounted what could be a major part of this trip.
The past two days have been wonderful as well. In fact, during our 6 hour trek today, somewhere in the middle of Parque Nacional Condorito, we left the trail to go find a secret waterfall (led by our very informative guide Martin). As we were bushwacking it through the tall grasses that make up the Pampa, I made up a little song about us being gringas who like adventure. (This was not met well from Becca, who usually detests my singing. This doesn´t stop me from doing it, however.) Right there in the middle of the waterfall and the condors and the pumas and the hawks, bewilderment struck again, as did a huge, astounding, over-the-top wave of gratitude.