Hot and Sticky in Concordia

We left our Airbnb in Termas del Daymán to catch the public bus to Salto. We figured it must stop at the bus station we had been dropped at the day before, so we went back there to wait. We knew the bus came once an hour on the hour, so we were waiting for the 11am bus. At 11am on the dot, a bus arrived and drove right past us! We started to panic. If we missed the 11am bus, we’d have to wait for the 12pm bus, but we it was obvious we didn’t know where it stopped. We eventually realized the bus would have to come back the opposite direction because there was no other outlet, so we crossed to the other side of the street to wait. Sure enough, the bus came back up the street but stopped 50ft from where we were standing. There wasn’t enough time to walk the 50ft, so we resorted to waving at the bus driver who took pity on us and let us on. The ride cost 70 pesos ($2.14) for the two of us.

We were dropped at the bus terminal in Salto where we promptly purchased two tickets for the next bus to Concordia which left at 2pm for $4.42 each. To use up the last of our Uruguayan pesos, we went to Bar Leggi for a coffee and two hamburgers.

The bus ride to Concordia took one hour, and there were only six passengers, so the border crossing was super quick. Next thing we knew, we were back in Argentina. Before we left the bus station, we wanted to buy our tickets to our next destination: Iguazú. In our first indication that Concordians take their siesta seriously, the ticket window was closed between 1pm and 4pm. We sat down in the very hot bus terminal to drink maté (what else?) and play cribbage. While we were waiting, the Federal Police roused a guy six rows ahead of us from his sleep and guided him into the entryway where they spent 45 minutes questioning him, looking at his documentation and speaking on the phone. They were all still there when we left, and we still have no idea what he had done wrong. At 4pm, we purchased our tickets to Iguazú and learned it was our lucky day: they were running a special and our tickets were 20% off!

Concordia is a delightful city of juxtaposition. The very first thing we noticed was that everyone seems to have their own sidewalk! Literally, the sidewalk in front of every house is different. If we have ever been anywhere else where this is true, it has not been as noticeable as it is in Concordia. In part, this is because in Concordia, sometimes, the sidewalk just disappears into a section of grass that may or may not be mowed. And some people have very elaborate sidewalks that they have clearly put a lot of thought and effort into while others are quite run down. Concordia also has beautiful flowering trees on almost every street and some really remarkable houses. At the same time, Concordia has some streets that are unpaved and some streets that horses run down with trailers. Some of the cars are very old and look like maybe they don’t run anymore, but many are nice and new.

We stayed in a beautiful Airbnb studio that was a pleasant upgrade from our place in Termas. Unfortunately, this Airbnb had the tiniest of pans and only a frying pan and a pot at that. Despite our growing experience with challenging Airbnb kitchens, we have not yet mastered surveying the equipment before deciding what to make for dinner. After a few days without much in the way of vegetables, we really wanted some and decided butternut squash soup with what we think might be tinda squash sauteed with onions and peppers would be just the thing. After acquiring the ingredients, we arrived home to discover the unfortunate stature of our cooking utensils and the notable lack of a peeler or decent knife. Needless to say, we did not make soup, but we did do a pretty good job of making something edible in the end.

Successful dinner: mashed butternut squash with tinda squash, onion, and pepper saute, and chorizo

Concordia was very hot and humid, but we still wanted to explore, so we wandered off to the Parque San Carlos. The park is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon with a nice view over the river, multiple statues, including one representing the Little Prince, and an entire workout circuit. There were tons of people jogging through the park despite the heat. The park has a castle, Castillo San Carlos, where they offer guided tours; unfortunately, we arrived during siesta and they were closed. There is also a botanical gardens nearby. Afterwards, we walked back to town to see the cathedral and some of the old buildings, and then, dripping with sweat, returned to our Airbnb to try another round of cooking.

4 Replies to “Hot and Sticky in Concordia”

  1. I did not realize the size of your backpack … Jess, are you caring the same?

    Love the street art. Do you know if the citi dictates or controls what art people can do on the walls and homes?

    I might be wrong, does Eric write most blogs? If yes, very interesting to read. Thank you for taking time to write them.

    1. Eric writes some blogs, but Jess writes most. We write them under our own names, so you can see at the top near the date who the author of each post is. Jess actually has a slightly bigger backpack even though her clothes are smaller, so we’re not sure what she’s carrying… we plan a post describing our possessions later on.

  2. Jess, I have promised updated on the open floor office. After a month into it… I like it. I have not set with other neighborhoods but have changed desks. By now I am a pro at adjusting my multiple screens and using small and big conference rooms. I think I am more productive because it is no longer quite and I am always awake (even if I only slept 3 hours the night before).
    Many people still have a hard time adjusting.
    I think you would have liked it a lot. However, I Not sure you would want to come back to corporate America after your year off.

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