10 – 16 October
While Córdoba is the second largest city in the country there is another place that secretly is considered to actually be the second city: Rosario. Rosario is a decent sized city some 270 km up the Paraná river and has various important sons like revolutionary Che Guevara and soccer player Lionel Messi. Just like many other places it features a number of pretty plazas, interesting buildings and quiet parks. However, there is one aspect that makes it very special as the river is beautifully integrated in the city’s layout and daily life in terms of a lovely riverside with parks, bars, cafes and restaurants, nightclubs, beaches, a museum, cultural centers and a marina. Furthermore, the Rosarinos do not only take advantage of the waterfront but also use the river itself in all possible ways. Everything from huge cargo ships, sailboats and island-cruisers to cayaks, kitesurfers and fishermen can be found here.
When I arrive at Sami’s cozy apartment, who agreed to let me surf on her couch for a few days, we start chatting and end up talking for 11 hours straight – in Spanish. It is a wonderful feeling to finally be able to communicate in this language on a “más o menos” decent level and to get to know culture and people in a completely different manner than just a few months ago. Sami turns out to be an amazing host and even takes some time off work to show me her attractive city and to introduce me to some of her friends and family. I also get to introduce one of my friends to her as my travel mate Marcus (who I traveled with for large parts in Peru and Bolivia) arrives in Rosario at the same time. It is great to see him again after more than two months and to finally catch up in person.
We spend some very nice days strolling around the city and the waterfront, cycling up the river, hanging out and drinking mate in various parks, cooking, chatting, watching a water-fountain-show, enjoing some delicious fresh-water fish and some great artesanal beers and I end up staying way longer than planned, what I don’t mind at all though…