of Spanish and sauerkraut

Sunday we took a second road trip, this time to Los Cumbrecita, another German Alpine village on the edge of the Sierras in central Argentina.

When you get to the village, it is deep in a ravine, down a bumpy cobblestone street. You have to park and walk across a bridge into the small town— no cars allowed. As soon as you cross the bridge you are headed up hill, with shops and restaurants along the narrow dirt streets.

We were hoping for sunshine but you could see the clouds settling into the gorge. It was much cooler than we expected so we bought Katie a windbreaker and then picked up some pastries at a small bakery and looked at some jewelry at an outdoor stall.

The roads further up into the village were lined with private homes and vacation residences, but they were beautifully set in terraced gardens. We climbed up along the rocky, wooded slope for a while until we found a restaurant and had supper.

There were lots of German meats on the menu but we chose trout and chicken again. I did have some amazing sauerkraut on the side. (Can you say sauerkraut in Spanish? Me neither. ) We also picked up some homemade German frankfurters to bring back to the house.

The clouds had settled in and the mist was quite heavy when we got to the restaurant but by the time we finished eating it was raining. And by the time we got to the bottom of the gorge again it was raining quite hard.

We were soaked and as we started out up the cobblestone road we saw a man and a woman with a little girl hitchhiking in the rain. We picked them up, thinking they had probably parked at the top of the hill and just needed to get back to their car.

It turned out they were the artisans that made the jewelry and lived about 20 miles away so we took them home. It was on the way. We practiced our broken Spanish and they practiced their broken English, although without a doubt our Spanish was a lot more broken. It’s great to have our little Spanish-English dictionary.

The little girl was exhausted and fell immediately to sleep. Her dad talked about his travels and asked questions about ours. They had planned to take the bus but were caught, like we were, in the rain. The woman was his mother.

We were all cold but it was a warm moment between new friends. We hugged and kissed each other on the cheek when we dropped them off.

It’s Argentina after all.

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About wally metts

Wally Metts is the daysman. He is director of graduate studies in communication at Spring Arbor University and is a pastor at Countryside Bible Church in Jonesville, MI. The father of four adult children, he and his wife Katie raise barn cats and Christmas trees in Michigan. His grandchildren call him Santa.

One Response to “of Spanish and sauerkraut”

  1. Go Wally! That is so cool. I’m warming up to this hitchhiking concept. This weekend I tried my thumb at it and was successfull at closing a gap of highway with no buses. Didn’t even have to donate much blood to the mosquitos.

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