The Cordoba Countryside

Colibri 098 We left Chile, temporarily, to head to Argentina, and we started our stay in this fabulous country with a visit to the Argentinian countryside.  We flew to Cordoba and stayed at a ranch called El Colibri.  We’ve had some great experiences on our trip staying at ranches in the middle of nowhere (Bullo River in Australia being a real trip highlight), and El Colibri was a blast.  The food was terrific, there were great hiking trails, some great birds, and lots, and lots, and lots of toads!

Santiago 233 On our first hike, alongside a the local river, Sterling found a toad hidden on the riverbank, which we were thrilled to discover.  We thought, naively, that we might not see any more toads during our stay.  Ha!!  I’ll come back to the toads later.  But we also saw some great birds, including the Guira Cuckoo, the Burrowing Owl, the Brown Cacholote, and the Double-Collared Seedeater.  It was reminiscent of Australia to be in the countryside where amazing birds were whisking by every second. 

Baseball in BA 010 We got a great tour of the ranch’s farm area by one of the farmhands.  He spoke not a word of English, though, so my paltry Spanish skills were put to the test.  We at least didn’t end up locked in the pen with the sheep, so my grade in Spanish avoided the embarrassing “F.”  But we got a surprise when Mauro, the farmhand, presented our kids with “un regalo” (a present) — a young Monk Parakeet hBaseball in BA 009e had caught by hand.  Even though the bird couldn’t  accompany us further on the trip, our kids were all over the idea of having a pet, even for just two days.  They named the bird “Feathers Loro Dintersmith” (above), and she was soon parked safely in an elegant home-made cage (right) and fed every piece of fruit and vegetable that our kids could turn up at El Colibri.

Colibri 320 Gibson continued his assault on the Guinness Book of World Records in El Colibri, losing yet another tooth.  He has now lost teeth in four different continents — North America, Australia (the outback), Asia (the Taj Mahal), and South America (El Colibri).  And, best of all, he has two or three loose teeth now.  In coming weeks, we will have a few days in Antarctica, a few hours touching down in Europe, and almost three months in Africa on the remainder of the trip.  How many continents can he cover?  Four down, three to go!!!

One night, our kids snuck off to an area in the front of the hotel, andSantiago 121  seemed to be having a blast.  Elizabeth and I could hear lots of laughing and giggling, and just smiled at each other, knowing the joy our little, devoted children were having as they explored the countryside of Argentina.  Little did we know that they had found a place on the grounds that seemed to specialize in the mass production of something Colibri 262that we believe is a Cane Toad.  After seeing these toads, I can only think that “Cane” must be a word in some language meaning “hideous beyond belief.”  And, best of all, our lovely, well-behaved children were catching these toads, sneaking them into the hotel, and hiding them in our bathtub, eagerly awaiting our surprise upon discovering a tubful of 17 big, ugly Cane Toads!!!  Well, you can imagine how thrilled we were to be on the receiving end of such creativity and thoughtfulness :-) !!  At that point, we approached the owners of El Colibri and asked if they’d consider an arrangement where we’d leave the kids with them, and take the toads!!

Colibri 121 On one afternoon, Elizabeth and Sterling went horseback riding, and had a great time.  Meanwhile, Gibson and I went for a great hike, including a great bird spot he made, where he saw two fabulous birds at once — the Scimiter-billed Woodcreeper and the Spot-backed Puffbird.  Either one of these birds would be a treat, but to see both in the same tree at the same time was terrific.   El Colibri was just this kind of place — not a lot of structured stuff to do, but some great areas to explore and terrific food and accommodations.

Feel free to get a better sense of this great region of Argentina from our photos.

One Response to “The Cordoba Countryside”

  1. jane mcgreevy Says:

    Sterling and Gibson collecting “ugly” frogs doesn’t surprise me one little bit. It reminds me of when Anne and Sterling were hunting for slugs on King Street. Ugh! Now I know it must of been all Sterling’s fault – since you have raised such naturalists! Seriously, Anne is missing Sterling and asked me just this week if we might get to see her again sometime! I told her I hope so! We continue to enjoy your blogs. Jane

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