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Turning 30 South American Style With the dreaded 30th birthday looming, I ran away to South America to celebrate the landmark birthday in style.

Chasing Che in Alta Gracia

ARGENTINA | Thursday, 24 January 2008 | Views [1292]

Alta Gracia, the child hood home of Che Guevara was a lovely surprise. After sleeping through our first day there in a super hot sweat box resembling the cooler from the Great Escape, we pitched the tent in a beautiful park called Federica Lorca, named after the author of Blood Wedding who spent some time in the town which impressed me no end. In fact, the whole town was just lovely.
The city centre has a really beautiful Jesuit Estancia which is now a UNESCO world heritage sight and really pretty. An 18th century baroque church has been stuck on the side, fronting on to a lovely tree lined square with a little dammed mini lake and clock tower to the side. Although small, it was really enchanting and we stayed longer than planned just wandering around feeling all nice and happy.
The big bonus was the Che museum though. Having been to a few museums in Argentina I wasn´t expecting much but it was really really good. It had a big guide in English that you could carry around with you and it was full of letters from his old child hood friends and anecdotes about little expeditions they took together as children. The museum is based in his former family home, so you can see his bedroom, his parent´s room and even his toilet! It was all really nice and personal as many of the things on show were donated by his friends, who clearly kept in touch with him until the very end. In the last room they had pictures of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez visiting the museum. It was only 5 years ago and Fidel looked rather moved, although that could be because he was about to keel over through ill health anyway.
Some nice blokes on the camp site we stayed at came over to gaze at Steve´s mountain bike (that happens a lot here) and told us about a lovely little village in the mountains called La Cumbracita, so that is where we headed after exhausting all the possibilities the town had to offer. Fortunately, it was a lovely wee place.

Tags: alta gracia, arentina, camping, che guevara, church, cordoba, jesuit estancia, lake, lorca park, unesco world heritage site

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