The Bus to Cordoba

Cordoba Travel Blog

 › entry 14 of 38 › view all entries
Not all night buses are created equal. On my trip from Montevideo to Santa Fe I was expecting a Greyhound like experience and had stocked up on groceries and packed my sleeping bag in my carry on. All entirely unnecessary on that trip of large comfy seats and magically appearing food and blankets. Expecting my trip to Cordoba to be a similar experience I packed light and was greeted with Greyhound sized seats, no blanket, and no food. When you buy a bus ticket it is important to understand that there are 3 kinds of seats available (although they are not always all available) for purchase: Semi-cama, cama, and cama coche. The word cama in Spanish means bed. Semi-cama seats are standard coach bus seats and do not come with the extras of food, blankets or complementary toilet paper ( a bit of a surprise at 3 am). Cama seats are like business class seats on an airplane. They are wider and they recline to an angle where comfort can be achieved. Cama Coche reclines fully and it appears to have a bit of a booth attached. Both Cama and Cama Coche come with food and blankets. They cost a bit more but unless you are really pinching pennies a good night´s sleep is worth an extra 3 dollars. Don´t forget to bring earplugs (you and  your bus driver may not have the same taste in music at 4am and there are inevitably snorers and crying babies) and maybe even one of those ridiculous looking eyeshades to make your attempts at sleep more plausible.
The bus ride wasn´t actually too bad because there was no body in the seat beside me and I was able to stretch out but in the future I will be more careful when trying to sort through which bus to take.
Picking the correct bus can be quite an overwhelming process. Each bus company has a booth in the bus station advertising the destinations it travels to but they usually don´t have any prices or times. You have to ask around at each window to get a price quote and departure times.
I arrived in Cordoba at 6am. When you are a woman travelling alone you have to have certain rules to keep yourself safe and situations manageable. One of my rules is that I don´t leave the bus station in a new city until it is light. I also do not leave the bus station with out a map. I wandered with my backpack through the deserted rows of ticket booths and sat in a bus station cafeteria drinking orange juice and eating ham and cheese sandwiches on wonderbread until the sun came up and the tourist booth opened at 8am. Generally, hostels don´t let you check in until at least 11am but by 9am I was in a bed and well into my morning map. The hostel here in Cordoba, The Cordoba Backpackers, is nice enough. It is located at the edge of a pedestrian only shopping district and on the same street as a rather impressive church. The only thing I can say is that the lockers are rather small and my big back pack doesn´t fit in them.
Cordoba is a very nice city. It is the second largest city in Argentina and is one of the oldest. There are many old important churches here and the architecture is very interesting. It is a university town and there is the energy of young people all around. I think it is the most physically attractive city that I have visited so far on my trip. I spent the afternoon wandering around the town and the evening talking with some French Canadians and an Aussie about where we had been and where we were planning on going. I think I will stay here in Cordoba for a few more days. Tomorrow, I will go on a horse riding excursion and the next day I think I will go for a hike. Then I will decide whether to move on to Mercedes (back across the country) and the Iberia Esteros or stay a few more days in Cordoba.
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photo by: nolan