The estancias around Jesus Maria
Cordoba Travel Blog› entry 83 of 177 › view all entries
Had another day of Jesuits today! Took a mini-bus to the town of Jesus Maria, and found ourselves in the company of a lovely man called David who hails from Charleston in the US (we saw him on our wanders around Alta Gracia yesterday). We all walked about 15 minutes out to the Estancia Jesus Maria, where we got in for free (think it´s something to do with a week for museums). One section of the building had an exhibition of modern Byzantine-style icons - not quite sure why, but interesting to see the ones depicting an Inca-style Jesus. This estancia was famous for its wine production, and the cellar here produced the first bottle of American wine to be drunk in Europe, sent to the Spanish royal table. The old bodega now houses an exhibition of the local indigenous cultures and their relationship with the land.
Next stop (after a detour for lunch) was Estancia Caroya, about a 30 minute walk from Jesus Maria. There are no English translations at this museum, but the lady in charge spoke clearly and slowly to ensure that we could grasp her explanation so with some basica Spanish you would get the general idea.
Our very helpful lady here then called us a taxi so that we could make the 20km journey out to our last stop, Estancia Santa Catalina. She negotiated us a good price of 55 pesos, so between three of us that wasn´t too bad for a round trip and up to one hour at the site. We arrived fairly late at this site, so our tour was fairly perfunctory, but this estancia is certainly one of the most visually spectacular and in a wonderful setting.
After our return to the township of Jesus Maria, we stopped in a pub for a drink and to recover from our walks (getting quite fond of Fernet and coke!), before returning to Cordoba on the mini-bus. As we walked up the hill to our hotel, we noticed a ´per kilo´restaurant where you help yourself to food which is then weighed and priced accordingly. Food was quite nice, and the plates were pretty reasonable, although the got you on the desserts, which were paid per portion. Nice, though, and could fill up on vegies or salad, which is often sadly lacking in the restaurant meals here.