Argentine Road Trip Review

After 8 months, I say it was about time for around trip around the province in which I live: Corrientes. In my white pickup we set off towards the north for a long weekend trip to get to know the sights. First stop, Las Marias. A tea plantation started in the 1920´s which produce a whole line of Yerba Mates and Teas, though where we went it was limited to just mate and assam tea (the base of most black British teas). This plantation is its own little city, nature reserve, and production base, they even have there own school. It is also the largest producer of Yerba Mate on the planet, according to their website, and that is nothing to scoff at.

On the plantation the original owners home still remains in tact for visitors to see. Built in the 1920´s and now part of the taragui tea and mate logo.

Mate plants (in the 1st picture) can only be used for harvest for about 50 years, and the branches are cut by hand before being shredded, dried and packed. The plants are grown in an indoor and then outdoor green house until they are the correct size to be planted. Our tour guide brought us over in a truck to take a look.

The plants directly in front of the camera are assam tea, those to the right, with the rounded leaves will grow up to produce yerba mate.

We were even lucky enough to find an assam tea plant in bloom.

We couldn´t take pictures of the packaging on our tour, which was a shame it was amazing to see how much of the process was still so man-power intensive. But nonetheless I did snap a picture of the mate drying before it is sent over to be packaged for sale.

As I said before, Las Marias is also a nature reserve, and is full of different kinds of birds, alligators, carpinchos, and much more. If you have never heard of a carpincho you are about to find out. It is a small pig sized animal covered in brown fur, people here tend to eat them and turn their skin into one of the softest most beautiful leathers around. But they are, in my opinion, an awful lot like a giant over-grown hamster.

For a larger picture you can click on this link, if my photo-taking skills still leave a bit much to the imagination. And here is a picture of the alpargatas (typical shoes from argentina made of cloth or leather) I bought made of carpincho leather, in a town called Mercedes on the way back, they are oober soft and oh so comfortable.

We went Yapeyu, the town where San Martin (the liberator of a large chunk of South America from the Spanish) was born (if you need a little history on who San Martin is, click here) I won't fill up a cooking site with photos, but here is one lovely mosaic of him on the side of a church in the town.

And if you get a little hungry with all of this history just follow the sign for a side-splitting all you can eat BBQ.

And no road trip would be complete without the "lets pretend I am a photographer and artistic" shot.


Pam said...

What a wonderful trip, great photos and I LOVE your shoes!!!

The UNvirgin Mary said...

That looked like a lot of fun! Very interesting and I agree. The carpincho does look like an oversized hamster, not a pig! I like the artistic door picture too.

Nerissa said...

Very cool! Argentina was never a place I thought of for travel. I guess I was wrong. It looks really nice.

JuliaMazal said...

Great photos. Assam tea is my favourite. I didn't know it was grown in Argentina.

Ivonne said...

What a wonderful post, Katy!

My uncle visited Argentina two years ago and fell in love with it!