Arts and Crafts in an English inspired Argentine Mountain Resort
A 100 mile round trip excursion through the Sierras de Cordoba to the resort village of La Cumbre is a pleasant day: AR$40 (US$10) round trip on a comfortable bus van. The winter temperature was in the mid to upper 60´s eventhough the Sierras range between 2,000 to 4,500 feet above sea level. They lay east of the Andes in central Argentina and pre-date that great range by many millennia.
The winter is the dry season, and the topography reminded us of the tree and shrub covered terrain of Southern California and the Southwest. Fire warnings and look-out stations were evident, but we saw little evidence that fires were frequent. The range is dotted with towns that are favorite summer recreation spots for Cordoba and even Buenos Aires, with small hotels and summer homes.
Pockets of English and German settlers created a mix of building styles from English cottage to German Alpine to Spanish colonial and modern. The air is clean, there is peace and quiet, you hear a lot of birds and flowering trees and shrubs abound in this mild winter climate. We were told it does snow at times in La Cumbre and other hill towns.
The area is famous for horseback riding, paragliding, hiking and playing golf at the British built La Cumbre Golf Club, circa 1890´s.
La Cumbre is popular with artist and crafts people. We took a 5-mile taxi ride outside of La Cumbre to the Camino de los Artesanos. Although we found the shops catering to traditional tourist crafts, the atmosphere and people were exceptionally pleasant. I found a pair of thick, soft, llama wool socks for AR$26 (US$7.00).
(La Cumbre Country Club and the Camino de los Artesanos)
(former railroad station, now a local museum)