We took a tour van up to the old Jesuit estancias in Jesús Maria and Colonia Caroya, north of the city on the plains east of the sierras. The country there is flat with soybean fields which stretch to the horizons. There was somewhat less corn and one patch of sorghum. Luis, our driver, seemed to dislike the soybean fields. Argentinians don’t eat or otherwise use soybeans. Almost all is exported, most of the rest is used for animal feed.
Jesús Maria and Colonia Caroya are adjacent farm towns; they have a huge food processing plant and an equally big fairgrounds for doma (a rodeo for gauchos). Billboards advertising seeds reminded me of small cities in Iowa.
Estancia Jesús Maria is a formidable compound with thick stone and brick walls. The tour guide there was very very knowledgeable (I can tell when tour guides don’t know what they are talking about). It turns out she’d been working there for over twenty years.
It was an afternoon tour. We were determined to visit an estancia and this was the only available tour today. It was hot (it’s been getting a little hotter each day) and we moved slowly, so we didn’t get to Estancia Colonia Caroya before it closed. We drove around the grounds briefly. It is older and less massive than than Jesús Maria, but in good condition. There are also some remains of the Jesuits’ water mill.
For dinner back in Córdoba, we ate lomitos at El Bosque in Parque Sarmiento. A lomito is a cholesterol sandwich. For example, Lore ordered the lomo completo, which had beef, cheese, ham, egg, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise with french fries on the side. She misses lomitos the way I miss bagels, pizzas, and Snapple from Long Island.