As we’ve headed south and east, out from the rain shadow of the cordilleras, so the vegetation changes. The trees increase in girth and height, the grasses go from nada to thin sparse swards, to shoulder high savannas. We re-encounter flora that we first met in spring time Uruguay, encounter new ones in an austral autumn. Again they look familiar, in much the same way that an old school pal might, met for the first time since primary at a third decade re-union. The uncut verges become an intimidation of vegetation that doesn’t encourage sudden escapes to starboard when the next pair of converging trucks coincide with our presence. Yet we are still being accorded road space and the courtesies that we’ve come to expect in the quiet, trafficless west.
We start to collect towns at an increasingly frequent rate; Serrazuelo, Tuclame, Paso Viejo, Villa de Soto, Cruz del Eje. With each place the print gets bolder, the towns bigger the closer we get to Cordoba. We now have to persuade ourselves that we don’t have to check out every supermarket - there will be one closer to the end of the day. No, we don’t need three spare meals, four packs of crackers and half a panaderia of bread. Old, hard won, deeply ingrained habits can be difficult to break.