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Another World Heritage site listed under the Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba, the Manzana Jesuítica contains the University of Córdoba, one of the oldest in South America, the Monserrat Secondary School, a church and residence buildings.

Unfortunately we arrived late and were unable to explore the inside of the buildings.  It’s a shame as there were so many rooms, nookes and crannies and passageways, it would have made for an exciting little adventure but would have taken hours. Nonetheless, great to see such a beautiful building being so well maintained and preserved by the local authority and presumably the World Heritage Organisation.

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Alta Gracia

April 30th, 2009 | Posted by Davey in 14-Argentina | UNESCO World Heritage Sites - (0 Comments)

The most complicated World Heritage site/listing we have visited to-date. Although called Alta Gracia (we think) it forms part of the wider heritage listing under Jesuit Block and Estancias of Córdoba.  There are several buildings (as indicated below) spread throughout Córdoba and none of their names match those listed on the World Heritage website – all very confusing.  We are going by the name on the entrance plaque, but those have been wrong on occasions too.

According to our pamphlet, the Jesuit Block in Córdoba, is the heart of the former Jesuit Province of Paraguay and contains the core buildings of the Jesuit system: the university, the church and residence of the Society of Jesus, and the college. Along with the five estancias, or farming estates, they contain religious and secular buildings, which illustrate the unique religious, social, and economic experiment carried out in the world for a period of over 150 years in the 17th and 18th centuries.

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Our second and last day in Valparaiso so we though we would upload some more photos with an emphasis on buildings and the city as opposed to the heritage area. 

Sam dragged me around the old quarter again in search of weird and wonderful doors (above all things) so she could collate a collage/montage at some point.  There were no shortage and we (well, she) did manage to get some crackers – I’m sure she will give you a peek once finished. 

We should have taken a few pictures of our hostel as it was a very cosy and friendly establishment and the German and Chilean proprietors were top class.  They encourage guests to eat and social together – we never have a problem there – but we did anyway and ended up drinking wine until the early hours.  There is a lot to be said for travelling but it’s the people and places you stay at that really make the experience.

I’ve just noticed, having just selected these photos, that I’m in the majority of them (ah well) – that’s because Sam was on her door mission and I didn’t get a look in all day – sorry about that.

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Although we enjoyed the city of Santiago we were glad to leave and head for for the World Heritage City of Valparaiso. Also home to the famous poet and nobel prize winner Pablo Neruda.

An arty-farty place with charming quirky coloured buildings perched on the hilltops.  Even the grafitti is colourful and wild and a sight to behold.  We spend a full day walking with the odd restbite in it’s many cafes.  We have tried to capture and display as many pictures as possible. The city itself is huge and one with irregular street patterns (no map will help you here), and steeply hilly – a good calf workout!

Predominately a port city and once a leading merchant town before the opening of the panama canal in 1914.  Only parts of the city are listed under World Heritage and we managed to booked into a lovely quaint hostel right in the heart of it.

Estamos disfrutando de nuestra estancia aqui (we are enjoying our stay here). 

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The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in Tongariro National Park is one of New Zealand’s most spectacular tramping tracks, and is considered the most popular one-day tramp in New Zealand. The park is a World Heritage site which has the distinction of dual status, as it has been acknowledged for both its natural and cultural significance.

A 17km crossing passes (roughly speaking) over the volcanic terrain of the multi-cratered active volcano Mt Tongariro, passing near to the immediately neighbouring Mt Ngauruhoe.

It was just Danny, Janneke and myself on this occasion as Sam had a bad cold and wanted to rest.  The walk was hard but beautiful especially the volcanic landscape, visible volcanic activity and views of the surrounding countryside below.

We decided to complete the track in the opposite direction which made it somewhat harder, actually much much harder, as 70% was uphill and steep at that.  By the end it felt like we had walked 50km, but worth every step.

On a somewhat similar subject, I have just finished Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer and found it to be an exceptional read.  The story is nearly as old as the mountain itself and still rather controversial, especially here in NZ, but puts some interesting facts forward to support the claim that George Mallory did actually make it to the summit of Everest before Sir Edmund Hillary.  A great insight into this amazingly determined individual!

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