Before the rally got underway, Villa Carlos Pas in the Cordoba country where the rally head quarter was placed was filled with calm and pleasant autumn air.
In the contrast of Leon in Mexico, as this town was developed as a vacation resort, a lot of villas and hotels is scattered near the San Roque Lake.
It takes more than 24hrs when we travel from Japan to Argentina by air if everything ran smoothly. So, all the staffs from Japan were exhausted. But this beautiful scenery relieved their fatigue!
"Fun", Suzuki's completely knocked down model for Argentina was seen in the central district of the town. This car is not distributed in Japan.
Where the whole event was held was in the foot of the Andes. As it was early autumn, forecasters said that the outlook is unsettled. Actually broken weather lasted during the rally, though it was really good before the rally started and after it finished. In such atmosphere that easily made people sick, "Yerba Mate" helped us a lot to keep ourselves in good trim. Mate has so many vitamins and nutrients that Gauchos (cowboys) habitually drink it as their "liquid vegetable". It is indispensable drink among people living around the Andes. A nice wooden gourd, Yerba and a metal or cane straw called a Bombilla -this is all you need to prepare your Mate.
But most of all, "Asado" must be the most typical and famous Argentine traditional diet. It is a kind of barbecue steak and beef ribs originated in Pampa region.
Argentina has the world's highest consumption rate of beef, at almost 70kg a year per capita. There are so many cattle that is said to be several times figures of its population in Argentina and the country is known as the third largest beef exporter in the world after Brazil and Australia.
It has become a familiar scene that spectators enjoy barbecues at the side of the roads during rally, though bad weather of this year maybe prevented it.
Argentine wine and beef must be made for each other! Argentine people love their red wine. In fact, Argentina is a world's important wine producer, rated fifth in the world. They drink more than 40 litters of wine per year on average, and their domestic consumption is sixth in the world. Malbec has become a representative variety from Argentina. Malbec grape, which has its roots in France, has found in Province of Mendoza an ideal environment to successfully develop.
The history of the Argentine wine dates back to 16th century. In the midst of 20th century, the winemaking of this land has achieved drastic advance in technical innovation.
The cuisine of Argentina is largely influenced by Italian dishes. In addition, the food in Cordoba region is much influenced by Spanish food. You can find imported sweets from the countries of Europe.
Though it is seemingly serene and fine, the dark clouds loomed out there on the horizon. And from the Thursday, the harsh rally that compelled many of us to spend restless nights had begun.