Three hour drive from La Ola to Argentina's second city of Córdoba, only to find the agreed hostel was fully booked. Thankfully the alternative - Cordoba Backpackers Hostel - was only a short walk away. After settling in off for a typical Argentinian lunch of a parilla, very similar to the one we had had in Mendoza but with added 'papas al caballo' - chips with a topping of scrambled eggs. Thoroughly recommended. The next day Manuel left the truck, an unusual occurrence as Córdoba wasn't an official staging point. It was a bit like a royal visit: we all lined up in turn to shake his hand, give him a hug, say a few words. Must have been terribly embarrassing for him!
There followed a three-day drive across the endless plains of scrub and nothing that northen Argentina comprises, a mosquito-infested lake-side campsite that I suspect we didn't pay for, another long drive day of nothing to another mosquito hotspot, where Nathan spectacularly fell out of his hammock and had his hand swell up from the number of mosquito bites he suffered, and finally late on day 3 a surprisingly quick border crossing into Brazil to a late shop and a random campsite outside a local community clinic, much to the bemusement of both the police who visited us overnight and the clinic employees the next morning. Dinner with meat in - wow!