Sunday, March 1

Day 185-San Ignacio Mini

And the winner is--Pedro!--who correctly guessed Buenos Aires, which, as the capital of Argentina, sits at longitude 58.22 W, 34.35 S, and is served by Ezeiza International Airport, code EZE. I thought the code would be a dead give away but rather, it confused some who otherwise might have guessed closer. I thank those of you who participated, and will admit it was just a ruse to discover who might be reading this rag.

As it turned out, my time in Bs. As. was anything but breezy. The flight from Auckland, which takes one from evening to afternoon in 11 short hours, left me fairly jet lagged. On top of that, the immediate immersion into Spanish and the hustle of a capital city left my brain overheated, and unable to quiet itself enough to allow a restful sleep. Feeling unsafe in this zombie-like state, I made a 17 hour overnight beeline to the Misiones province up north, hoping to find some tranquility in a more bulcolic setting. Having acquired a refill to my sleep tonic (melatonin), I was poised to catch some serious Z´s, only to find my shared apartment invaded at 10pm by some of those blasted young people. A quick evacuation and a willingness to throw down some cash found me sleeping profoundly within the hour.

Feeling newly alive and arrived, I proceeded to the my intended destination, that being the cascades of the river Iguazu. I might recommend that you go to Youtube and search for some video, or read about it somewhere. You will find it occupies the top spot in many lists, and I can hardly attempt to describe the place. Imagine a massive river creeping out of the jungles of western Brazil, spreading over a vast floodplain several kilometers wide, then plummeting a few hundred feet over the basaltic edge, recollecting in turbulent pools, and proceeding eastward to the ocean. The sound is deafening, and all about are giggling tourist, mainly from Argentina and Brazil, having the time of their lives amidst the spray of the broken streams and the sea of negative ions floating up from the torment below. The park, naturally Unesco listed, is well constructed with pathways leading along the rivers edge both above and below the numerous cascades, and every overlook allows a new view of the ecstatic plant life nestled amoung the black rock crevasses, all inundated by the troubled green waters. Like so many of the World Heritage Sites, it has to be seen, and more to the point, heard and felt, to be believed, and I tell you, 24 hours later I am still feeling euphoric as I write this.

After such a grand sucess, I have become convinced that I can travel Argentina quite capably, though distances are large and bus rides will be quite long at times. And so, to add to my list of Unesco sites, I have come to the village of San Ignacio, where reside ruins of Jesuit missions, long ago abandoned, but once home to thousands of "saved" Guarani Indians. As I descended the bus into the brightly hot summer streets, I was a bit surprised to find them empty, and even more my surprise when reception at the hotel informed me that no market or restaurant would be open today. My growling stomach will be a gentle reminder to be more mindful of Sunday traveling in Latin America!


Anonymous said...

58 + 34 = 92
58 - 34 = 24
is 80 < 24 < 100?
dude! you missed your boat - you should be in galapagos.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken -

Late to enter....but thanks to Mark knowing airport codes - EZE....we knew where you were on Friday! Glad you have enjoyed your journey - looking forward to hearing the tales.

Enjoy the Pampas Plain!