Matt just posted, and I’m keeping my good blogging behaviors by writing up my little summary of what we did today, and posting it tomorrow morning.
We spent the most wonderful day in the Tigre Delta. Tigre is about 1 hour by train from Buenos Aires, and offers a nice break from the bustling city, noisy streets, and flocks of people. Our first challenge was to figure out how to get there. Our travel guide basically told us what to do: Take the Mitre line from Retiro station. I asked at the hostel which bus to take to Retiro. We went into silent agreement that on this trip (at least in the Spanish-speaking countries) I would do the talking, and that Matt would read the map. This is as much of a good deal for me as it is for him.
Retiro station is huge! We walked into the first “terminal” only to find out that our line was two blocks down. It all worked out fine in the end. Tigre was the last stop on the train, so it was easy to know when to get off. The town itself is very charming, and the tourist office was of great help for further planning. The thing to do in Tigre is to take a boat along the Paraná Delta. The river of the Paraná Delta has a size of 17.500 km², and is 320 km long. To get a feel of how the locals live, you board one of the local barcas (boats), which work just like a bus, and take you along the river to your favorite destination. If you want the boat the stop, you tell the “assistant” in the back of the bus, and if you want to get on along the way at one of the little “bus stops”, you flag your boat down, the way you do it in Buenos Aires with the colectivos (buses).
We went to the Tres Bocas neighborhood, a lovely little area in the Paraná Delta that allows you to walk on narrow paths among lush vegetation, and enjoy nature and quietness. It smelled so good there (like fresh flowers) that I couldn’t stop inhaling and taking it in. We walked until the path ended – unfortunately the bridge had eroded, and some other tourists (Germans! The guy said to me: “Fertig, da geht’s nicht mehr weiter” – Done, that’s it! Why did he think I spoke German, I mean, I did, but that was a coincidence…) notified us that our little stroll was over. We walked back and had the best food of this trip so far – broquetas de pollo (chicken skewers), along with Argentinian chorizo, and French fries. We initially thought it would be overpriced, because it was right along the water where the boat would stop, but had that lovely meal with a liter of Quilmes beer for about US$20. That’s the way it should be.
Overall, this was the best day ever. We were wondering what was wrong with us, because we weren’t overly impressed with Buenos Aires (just big, smelly, and sometimes it could have been just another big city), but today we realized that we just needed to get out of the city, and start traveling across the country. This was the way to go, because we both experienced something we had never seen before. I was smiling the whole time, when the boat picked up the passengers along the river bank – just like a bus. Great day trip!