South America Day 15 - Tigre

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January 23rd 2019
Published: January 24th 2019
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Today we are going to Tigre, to the north of Buenos Aires. Not so much for the destination, but for the journey. We plan to take a 2 hour boat trip up the River Plate, then return along the riverside on the Tren de la Costa.

The day does not start well. We try to get some cash out to find our card has been cloned and the account emptied overnight at a cashpoint in Johnson City USA. To make matters worse, once our financial woes have been dealt with, we no longer have time for breakfast before catching our boat.

Hunger aside, the boat trip is wonderful. We head up the River Plate which is so enormous and choppy it’s like being at sea, apart from the water hyacinths bobbing around us.

Once in the Tigre Delta, the water calms and we are allowed up on deck. We cruise through a picturesque area of small islands and inlets lined with stilted houses and boats to reach Tigre.

There’s much more to Tigre than I’d anticipated. We wander along the tree lined riverfront to the Naval museum which charts the history of the country’s Navy from its inception to the raising of the Argentinian flag over the Falklands in 1982.

We continue to the art museum where there’s plenty of local art on display in a beautiful building. My favourites are by Benito Martin – they depict workers on the docks of the River Plate a century ago when my great grandfather came here as a sailor.

We catch the hop on-hop off bus back into town, get some lunch and head to the train station to catch the Tren de la Costa. Who knew? The train doesn’t leave from the train station - it has its own terminus in the fruit market. We consider walking 8 blocks to catch the tourist train, lose interest and catch the commuter train back to town. It’s like a cross between a market and a brewery as we are surrounded by people trying to sell food, clothes, electrical goods and pictures of the Virgin Mary plus several men who have managed to get very drunk for mid afternoon.

Back in Buenos Aires, just time to buy souvenirs and pack for tomorrow’s flight to Ushuaia. While I am perusing fridge magnets, a young man decides I am in the exact spot he would like to stand and shoves me out of the way. I give him a brief summary of my opinion on his manners. The old man persuades me to depart before I choose to elaborate.

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