San Ignacio & Misiones

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May 28th 2009
Published: June 2nd 2009
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Misiones is a region of red sand, palm trees and hot hot heat. Everyone takes a bus through it to see the world renowned and mightily touristy IguazĂș falls, which i decided not to do. Instead i headed for San Ignacio (not exactly non touristy, i admit, but at least not disneyland), known for its ruins of Jesuit missions. Nearby, there's more ruins at Santa Ana, which i visited with the ticket of a friendly frenchman.
There's not a lot left of the missions: the outline of the town is still visible, some impressive walls stand and the stairs of the old cabildo are very nice. The most impressive part - to this man - was the old graveyard: Almost all the graves had collapsed, showing open holes leading into the dark ground. The mausoleums had stood the time in a similar fashion, with more than one coffing opened up, it's broken lid on the ground. Creepy!
In San Ignacio, i stayed in La Jesuita, probably the nicest hostel i've yet encountered in Argentina, and with camping possibilities. It's got a superb garden with fruit trees, palms, hammocks and tables to eat and spend the evening at, it has a guitar, a fine kitchen and a very homely living room. I met Juan Manuel, Katie and Camille here, very nice people from Argentina and France, who made getting out of the hostel fairly unneccessary: sometimes just talking, smoking and drinking wine (oh, and the superb food we created) is more than enough. We talked about life, about future plans (since more than one of us plans on spending quite a while in Paris) and about how western european societies are only good if you're on the good side of them. The way we treat people on the run from problems in their own countries is a shameful, endless pit of hypocrisy (and Belgium is one of the nastiest examples, eagerly locking families up for years before sending them back to the danger zone). Probably Juan Manuel was right when he said that the only free countries are those without humans.
Even though we only spent a short time together, it was sad to see them go. On the same day (28 of May), the weather changed, and i got on a bus to Salta, in the Andes. With me was Etienne from Switzerland, whom i also met at the hostel. In a next terminal, we met Valerie from Germany, and the tree of us went into the Andes together.


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