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Published: March 25th 2013
23rd March ’13 BA
Today was slightly less walking thank God! We took the subway (turns out it’s a public holiday and it was free) to the station then a train to another station and then the tourist train to Tigre. This was quite a scenic ride and passed through lots of small stations where there were cafes on the platforms and one had an antiques fair going on and another a craft fair.
We spent the journey sitting with a brother and sister from the UK who were backpacking for 4 weeks (staying in hostels etc) and were at the end of their trip and they raved about Bolivia and had done the overnight buses and were full of tales. He had also been to central america and said if you have travelled there then Bolivia will be a piece of cake! They were both in their late 60s and reckoned they probably won’t be back packing much longer as they were getting too old for it and there weren’t many destinations left in the world that they hadn’t been to at least once already!!
Tigre is a small town in the Delta area and
there were lots of boat going along the river, they mainly seemed to be catering to tour groups but we found one stand which offered a 1 hour ride so we booked our tickets and darted off to grab an empanada before we set off. We got back on time and waited and waited (in the boiling hot sun), the guy came over and said it would be another 10 minutes so we sat again, eventually he came over and told us the boat had engine trouble and it could be ready in another hour or we could have our money back. So that was the end of our boat ride. We reckon they just hadn’t sold enough tickets, but who knows?
Back on the train again and we got off at Belgrano – one of the wealthy areas but also the home to China Town. So we had a look around at the shops selling all the plastic Chinese tat and the ones selling all the weird looking roots and dried unmentionables. Then we walked back to our hotel, once again a fair hike.
Back at our park area there was a stage set up and that
night a band was playing it appears to be in aid of the Mothers of the Missing Children, some of whom were sitting in the front row.The receptionist at the hotel told us tomorrow was a big public holiday and there would be lots of things going on, so that sounds interesting.
24th March ’13 BA Another day another bloody hike!
Today it’s the big market at San Telmo which is just next to the Plaza de Mayo, which had even more banners than usual and a big stage set up at one end, hmmm what is going on?We walked the full length of the market – about a mile, it had lots of interesting stalls selling lovely handmade crafts, a lot of which I know we will see in Peru and Bolivia and for a lot less money, also nearer the end of the trip so carrying won’t be as much of a problem (for Howard ha ha) so I resisted.At the end of the market we walked through another lovely park – they do have lots of them which is nice in a city and then began the epic walk to reach La Boca. We walked
for bloody miles! All along boring, virtually deserted streets with not a painted house in sight. Just as I reached the for ***** sake how much further point we spied life in the distance. We had reached our destination, hallelujah!
By now I was busting for the loo and my feet were crippling me so I couldn’t appreciate the sights until my needs were met! Finally sitting at a pavement café table with a cold drink I had a good look around. What a lovely area! The houses were all painted a hotch potch of different colours, there was music playing and people were doing the tango everywhere, delightful is the word that springs to mind.
Once we were semi recovered we wandered around watching the dancing, admiring the art work (this is definitely an artists area) and generally enjoying the feel of the place. We came across the La Boca Football Stadium and fortunately Howard was content with taking a photo at a distance and the splashed out on a taxi back!!Well not quite all the way back we went back to the Plaza de Mayo as we reckoned something was going to be happening there. The
area was all cordoned off to cars and there were a lot of police on the barriers but inside the square the place was filled with people carrying banners and waving flags. We found a poster which said it was the 37th anniversary of the day the military coup took place and the start of the Dirty War. From what we could piece together every year there is a massive rally on this date to remind everyone not to forget what happened and to celebrate democracy. There were speakers on the stage and the crowd all had fists in the air shouting out y siempre (I think).
Back in our area and the streets were all at a standstill with a massive procession of marchers, banners and floats, the noise was deafening with people shouting slogans, performing street theatre, playing music and banging drums. Amongst all the banners we could identify, socialists, communists and revolutionaries. It took hours before the last of them had left on the road down towards the Plaza de Mayo. It spoke volumes about the commitment and passion of those involved to stand for all that time for the causes they believed in, it was
all quite moving.
Once again there were bands playing on the stage near the hotel and the Mothers were there wearing their white headscarves with their childrens names embroidered on them.The streets were packed still when we went out to get some food and we only made it as far as Sarah’s. We were met with hugs and kisses and left with more
!The night was rounded off attending the Heavy Metal gig that was happening in the park just over the road. I have no idea who was playing but the crowd adored them and by the end there were as many people on the stage as there was in the audience practically and the music was pretty good too!
Phew….. what a final day!
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