Where am I?

30 03 2008

Back on the bike and I’ve left Argentina. It’s strange, I’ve only crossed the river, but it feels much different here.

The Buenos Aires suburb, or adjoining city, of Tigre is actually really nice. It’s very well maintained, with plenty of parks and canals. If BA is the Paris of South America, then Tigre must be the Venice of Buenos Aires. I was surprised at how big Buenos Aires is. I shouldn’t be, with a population of over 13 mil, they need 40km solid of houses. The road situation left me a bit cold though, I got sucked into a motorway at one point, stopped to ask a policeman for directions and was told to keep going. 10 minutes later I was shepherded off onto a tiny side road by another policeman.

I crossed by boat from Tigre to where-ever-I-am-now, Uruguay. This meant weaving through lots of canals along the mouth of the Rio Plata delta. This was a sunny Sunday afternoon, but I was shocked at how many boats were out there. Rowing boats and canoes were thick close to the port of Tigre, then there was a flotilla of sail boats, and then a mixture of huge power boats (expensive ones too!) and dingies with jet skis charging around playing on the wake. Amazing. The water is a horrible brown colour – it must be mostly mud from further up the river, but it doesn’t look altogether healthy. I won’t be swimming in there.

A good start for Uruguay: I don’t know the name of the town I’m in. It could be Carmelo, or Carmen. I think it starts with a “C”. It’s warm and humid here, balmy almost, distinctly different from BsAs. I guess I’m slightly closer to Brazil and the Amazon, but I didn’t think it would change this quickly. It’s more like I expected towns around here to be, it’s well after dark and the small center plaza is crawling with people. I didn’t see this as much in BsAs, it was more people going to a club or bar, rather than just hanging out.

The Uruguayan’s are friendly. So far. At least they let me in without any hassles, and pointed me at a hotel. The hotel owner was most helpful. He took me to a room, which looked quite nice and then proceeded to rattle of a price that had several more zeros than I was expecting. I realised I didn’t have a single Uruguayan Peso, and indeed didn’t have the first clue what the exchange rate might be. Slightly under-prepared, you might say. It’s all sorted now.


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