I have seen a lot of Buenos Aires so far, and there is a lot more to see. I did fancy getting outside the city, and on Monday I took the short trip to see the town of Tigre.
Tigre in English is Tiger, and a few hundred years ago jaguars were hunted here. The town is situated on the Parana delta and is about 30km from Buenos Aires.
I made my way to the train station for the Mitre line and purchased my ticket. Seventy-four pesos return. That in today exchange rate works out at about one Euro. Incredible value for a sixty kilometres round trip.
As usual, on most trains/metro in Buenos Aires, there was a lot of people on the train selling stuff. I rarely see people buying anything. Musicians seem to do the best.
On the way back there was a guy selling rubbish bin bags. That is the kind of stuff people sell. As the train pulled into the station, he slumped in the seat in front of me. He looked really tired. Not tired from trying to sell bags. The kind of tired you get from life been a constant struggle with no reward. I am sure he has a family.
I recognised that face. I gave him the one hundred Pesos he was looking for the bags about 1.50 Euro and refused the bags. It was nothing, but I could see he appreciated it. These people spend most of the day doing this and from what I have observed with little success.
I made my way from the train station to the riverside just across the road. There was a large number of various sizes of boats offering trips on the delta.
I decided to take a one-hour boat trip down the main river. There are a number of small islands nearby. Tigre is on an island, and during the boat trip, the boat made its way around various channels. The cost was just five Euro.
The riverbank is full of accommodation for holidaymakers. Also, there are many bars and restaurants dotted along the riverfront.
Tigre became popular in the 1800s as people moved there to escape an outbreak of yellow fever in Buenos Aires.
The people of Buenos Aires still go there in large numbers during holidays and weekends. If you are ever in the city, take some time to take in a visit to Tigre. You will not be disappointed.
The Carapintada Munity.
I find Argentinians recent history interesting. There seems to be a rush to press the self destruct button once or twice a decade. The military has played a large part in this.
The last military government ended in 1983. Democracy has had one of its longest runs since them, but there was another attempted military after 1983.
After 1983 the democratic government set up a commission to look into the 30,000 people who disappeared during the dirty war during the 1970s and early 80s.
In 1985 some of the top officers were prosecuted for crimes committed during the dirty war. In 1987 Major Ernesto Barreiro refused to stand trial and started a mutiny in Cordoba. The mutiny spread to Buenos Aires.
They were called the painted faces due to the camouflage they used. The population had enough of being under the jackboot of the military and mass demonstrations took place. The rebels stood down.
The main reason the coup stopped was the law was changed to stop further prosecutions of people involved in the dirty war. Thankfully this law was repealed in 2003, and the trials were resumed.
The Irish in Argentina.
Irish people always talk about John F Kennedy, whose family emigrated from Ireland and who became the president of another country. JFK was not the first.
Edelmiro Julián Farrell Plaul family roots go back to County Longford in the Irish midlands. During the 1920s he spent some time in the Italian army during the time of the dictator Mussolini.
On his return to Argentina, he moved up the military and political ladder. He became vice president and in 1944 President in another military coup. He named Juan Peron as his vice president.
In 1945 Peron was forced to resign but came to power later in the elections of 1946. Farrell is seen as the man who opened the door to what is now called Peronism. The largest political movement in Argentinas history. If that is a good or bad thing depends on your point of view.
Kidnapped and insulted?
Last week Lautaro Valenti who plays for Atlético Lanús football club was kidnapped in Buenos Aires. Once the kidnappers realised they had a professional soccer player in their hands they asked for 70,000 dollars ransom.
He was released some hours later for 5,000 dollars. I am not sure how I would feel about that.
From beer to eternity
Inflation is a big problem in Argentina. Last year it was almost 55%. The one way I keep a check on prices is with beer. Other than one occasion when the price of a beer in Cordoba went up from one visit to another, I have not seen much increases.
I think that for a small business such as bars and restaurants it must difficult to keep raising prices. Higher prices I am sure means fewer customers.
Prices for a beer are coming in at about from 2.25 euro a pint. As the Argentinians like to go out, late, many places have a half-price beer offer before 10 pm.
As for craft beer, I think Argentina has got it right. Most places I have visited in the world at least double the price for craft beer. In Argentina, it is about 15% more. Like everywhere some craft beers here are good and some bad.
I think the craziest thing I have done on my South American trip is to wear a watch. Everywhere I go, I see warnings online of things not do. Don’t go out after dark. Dress like a local and my old favourite don’t wear a watch.
I have to admit that advice amuses me. For anyone thinking of travelling to South America, I have news for you. People here own watches. You are not coming to an area of the world where people don’t know what a watch and a phone are.
It is not like there is a big humanitarian crisis in South America because people cannot buy watches. The Red Cross is not flying over the continent, dropping watches from planes. Not wearing expensive jewellery in some areas might be a good idea. I will continue to wear my watch, but maybe I am just crazy.
Buenos Aires has a lot of parks, and during warm summer days, people flock to these parks and find shade and relax. My favourite one is the Costanera Sur down by the riverfront.
The area was a public spa until the 1980s. It was then filled in, and the ecological reserve was created.
The park has over 300 species of birds in the park, and it covers over 350 acres. Throw-in 575 types of plants and 42 fungi it is a great free way to spend an afternoon.
This weeks video come from my day trip to Tigre.
Join me on my journey.
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