Saturday, December 12, 2009

One Month

It has been over a month now since we arrived in Argentina. Thus far, it has been a trip unlike any other. I couldn´t be more pleased with the way we have gone about our travels. From the blitzkrieg that was the first week, to the tranquilo week in Punta del Diablo, to the last week back here in Buenos Aires.. I feel we have about as well balanced a scope of the Rio de la Plata region as we could in one months time.

But now it is time to say, "So long..for now"

To the demonstrations that have become less and less of a curiosity.

To gracious ex-pats that despite their ramblings about "backpackers" really understand how hard it is to be in a foreign city without any local roots.

To the excess and the diversity that is a major urban setting.

And again it is the two of us. Off again together to new places and people, but with so many more resources than before.

We have been so fortunate. Whether it was the staff at the hostel who were always willing to help, but never intrusive - our fellow hostelers who have shared experiences and offered assistance - ex-pats and locals that have allowed us an even more thorough perception of the place - lastly the people themselves, the nameless throngs that shuffle from block to block, the noisy traffic and crowded subte, have all become like a television or radio buzzing in the other room - like the giddy sounds lofting over your balcony from the playground across the street - and anything else that can be considered noise, but is also a comfort.

We are off to Viedma, capital of Río Negro province, and just over 12 hours/950km south of Buenos Aires. There we will be staying with a local who has offered her guidance around the city, a hot meal that night, and a couch to crash on.

From there we will decide whether we continue another day´s journey west to Bariloche for chocolate and picturesque mountain vistas or south to Puerto Madryn for whale watching. The decision is largely logistical and since we intend to visit both (on either side of our weeks of trekking in Puerto Natales and Calafate) - we can´t lose.

Yet it remains an element of uncertainty, one that is no longer intimidating, but more so a liberating challenge. Either way, doing it together, surely with some help along the way - we can´t go wrong.

I have added these photos here so that everyone can see we are still alive and well:

Here Kaitlin demonstrates some wonderful finger puppets we bought for Sean and Susan´s son Walter at a fair in Recoleta.

Here I demonstrate the "medal" we won in the soccer tournament last week. I am also demonstrating my bearded cheeks - which I know my mother and little sister are happy they don´t have to kiss!

More from Viedma..or Bariloche..or Puerto Madryn!

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