Yes! I spent the majority of the day listening to and speaking Spanish. We met Elena at the Retiro station. (We had shared a meal while on the Caminho Portugues en Caldo de Reyes and exchanged emails.) She doesn’t speak English – or very little. I really got to stretch my use of vocabulary and verb tense as we talked about a variety of subjects and I peppered her with questions as to the correct way to phrase something or pronounce or say something. For her part, she was very patient and usually spoke more slowly. Sometimes I would translate for Charlie, but mostly it was Elena and I chatting away. By the end of the day my mouth was tired and so was my brain.
Elena moved here from Turkey when she was 10. We went to her old neighborhood of Vicente Lopez to walk around. She had a great time reminiscing and even was able to show us her bedroom window from lo those many years ago. Vicente Lopez is a quiet, older area with many beautiful homes.
From here we walked to her current neighborhood of Olivos, not far from the Rio de la Plata which is so wide that you can not see the other side of it where it borders Uruguay. There is a. park running a good length of the river along with a bike path and a boardwalk. Elena pointed out the national flower of Argentina which grows on the cockspur coral tree, seen here:
From here we hopped on a train to Tigre in the Delta. Habia una muchadumbre de gente. Too bad I didn’t get a photo. But then one would not have shown the astronomical number of people who were there. But it didn’t matter because we pretty quickly boarded a boat (below) for a ride along the river. It was a glorious day of sunshine and breezes and crisp green – perfect to be out of the city.
We stopped at one of the islands, walked inland a bit and found a restaurant. I had an amazing pasta called Pinzottis. Made in house of a pasta colored with beet and filled with cheese, pecans and onions. A bit of butter and parmesan – wow! The setting was cool and quiet and altogether enchanting.
All along the main river, as well as the tributaries inland, there is an array of sweet homes that harken to the US south or to the islands in the Caribbean. Some people live here year round. It’s gotta be a slower paced life style. You’d be dependent upon the tourist boats or water taxis to get into town. It can take upwards of half an hour by river to get to the “mainland.” While it is beautiful and relaxing as a vacation spot – some owners rent their homes – I wonder if I would like a week of lounging in the hammock, sitting on the porch. And while some folks do go in the water, there are a tad too many boats for my liking – even on the tributaries. As a day trip, it fit the bill.
Elena and I awaiting the return trip.
To provide us some energy for the rest of the outing, Elena had us to her place for Turkish coffee. After that we went to a milonga under the largest gazebo, called a glorieta here, I’ve encountered. A milonga is where the local folk who love tango gather to dance. The movements are controlled, sensual, creative. All ages show up. And you can see the variety of dress.
It’s 2:12 here. We just went out to see the lunar eclipse. Beautiful. The three dimensionality of the moon really shows up.
Good night. Paula