We made a day trip to San Isidro yesterday, expecting to meet our friend Elena for the day, but her work schedule changed and she could not make it. She let us know of the conflict about the time we arrived there, and we made arrangements to meet her today at 2:30. We left this morning open for laundry, writing, reading, and just lazing about, which ended up being perfect, since the 0% chance of rain on the Weather Channel was only 100% wrong. We had steady rain the likes of which we do not experience often in Albuquerque, so we kept to our plan and enjoyed the cool breeze through the window and being dry on a mostly raining day.
It was a contrast to yesterday, which was hot and sunny. Yesterday was the kind of summer day I remember from my childhood in Missouri, the kind where your clothes stick to your skin and a slight breeze in the shade is as refreshing as lemonade or ice cream. We walked through some really nice neighborhoods where the folks with the means hire security guards to watch their walls and monitor the comings and goings. We were neither comers nor goers in a few areas since guards or gates prohibited entry.
We walked to the coast to look at the river and searched for the mirador that was shown on the map. There was a bar at the spot where the mirador was supposed to be, that had an outside covered deck overlooking the river. We stopped there and had a leisurely liquid lunch. That is a particular turn of phrase that we could not repeat after lunch for some reason.
Along the way we stopped into the city Cathedral. I find it amazing that we seldom pass up a cathedral, church or chapel when we travel to other countries, but we don’t even notice their existence when we are at home.
As we walked back to the train station we happened upon a museum which was the home of General Pueyrredon, who was a leader in the struggle for independence against Spain.
Since we were not meeting Elena, we caught an early train back to Buenos Aires and took in a tango performance at the Borges Cultural Center. We had gone there a couple days before (where we reported on the exhibit of photographs from North Korea) and discovered the tickets were quite reasonable. Ticket prices were a fraction of what is charged for the dinner shows. The performance is in a very comfortable theater, has a live “orchestra” with piano, accordion and bass, a passionate baritone singer, and very talented dancers. The songs and musical interludes created a seamless performance as the dancers undertook costume changes including tawdry denizens of a bordello, elegant gentlemen and ladies, gauchos and country women. The costumes were really well done and the dancers were quite athletic. I was beginning to suspect in some of the performance that tango is a substitute for having sex in public. Photography was prohibited and I am unable to share any of the wonderful visual experience.
Afterwards we walked through BsAs on our way to Palacio Barolo. When we toured that building we learned that the search light was operated from 10:00 to 10:30 every night, so we went to check it out. We could not get photos of the light, but along the way I got this shot of the Obelisk on Avenida 25 de Julio at Corrientes.
Well, that was yesterday, and the heading of this post is about a day of rain, so I should say a bit about today.
It rained. I checked the weather forecast at 10 AM and it said it was dry. I checked at 11 and it said the rain would stop at 11:15. At 12 it said 12:15. When we left the apartment at 2 it was still raining, though not heavily. We met Elena at the Retiro station at 2:30 and boarded the train to San Isidro, arriving at 3:10 and it was raining. We walked to the one place we intended tour, arriving about 4 and it was still raining.
Let me point out that I am not complaining about the rain. I stayed mostly dry since I had my one time miracle umbrella. I just bring it up because every hour prior to any specific time that day the weather forecast was for 0% chance of rain. I remembered how my old mentor Tito Montano would always say when I would mention the weather forecast, “Charlie, you can’t believe those Gringos.” Even in this country, which is the beating heart of Latin America, you really can’t believe those Gringos.
Our tour today, Villa Ocampo, was the estate of Victoria Ocompo, who was a benefactor and philanthropist, magazine editor, and champion for diversity and women’s rights in the early twentieth century. The estate was originally about 10 hectares, and is much reduced in size now. It is an interesting building and well maintained grounds. I find that after a career working in many facility management organizations that I look at buildings with a critical eye, and find it hard not to focus on the water damaged parquet tiles below the obviously water damaged ceilings, the broken door hardware, and other signs of entropy at work. On the other hand, if I look as good as this building, when I’m 200 years old, I certainly won’t complain.
Upon returning to Buenos Aires we decided to go to a nearby craft brew place that had up to a few years ago been a neighborhood pharmacy.
We have two days left in BsAs before heading off to Uruguay for a week and then to western Argentina and Chile. We’ve done most of what we had planned to do, though there are still areas we want to explore. We have made no specific plans, but probably should start looking at where we will be staying in Uruguay.
Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos. It looks as though you and Paula are on an extended vacation. How many countries are you visiting? Have a great time and be safe in your travels. Hope to see you somewhere down the road.