Corrientes is the current name of the settlement called San Juan de Vera de las Siete Corrientes (Saint John of Vera of the Seven Currents), a name that references characteristics of the Rio Parana. The citiy is located near the northern boarder with Paraguay, just below the confluence of the Rio Paraguay, which forms part Paraguay’s southwestern border, and the Rio Parana, which is the southern boarder with Argentina. The population of Corrientes was 346,000 in 2010, making it the 13th largest city in Argentina.

We arrived yesterday on the overnight bus from Tucuman and spent the day mostly getting settled in. Our apartment was not available until 11:30 so we had nearly four hours to spend wandering our way towards our temporary home. After breakfast and coffee we decided to check out street art murals in a somewhat circuitous path.

These murals are bas relief and are representations of various cultural and historical elements of the city. Here are images of a few of the murals.

We are not really familiar with the history of this area and have found little current information in English. The area was colonized by Europeans in the early sixteenth century and has been subject to various disputes, originally with the Guarani indigenous population, and subsequently the Portuguese, English, and Paraguayan incursions. We are assuming these murals reflect elements of that past.

Although we were not particularly touring at this point, we did check out some of the beaches and cooled our heels in Parque Mitre, named for the former Argentine president who was an important general in the war of independence from Spain.

After checking in to our apartment we made a quick foray to the nearby markets to stock the kitchen and then settled in for a few hours to escape the heat of the day and catch up on our sleep a bit.

In the evening we roamed the Costanera, which is a promenade along the river on the north and west sides of the city. It was a wonderful, peaceful walk during which we decided to extend our stay here for an extra day.

We are here for Carnival. Corrientes calls itself the “National Capital of Carnival” in Argentina, though most people we have spoken with think that honor should belong to Gualeguaychu, which is on Rio Uruguay a couple hours north of Buenos Aires. We were expecting a city “painted in color” for the Carnival, but for now all we have seen is a couple of booths selling tickets for the events at the sports park twenty minutes east of the city. We bought our tickets for tonight, and will be leaving the apartment at 6PM for the show that will run from 9PM until 6AM tomorrow. We are going to try once again to see the whole show, which we understand gets better and better through the night.

We will be posting about Carnival de Corrientes tomorrow.

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