All of the flights had been changed and we had received our new itinerary last night; it was impossible to get everyone on the same flight so the group was divided, one group leaving on the red eye last night for Buenos Aires and the rest of us flying out this morning via Santiago, Chile to Buenos Aires.
The flight was delayed 2 hours in Santiago due to a problem with the oxygen . . . that’s a long story and I will post more on Travelpod, it seemed the travel gods were against us. Eduardo met us at the airport, again long story – short version he did not know our plane would be delayed until he got to the airport – we picked up our luggage and transferred to the hotel. It had been a long trying day of travel and we were tired so rather than go out for dinner opted to grab a sandwich in the hotel restaurant.
Argenta Tower Hotel
Next morning, feeling rested we reunited with the group and after breakfast traveled about 40 minutes outside the hustle bustle of the city to an area called Tigre, a popular weekend getaway for locals. Tigre lies on the lush Parana Delta; the island is surrounded by several small streams and rivers and offers a relaxing atmosphere. The area’s name derives from the “tigres” or jaguars that were once hunted here. Europeans settled here to farm the land; a port developed serving the Delta, bringing fruit and wood from the Delta and ports upstream on the Paraná River. Today, antiques shops, riverside restaurants and pubs, a casino and Parque de la Costa, (an amusement park) along with its natural beauty make Tigre a popular weekend and tourist destination throughout the year. It is also the where boat excursions of the Parana Delta begin.
Vintage mahogany commuter launches wind their way through a web of inter-connecting rivers and streams. Humble dwellings and elegant mansions from the “Belle Epoque” to small pensions, upscale lodges, restaurants, teahouses and simple picnic sites sit side by side. There are no roads other than the maze of waterways. Everything moves by boat, ambulance service is by boat, groceries are delivered by boat, the school bus is a boat and travel between the small islands is by boat. It is very peaceful existence and many full time residents call it home.
Life on the Delta
The cruise was just the relaxation everyone needed after a long night/day of travel and to decompress a bit from our frustrations and disappointment, very calming.
One of our best meals in Buenos Aires, next to the steak dinner, was at Broccolino’s Italian restaurant, a short walk from the hotel. Our guide and the owner are good friends so not only did we have a great meal but the owner was quite entertaining, giving a running commentary on the food, we really enjoyed him just as much as the food. Four of us shared a plate of the sautéed calamari then George and I shared a delicious eggplant au gratin and couldn’t finish it all. Susan and the other Nancy had pasta that looked amazing but again huge servings. The house wine was also very good. It is a family restaurant and most of the people in there were locals, it had a very cozy atmosphere and was packed when we left with people waiting for tables. A good tip . . . thank you Eduardo.
We had the afternoon on our own and decided to explore more of the Historic plazas and Puerto Modero area – photos posted earlier in the blog under Buenos Aires. Late afternoon we bid farewell to some of our group who were heading home and we repacked for our trip to Iguaçu Falls.