But there’s a particular reason why I’m singing it now – I spent yesterday wandering around the Buenos Aires neighbourhood of Recoleta, where the rich and famous live, love, laugh and are buried. María Eva Duarte de Perón is one of those; she is, of course, more commonly known (to North Americans at least) as Evita. She died very young in 1952 (aged only 33) and is still beloved by Argentinos – her grave is easy to find, as it’s the one covered in flowers and surrounded by people with cameras.
|Recoleta neighbourhood, Buenos Aires|
The day before, I’d met up with a friend from Toronto and headed to the little town of Tigre by train. Sharon is now retired (and it obviously agrees with her!) but she and I worked together when I first started my job at Education; she had the equivalent job for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities that I had for Education.
Tigre is just over an hour outside Buenos Aires, and it’s an interesting blend of grand Venetian canals, Muskoka cottage country and Louisiana bayou. In its heyday in the 1930’s, it was the playground for Buenos Aires’ beautiful people, and you can still see elements of its faded glory in the magnificent former social club (now converted to an art museum). We took a boat ride around the canals for an hour or so, and there are innumerable little side canals and streams leading away from the main waterways; I’d love to go back some day and spend some time kayaking to explore all those lost little channels.
It was refreshing to spend some time with someone from home; while you can meet lots of interesting people on the road, you do tend to have the same conversation over and over: “So where are you from? How long are you travelling for? Where did you come from/where are you going next?” It can get lonely, at times, with fleeting and superficial friendships for only a day or two while you’re both in the same town. So it was a very nice change to talk to someone I already knew! I was very happy too to see that she’s doing well – and, of course, very jealous that she (unlike me) doesn’t have to go back to work eventually, but I’m trying my best to forget that at some point I’ll have to start earning a living again.
Well, I’m off to Iguazú Falls tonight on another night bus, and have the day to wander around BA so I think I’ll sign off and get back out there. By noon tomorrow, I’ll be in the tropics! I’ll come back to BA again after Iguazú, as there’s no other really logical way to get to Montevideo or over to Mendoza other than to come back through BA anyway. So I’ll spend a bit longer next time and learn a little more about the city – but I like what I’ve seen so far.