Argentina: places mentioned in these posts
On a fresh spring morning in early November, Michèle and I set forth in a westerly direction from Carlos Casares, the village 260 km south west of Buenos Aires where she lives, on a four hour drive to Santa Rosa, provincial capital of La Pampa, where a friend was to meet and drive me the remainder of the journey to Río Colorado – a further 280 km, or three hours. The few days in
had been exciting and nostalgic, and I tried not to think about the unaccustomed quantities of food I had consumed. Buenos Aires
However, the distractions were powerful: driving with Michèle at the wheel is a unique experience, replete with an excitement all its own. She leads a very busy life as a farmer’s wife and devoted mother of five children aged between thirty and fourteen, and still manages to fit in garden design and run several households. Her husband, two daughters and three sons keep in touch by texting or talking to her on her mobile several times a day, as do contractors, fitters, workmen and various members of staff. There were 8 tolls along the way, and I saw the greatest example of multitasking I’m ever likely to come across.
She took calls and read texts, organised meals remotely, negotiated toll booths and supplied the right change, chatted animatedly to me as she puffed on a cigarette, balancing on the dashboard one of the medialunas we had bought at the last service station, deftly manoeuvring the steering wheel with an elbow when necessary, and taking sips from the cup of hot coffee in the cubbyhole by the handbrake. Her capacious handbag was reluctantly relinquished by her to avoid being surgically removed from her lap by me, as I watched her, alternately laughing in disbelief and reflecting that though all of this was thoroughly illegal in
, we were now in the Wild West in road terms. England
is an attractive town by the slow, deep flowing river of the same name... Colorado
...with tree-lined streets and, typically for
, the entire network of cables required for everyday life hovering overhead... Argentina
...as you can see from the picture below of the prolifically flowering ceibo (the cockspur coral tree, or Erythrina crysta-galli, national flower of
and Argentina ). Uruguay
The following morning was another early start, with a journey 300 km south east to Viedma, the provincial capital of Río Negro. No matter where you are in
Patagonia, whether city or steppe, you’re always aware of the wind, which tears fiendishly round corners trying to lift you off your feet. The silence and solitude are for earlier in the year - in winter and spring you can still enjoy the solitude, but it’s nearly always noisy, the wind screaming across the vast open spaces and clattering relentlessly through the houses by day and night. Photography is one of my passions, though I make no claims of artistry or expertise, and here I tried to capture… well, dust.
Hope you haven't drifted off... Next time I'll write about Viedma.