Crickets are chirping, birds screeching, the nextdoor neighbour is mowing his lawn. These are the sounds of peace and quiet and my, have I longed for those. There are about sixteen sandy streets here, on which every now and then a car drives past. Mostly there are animals: dogs, birds, cows, horses. Last night we left Buenos Aires: as I am typing this we are in nature reserve Esteros del Ibera.
Buenos Aires was overwhelming in every aspect. My ears could not get used to the 24h thunder of cars rushing by in the streets, nor could my eyes process all that they saw. Buenos Aires seemed to me an overflowing stream of cars, people, streets, traffic lights and tall buildings that cast shadows over life in the street. Despite those shadows so many people fall in love with this city. I myself have loved dancing to the rythmic drums of La Bomba; cheering for the local football team River Plate; practicing Spanish with taxi drivers and listening to incredible live music in San Telmo. In this capital city you can dance and drink the night away, relax in the many cafes and fuel up for another night of party in a cosy restaurant. But despite of its characteristic neighbourhoods, Malbec wines and juicy steaks, Buenos Aires did not light my fire, it exstinguished it! The four hours of Spanish class a day, in which I tried to grasp the difference between para, pera, parra, perra, perro, pero and pedo (I believe one of those words does not even exist), did not help my energy levels. Especially if the night before had turned out to be too much fun. Mostly it were the many stories about crime, my repeated underestimation of distances (I walked for hours!), and the sensation that you should be doing something all the time that made me experience Buenos Aires as a place of restlesness.
What a difference a day makes.. My friend arrived in Buenos Aires and we soon decided to leave the big city. It took only a night (and half a day) on a bus to emerge in Carlos Colonia Pellegrini, a sunny place surrounded by water. I marvel at the silence and the warm sun that shines onto our face. What we do here? We walk around, watch the animals, find some food, dip in the pool. Yesterday I got excited over the three hummingbirds that danced in front of our table during lunch. We spent an hour watching two caiman that came dashing out of a bush preying after bird in the swamp. In an adjacent field a small barefoot girl caught a horse with a lasso. Yes really. We swam in the pool where a frog mistook my friend’s leg for a log. Its bigger toadbrother visited us at night in the barn-like restaurant where we ate the one dish they served. After dinner fireflies lit our way back to our posada (with a little help from the bright moon).
The rest of this post is the usual ‘I love my holiday stuff’: Today we cruised the lake in a small boat, talked Spanish to our guide Pablo and saw many more caiman. We were bitten like crazy by mosquitos. We watched birds, flowers and animals of which I wouldn’t know the name. Like I said, we love our holiday.