Yesterday I decided the girls should get to see something more than just the city, so Julia and I looked up in the Lonely Planet to see what was they recommended for a country day trip. We found a description of a small gaucho town, “the loveliest in Argentina” with museums, silver shops and cobble stone streets. Perfect.
Did you know that the writers of travel books have not visited most of the towns they write about? That information is in the book “Confessions of a Travel Writer.” The bus ride took two hours in a very comfortable double decker bus that detoured to four crowded suburbs around BA. I saw a young man carrying a foil like a jeans wearing character who had escaped a Shakespeare drama, the Hotel Kiss Me where you pay by the hour, and at one point a man got on wearing a head set to announce that his son was ill and needed four thousand dollars to get a transfusion from China. It sounded improbable and the Argentinian gentleman next to us told the mendicant that the gentleman knew everyone in the town the beggar claimed to be from and he wasn’t from there. An auspicious start.
We arrived at 1:30[m after everything in San Antonio had closed. In reality it looked like it had never opened. We wandered the empty streets from the bus station wondering how we could be lost in such a small place. Finally we found the quiet town square where we stopped for a relatively expensive lunch. I had a salad of tomatoes, basil and cheese, Rachael had a sandwich of tomatoes, basil and cheese, Julia had a panini of tomato, basil and cheese and Tom had the club sandwich of…apparently the only foods in town. It kept us laughing as we stumbled from one closed museum to the next. When we asked three people in the square, they said things might open at 4pm or not, the woman who ran the silver museum lived next to the closed pharmacy but…
A motley collection of friendly dogs in the street chased cars, then padded quietly along beside us. One definitely wanted to follow us home. Julia took pictures. In the pond on the way to the gaucho museum we found some men who were catching good sized fish. A tiny lone duckling swam peeping incessantly searching for its mother. Two boys on the bank watched silently as it was carried away by the current. Above us green parrots had complicated nests in the trees.
The gaucho museum some distance from the square was open but disappointing, consisting mostly of family photographs of the important locals from the 1920s who had set up the museum. We did find six cannon in the gardens so Tom was pleased. We had bought tickets for a 7pm return but we changed them for a 5:30 bus after we managed to see another small museum that consisted mostly of a high priced gift shop. A strangely unfriendly town for tourists but we enjoyed being out of the city for the day.