Tigre 20th Jan
We decided to go to Tigre. Described by the guide book as the Argentinian Venice, but on visiting it does not do either justice. Venice is a beautiful historic city created by man with an abundance of buildings and art, though over crowded with tourists and pigeons. Tigre has the natural beauty of the Panana Delta a seductive maze of lush, green islands now inhabited by the jet setting Portenos at weekends and summer holidays,seperated by streams and rivers, but lacks the crowds of tourists and pigeons!
Instead of going on an organised tour we decided to do a DIY tour, which proved really easy, though not optimal in learning about Tigre itself - but more on that later.
We started at BA's main train station where Maria did the bag watching while Kieran queued with the masses, an organized chaos. After a combination of sign language and pointing, two tickets were purchased at 2.70 pesos return ($0.75). Well worth going on your own instead of the organized bus tour that would probably be around $30.
The train took about an hour and was full of day tripping Portenos, eager to get out of their sweltering city. This was a cool experience, a taste of everyday Argentinian life making the journey to get to your destination very much part of your day out itself. While in England you can buy snacks and magazines on board, this is not a possibility that we could find on this train but you could buy a 'mini toolkit', lottery tickets and various other 'everyday' items from the endless entreprenuers on board - this is an experience that you just don't get by going on organized tours - you miss out on a lot.
On our arrival we decided to walk around the left bank of the river Lujan, taking in the laidback, riveria atmosphere. The town had yet to waken up and we had the riverside pretty much to ourselves. In hindsight we would have gone on a boat trip first to get our bearings as after two hours or so of wandering ( slightly more due to my shortcut) in the 30+ degree heat we were pretty knackered which might explain our next experience........a one hour boat trip with, I am sure very interesting, history and notes of interest of the delta and sights around Tigre. However, we are no wiser on Tigre due to the fact that not one word was in English, a monologue of Spanish greeted us! We would learn a very early lesson that in Argentina english is not widely spoken, so don't assume (which I know one shouldn't)! Boat trips with English guides are available you just need to check with which company!
None to the wiser we departed the boat, but our bemusement and slight disappointment did not last long as in this 'small world' who were we to bump into but the 'brazilian couple' from the restaurant the night before! Bizare!
Once you have done the boat trip and wandered around for an hour Tigre is pretty much 'done' unless of course you decide to stay on one of the islands in one of holiday homes which if you have time I imagine would be a great experience. So we set off back to BA in high anticipation of the 'Tango show' that we had booked earlier.
Whether you think you like tango or not we thoroughly recommend to go to a show, even the most unenthusiastic of you will enjoy watching, and will appreciate, the skill and talent on display. It's the BA equilavent of going to a Westend show in London but instead of rows of cushioned seats in a British orderly fashion, you sit in a crowd of people with tables and served champagne and G&T's watching a variety of sexy tango, musicians and solo singers - all in a very cool atmosphere. The only thing we would do differently is to book the tango show seperately to the meal (meal was awful and expensive), though if you do this you don't get as good seats or the free drinks at the show.....
After another long, but superb day we retired back to the hotel and started to prepare ourselves mentally for the 22 hour bus journey to Iguazu Falls the next day!
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