February 23, 2009

Reserva Ecologica

For our second day in Buenos Aires, I had planned a day full of walking around, exploring neighborhoods and parks, complete with a picnic lunch in the Reserva Ecologica, an ecological park along the water that was created over a former landfill.

However, someone failed to tell me the weather forecasted rain. We made it nearly all the way down Florida, the main pedestrian shopping avenue, strolling and enjoying ourselves, before the rain started coming down. We tried to hide out in bars for a couple hours, but the rain showed no signs of slowing down. Stupidly, we walked/cried/ran all the way home in the pouring rain, completely drenched. I had to ring out my dress three times when we got home. Luckily the lack of humidity there meant that all of our clothes - even our shoes!! - were dry by the next morning. Phew. Crisis averted.

So Wednesday was a do-over of Tuesday. And it involved A LOT of walking - something like five hours of walking. From our apartment, we headed through downtown to Puerto Madero, the factory-turned-hip neighborhood separated from the rest of BA by a canal.

Our goal was the Reserva Ecologica, which has its entrance at the south end of Puerto Madera. We thought we had finally made it when we reached this park.

However, after wandering through the park and ending up on this street, we saw there was still even further to go before we'd reach the entrance. Luckily the street along the Ecological Reserve is lined with grill stands, serving up delicious "chori-pan" aka a big fat grilled sausage on a baguette with chimmichurri and other sauces.

So we stopped to rest, refuel, and enjoy a cool beer before forging on.

The Reserva Ecologica is a network of well-groomed paths with desert-y trees and grasses on either side. Not too exciting, but a pleasant walk. Jesse did see some parrots, but they flew away before we could photograph them.

We felt removed from the big city, yet this view was a reminder to my legs of how far we'd have to walk to return.

We inadvertantly chose the path that took us to a breathtaking little beach along the Rio de la Plata. Buenos Aires is not on the Atlantic Ocean proper, but this wide murky brown river that opens up to the ocean. There was just a thin strip of dark brown on the horizon, probably Uruguay, to remind us this was no ocean.

This beach was also missing the quintessential saltiness of sea air, making me long for a trip to the beach back on the Jersey shore.

After finally making it back to the city, my legs wanted to fall off and we were both sunburned lobsters, care of forgetting to wear sunblock. Jesse convince me we should visit a spa to soothe our aching muscles with a soak in a hot tub. This was not something in my original budget, but since we were on vacation...why not? It was fun and kind of surreal to pad around a modernistic spa in a robe and slippers. I think the soak was good for my muscles, but not good for our skin, which stayed red and painful for days - an unusual experience for us since our Mediterranean complexions don't often burn.

Argentina Adventure tales to be continued...


liz said...

can't wait to hear more -- this looks like an awesome trip!!

meag said...

lady! get back here. i just watched an old episode of No Reservations and he ate at El Cuartito...right before he went to Patagonia and deemed it 'the last refuge for the independent spirit.' so i guess that means you have to come back soon :)

Julia said...

haha i'm sorry i missed that episode. i didn't know el cuartito was so famous. you know i'm gonna try to come back soon. it was so fun hanging with you and guille!