28 Apr 2018

Raining in Buenos Aires

The end of another phase and it is raining in Buenos Aires, with black skies and thunder rolling around, but at least it held off for most of the drive over from Mendoza.
After cleaning the cruiser and getting mostly packed on Friday we finally left at Saturday lunch time.  we only planned a short drive that day as the forecast was good in San Luis, but awful for the rest of the drive across.

We got away dry on Sunday morning but within an hour we could see what lay ahead, looking very similar to the storm we headed into in the Gobi Desert, black skies and forked lightening. Soon the rain was absolutely torrential, which made it very tricky overtaking the many slow moving trucks on the road, so the going was pretty slow, but we still managed over 300 miles that day. It was getting dark as we approached the flooded streets of Venado Tuerto and still raining, so we found a small Hotel with secure parking, with a micro brewery pub just round the corner, we're both happy.
Monday started grey but gradually cleared to blue skies and sunshine in the afternoon. We decided to risk the weather and camped behind a small roadside cafe, but by 1 am Chris was talking of packing up and moving on, not due to rain, but mosquitoes, which were the worst we have come across since Siberia!!! No matter what we did we could not get them out of the tent. The battle was long and the following morning the tent looked like a war zone and we had to sweep the dead bodies off the mattress before we could pack up!

Tuesday started warm and sunny and we moved on across the border into Uruguay, after a last fuel fill-up and a few last bits of food from Carrefour. They have always had a sign up on the border saying no meat, eggs or fruit, but unlike Chile they never check the vehicle - except this time!!! and into the bin went the pork, potatoes, bananas, eggs and ham that we had just bought!!! Even Chile lets you keep ham!

Having started the journey thinking we would have to look for hostels most nights to avoid getting the tent wet before we stored the vehicle, the weather was so good we decided to risk the last 2 nights in our usual camp site on the banks of the River Plate at Agrecidia, about 70 miles north of storage. Out of season it is free to use, it has power ant toilets, only the showers are locked. The forecast for the next couple of days was for intermittent thunder storms, followed by scattered thunderstorms, I have no idea what the difference is, but really it is weatherman speak for 'haven’t got a clue". In actual fact the weather was gorgeous, with blue skies and sunshine and a beer in the sun.

Then we opened the tent we had to kill off a last few remaining mosquitoes, but after that we were mosquito free, but the following day it was the turn of the ants, tiny ones! They did not get onto the mattress, but the floor all-round the edge of the mattress looked like the M1 motorway! After a while I realised that they were climbing up the guy ropes that anchored the back end of the tent, so they came up, then they found the ladder! Eventfully, using boiling water and a repellent spray we managed to cut off all their routes and kill off the large groups, but there were still stragglers running all over the vehicle.

Thursday was our last night before storing the truck and crossing to BA so we decided not to risk the still threatened thunder storms on the last night so booked into a hostel in Colonia and found another microbrewery pub just down the road. As we were already packed up this also gave us time for a leisurely lunch before dropping off the vehicle and getting a lift down to the port. It was still hot and sunny when we left Colonia, but an hour later Buenos Aires was very stormy looking, but still no rain.

So now it is Saturday, our last day before our flight at 13.20 tomorrow, we have had heavy rain and thunder since the early hours, and whilst there must still things to do and see in BA we really just can’t be bothered! We will pop across the road to share a cannelloni for lunch, don our waterproofs for an early beer down the road (at another excellent microbrewery pub) and finish off with a steak and a bottle of malbec at our favourite restaurant - who needs site seeing!

We camp next to some even older vehicles on the way to Uruguay
The Lighthouse in Colonia, built into the ruins of a Convent
(note the clear blue skies when the forecast was for a thunder storm)

and a walk along the jetty before lunch

A flash back to the start of our journey for all those penguin lovers. 
The Internet was not capable of uploading this at the time.

This penguin was trying to fend off its hungry chicks whilst waiting for its partner to return from fishing The parents take it in turns to fish, so you never know whether it is mother or father that look aafter them. They feed the chicks by eating the fish and then regurgitating it.

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