This is part of the eighth section of our around the
Complete Trip Overview & Map
Coming from Paraguay
14/6/02 Into Argentina with no visas necessary, and the use of the carnet for the motorcycle, completed in 10 minutes. A different country, suffering from severe recent economic turmoil. Their currency is now worth less than 30% of what it was six months ago. The banks have been closed to withdrawals recently and the people have been demonstrating their anger towards the government. In the border town of Posadas the square is surrounded by farm tractors and trucks. The farmers camped in the square protesting. Now in Argentina we booked our return airfares. The international ones we find easiest to book at a travel agent and the Australian sectors we book over the internet. We return to Australia from Buenos Aires on the 5th of July returning on the 8th of September to continue south. The airfare the most expensive we have bought with the consolation of a short flight and over the Antarctic, South Pole.
15/6/02 Had a day trip out to San Ignacio Mini. Another Jesuit ruin which at its height had over 4000 native indians living there. Now a tumble down pile of rock walls set in lush green grassy gardens. The locals come in buses, day trips, an outing, to be with friends as much as to see the history. The drop in the currency has made some extremes in the prices of goods. Imported ones now equally ridiculously high as locally produced ones are low. All farm produce extremely cheap and the internet at $0.25 cents per hour almost free. Items with some import and local content seem to be more normally priced. The Argentineans dress well and we found it necessary to look around the shops for some better clothes, just to fit in.
16/6/02 Today we encountered the legendary Argentinean hospitality. We had ridden 450 km to Mercedes and were directed to a petrol station, then a hotel and an invitation to dinner. The local mechanic had been celebrating father's day with his family, as we do in the west, and wanted to share the evening with us. So with an interpreter, many here seem to speak some English, we enjoyed slabs of steak and chips at the local restaurant. His daughter in law, a teacher, has not been paid for two months, receiving only coupons for food and clothing, usable only in her home province. We had noticed there were no cars on the road, even on this Sunday of a holiday weekend. People can't travel out of their home area. Business seems as usual but without many customers.
17/6/02 Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina have enormous amounts of good pasture and cattle to eat it. Meat is incredibly cheap. Why the E.U. and the U.S.A. subsidize their meat production and force their populations to pay exorbitant prices for their diseased and polluted product amazes me. Between mad cow disease, foot and mouth and now the poison nitrophen entering the food chain all because of high intensive farming, it is criminal not to allow meat to be imported freely from South America, helping both populations. The road out to the Reserve Esteros del Ibera was chopped up mud from cars and recent rain so we decided to give it a miss and head further south.
18/6/02 Now with a few days to spare we headed into Uruguay, out of Argentina within 10 minutes.
Move with us to Uruguay
, or go to our next visit to Argentina
Story and photos copyright ©
Peter and Kay Forwood,