35: Leones to Baradero to Buenos Aires

Days 107 to 109

Day 107 (11th March) Leones to Baradero
We were sad to leave Posada Maestossa as it had been so comfortable and relaxing, but we needed to move on and get to Buenos Aires. It had rained overnight and was overcast as we set off, but soon warmed up and we made good time despite a poor road surface. Large pot holes and ruts again covered our route till we reached Rosario, which amazed us as it was the main autoroute from Cordoba to the capital, Buenos Aires!

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The main autoroute to Buenos Aires!

Rosario had originally been our destination for today as it was the birthplace of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara. He became a revolutionist after travelling around South America in 1952 on a 500cc Norton motorcycle with his friend, Rodrigo de la Serna. They witnessed the poverty of peasants, miners and ostracized lepers and it had a dramatic effect on him, so by the end of their trip he was prepared to fight and die for the cause of the poor. Their experience became the subject of his book, ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ (which we must read again when we get home).
However, we found out there’s no Che Guevara museum in Rosario – only his house which is now a private residence with no admission – so we decided to press on to Baradero, a town some 50 miles closer to Buenos Aires, where we found a modest but decent hotel for the night.

Day 108 (12th March) Baradero to Buenos Aires
The road to Buenos Aires was straight all the way, running through very mundane scenery compared to what we’d been used to riding through over the last few months. When we arrived, we rode along the busy by-pass and into to the city centre.
We’d booked an ‘Aparthotel’ (a small apartment with hotel facilities such as breakfast, room cleaning etc.) for two nights to give us time to arrange a ferry crossing to Uruguay and to do a bit of sight-seeing. We’ll be returning to Buenos Aires when we reach the end of our trip, so may have time to see more of the city then.

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The view from our apartment….not quite as good as some we’ve had!

Day 109 (13th March) In Buenos Aires
We spoke with the helpful concierge at reception, who offered to print the on-line ferry tickets we’d bought, so we are off to Uruguay tomorrow morning!
We spent the day walking the city and clocked up around eight miles, which was quite exhausting in the heat. Our destination was the Jardin Japones (Japanese Garden) which is apparently the biggest garden of this type outside Japan. It was a very peaceful place with Koi Carp swimming amongst the water lillies in the extensive ponds, red painted bridges, and winding gravel paths through the gardens.

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Buenos Aires is a very pleasant city and seems to be very westernised, say compared to Santiago where we’d spent a week a month and a half ago. The walk to the Japanese Garden reminded us of being in central London in many respects. The old, Colonial buildings are impressive, with many having beautiful, ornate mouldings. They all seem to be well maintained, which is another notable difference to most other places we’ve visited. The streets were clean, with very little rubbish evident, but there were still many impatient drivers and loads of people jostling for space on the pavements!

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