2006. Puerto Madryn to La Plata, Argentina (IFR 3:30 hrs).
We made an early start to drive from Puerto Piramides back to Puerto
Madryn for take-off to La Plata. Thanks to a tailwind of 45 to 55 knots
at FL110, our ground speed was above 200 knots most of the way. The
female tower controller at La Plata didn’t speak much English so
Flemming had to do his best in Spanish. Angela tried to help him
although her Spanish doesn’t stretch to aviation terminology. Once on
the ground, he learnt some key phrases in Spanish from the controller in
Carlos Christiansen was there to greet us. He drove us round the city
before taking us to our hotel and invited us to dinner that evening.
Carlos was born in Argentina of Danish parents and can still converse in
his original mother tongue. He heads the Electronic Engineering
Department at La Plata University. Flemming first met him in the 1980s
when he worked at CERN in Geneva for a few years.
We spent the afternoon visiting the city’s main points of interest
around the Plaza Moreno: the Piedra Fundacional (founding stone), which
marks the city’s precise geographical centre, the neo-Gothic cathedral,
and the museum in the house of the city’s creator Dardo Rocha. The way
back to our hotel took us past Plaza San Martín where a huge crowd was
gathered. We soon discovered what the attraction was. A crazy young
woman was sitting astride the statue of a horse (with liberation hero
San Martín) in the middle of the square, rocking to and fro and shouting
obscenities. She was threatening to commit suicide if the authorities
wouldn’t return her child to her. The police and the fire brigade
eventually managed to get her down from there unharmed. We learnt later
that she had made a similar performance the previous day.
Carlos and his wife Hilda gave us a sumptuous feast that evening which
we enjoyed in the company of their family and friends.
2006. La Plata to San Fernando, Buenos Aires (VFR 0:23).
Flemming had to speak aviation Spanish a few times during this short
trip but he was better prepared for it this time. Parking space at San
Fernando proved to be a bit problematic, but we managed to negotiate a
spot in the end. We had chosen San Fernando because it is conveniently
close to San Isidro where Storm and William Horsey had kindly invited us
We enjoyed a delicious lunch at La Casa de Estéban de Luca in the San
Telmo district of Buenos Aires (where tango was born), and then walked
to the Plaza de Mayo to see the Casa Rosada. Apparently the Madres de la
Plaza de Mayo still march around the square every week in their
unrelenting campaign for a full accounting of the Guerra Sucia (dirty
Overflying La Plata on our way to Buenos Aires