Puerto Madryn to La Plata to Buenos Aires, Argentina 9 - 12 March 2006

Dancing tango in the streets


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9 March 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 the office.
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.


10 March 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 to stay.
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 war) atrocities.


Overflying La Plata on our way to Buenos Aires

Río de la Plata with the big city smog beyond

The Casa Rosada looks even rosier in the late afternoon sun

We imagine Evita addressed the crowds from the balcony just to the right of Flemming's head

With senior 'Señor Tango'...

JAlbum 6.2 Copyright: Angela & Flemming PEDERSEN