November 21, 2006

Riverside in Rosario
Rosario, Argentina

After an uneventful trip from Córdoba, I'm settling in for about a week in Rosario.

Ever since I arrived in Argentina I've been seeing these little red shrines intermittently scattered next to the highways. Typically made out of concrete, and about the size (and shape) of a dog house, the vibrant red memorials are a little creepy. Often found near the shade of a tree, dozens of pieces of red fabric are tied to low hanging limbs and attached sticks in the ground. It looks like something out of a Tim Burton movie. I'm told they're markers for folks who have died in car accidents—there's sure an awful lot of them.

Hostels in Rosario

Hostels/hotels in this town are rumored to be packed with kids from Buenos Aires on the weekends, but generally empty during the week. This probably would have been the case for the hostel I wanted to stay at (Posada Juan Ignacio, recommended by a pair of fellas in Córdoba), except an entire soccer team had recently taken up residency for the remainder of the week.

Hostels are more expensive here than in Córdoba or Salta—closer to the prices I found in Mendoza. I'm sure it has something to do with the type of weekend-tourist that usually visits here.

The quality of the place I ended up in is quite nice. Opened nine months ago, the Hostel Rio Brown is a comfortable spot (with a fun logo), albeit pricey at AR$25 (US$8) per night. Tomorrow morning I'll move over to the Cool Raul Hostel that's AR$23 per night, a bit dumpier, but more sociable (and includes a grill that I can BBQ on). The small swimming pool at Juan Ignacio would have been nice to have, though.

Rosario

I haven't had enough time to really size up the city yet, but Rosario seems to sport the familiar traits of the others I've seen. I'm interested in checking out a weekend planetarium show—I haven't been to one of those in a decade or so.

A 30–40 minute bus ride out of my part of town is a stretch of "beach" next to the Rio Parana, a calm, brown river that flows towards the sea. A nicer, groomed, and gated section of beach (Playa Florida) has been turned into a pay-to-play zone, with the remaining left open to the public. I can only imagine the chaotic scene of a holiday weekend in this place.

A backpacker told me in Salta that there's a hole in the ozone layer above the city—extra UV bonus for me! Sunscreen is surprisingly inexpensive.

Lord, I'm pale… I can't wait to spend some more time in the sun.

Fancy Buses

It's hard to miss the fancy computer terminal mounted just inside the entrance of the buses here. On the way back from the beach the driver of my ride told me somewhere around one or two years ago the 700 (or so) buses in Rosario were upgraded to support the new system. As soon as I took interest in it the driver was pretty excited to show it all off to me.

Fancy bus computers

The control unit is synced up with a GPS receiver in the bus that processes and prominently displays how much he is currently ahead or behind schedule. The unit also has two-way messaging with station controllers, the ability to receive traffic alerts, a silent alarm to alert police, and a slew of other neat little features.

Comments:

Tom Heimburger

November 22nd, 2006

Pretty cool - I easily found the EXACT place you took the beach photos from on Google Earth! You're getting really close to where Windy and I spent an enjoyable day in October at a ranch near San Antonia de Areco. Hope you can stop there and wander around the little town a bit. Be sure to stop in at the amazing silversmith shop there - Juan Hernando Casa de Remates Objectos de Campo "Country Objects" where they make traditional gaucho gear from leather and silver. It's located at Moreno 279 near the center of town (http://www.stagnaro.com.ar). There are photos from the shop on our Fototime website, and we bought some really nice items there to give as Christmas gifts.

Tom Heimburger

November 22nd, 2006

Never mind the Moreno 279 - that's not the street address. See their website for the correct location.

Tom Heimburger

November 22nd, 2006

I guess the correct name is Gustavo Stagnaro Plateria…I was looking first at a flyer we had in the bag from the shop.

Brodie

November 22nd, 2006

Having had such an interesting day yesterday with my trip to the hairdresser I felt that the opportunity to comment and thus once again feel good about myself was just irresistible. I expect that you are now slightly sunburned after making too much use of the beach, whereas I am getting a bad back from sitting in the old Windsor hotel lobby coffee shop and working. Actually the neck is feeling a little sore too since I have to crane it around the corner everytime one of the female staff members walk past. I tell you, the expensive hotels certainly know how to hire their staff. Take it easy. Hope to catch up with you sometime in Brazil!

Argentina

Craig | travelvice.com

November 22nd, 2006

I see people swimming in the river by the beach and I'm totally reminded of an episode of Seinfeld…

KRAMER: Well my swimming pool problems are solved. I just found myself miles and miles of open lanes.

JERRY: What is that smell?

KRAMER: That's East River.

JERRY: You're swimming in the East River? The most heavily trafficked overly contaminated waterway on the eastern seaboard?

KRAMER: Technically Norfok has more gross tonnage.

JERRY: How could you swim in that water?

KRAMER: I saw a couple of other guys out there.

JERRY: Swimming?

(PAUSE)

KRAMER: Floating, they weren't moving much. But they were out there.

Anonymous

November 27th, 2006

Hello, I have just found your blog and i couldn't stop reading. I wish I could do the same.
I'm from buenos aires and I'd like to tell what those red flag you saw on the road were. That things are like Shrines for "Gauchito gil" . I don't know the storie since its more of a northern argentinan thing. But antoni gil was a guy that lived around 1860 and that people said that was a saint.
http://www.raicesargentinas.com.ar/Notas/notas/gauchitogil.htm
its in spanish.
Keep on traveling.

Argentina

Craig | travelvice.com

November 28th, 2006

Anonymous from BsAs: The photo in that link was great, pretty much exactly what I'm seeing on the highways!

Thanks for the kinds words. I'm happy you're enjoying the writings. :)

The United States

AlexP

March 25th, 2010

Hey, found your blog a few weeks ago and have been reading ever since-love it. I know its been a long time since youve been here, but those little red huts that you have been seeing are shrines to Gauchito Gil; a local Robin Hood. Theyre crazy about him in the countryside.

Keep posting!

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