18 August 2017 – Manchester, UK – Setting off
Up at 06.30 to say goodbye to F. Finished packing, checked lists and spent some quality time with Maga and Mati (and a quick hello to visiting Blackie) before taking a pre-booked taxi to Manchester airport, whence next stop, Buenos Aires.
As I have time to kill at the airport, a few words about the planned trip. I’ll spend one night in Buenos Aires, and the following day take an overnight bus to Posadas, Province of Misiones. I pick up a rental car in Posadas and drive straight down to Mercedes, Province of Corrientes, where I spend the night.
Up very early the following morning and drive to Colonia Carlos Pelligrini, on the East side of the Esteros de iberá, the second largest wetlands (after Brazil’s Pantanal) in South America. I spend a few nights here, and move on to the Mburucuyá National Park for a couple of nights before returning to the Esteros de Iberá, this time at Cambyretá, close to Ituzaingó on the northern border of the wetlands.
A few nights there, and back to Posadas for the Argentine Annual National English Teachers’ Conference (FAAPI), where I’ll be meeting old friends from the many years I lived and worked in Argentina.
Conference over, I rent a car and north-east to San Pedro where I pick up Guy Cox and we spend a week together birding the reserves (Karadya, San Sebastian de la Selva, Urugua-í) between San Pedro and Iguazú, and then and all around the Iguazú area.
My sister Caroline then arrives at Foz do Iguaçu (the Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls) and we take an overnight bus to Asunción (Paraguay) where we meet our guide Oscar Rodriguez, who will take us north-west, up along the Route 9, to explore the wild life and learn something about the Mennonites who have settled there and the indigenous people who have always (relatively speaking) been there.
After a week of this we come back to Asunción and Caroline and I will spend another few days in a rented car exploring the area south-east of Asunción. Not quite sure what we will find there, but certainly some of the Jesuit Missions set up many years ago.
And then Caroline goes back up to Iguazú for some more conventional tourism while I fly back to Buenos Aires, and thence to San Martín de los Andes to take up residence until January.
So, tomorrow Buenos Aires.