After seeing Jorge in Salta (again), we are planning to stick to lower altitudes and eventually cruise along lots of flat pampas to Buenos Aires. We plot out our route and head towards Cordoba, planning to stop at a few Jesuit Missions en route. First stop is at Santa Catarina to see the Capilla de Mont, a gorgeous old Jesuit church, and then to the Jesuit museum situated in the Jesuit Estancia at the town of Jesus Maria. A fascinating museum with signs in English (thank goodness). Eventually we arrive in Cordoba midday on Sunday. This makes it great to find a parking spot right in the centre so that we can explore easily, but we forgot about siesta. Everything is closed until 6pm. Oh well, exterior only!
We head out of the big smoke for the hills, but after all the glorious mountains these hills are rather tame and we soon tire of the winding, busy roads and decide we need to come up with plan 2 - take a hard left and head to Altagracia for a visit to "Che's" (of Motorcycle Diaries fame) home and another Jesuit Monastery before heading cross country to BA, stopping only at Rosario at a camp ground. Here we use their power and water to do heaps of washing & cleaning. Then on to BA to check out our storage.
After a few falsh starts we eventually find the yard of the small motorhome hire company set in a nice suburb behind secure fences, a bit cramped, but looks OK. Then on to BA city itself. It is a massive, sprawling city of 8 million. The parking area we are looking for has long since vanished, so we park on the street and set off to explore. At the end of the day we start to head out of town, as we can't camp where we are. To our pleasure we see 8 other international motorhomes in a carpark just along the road, so we stop there for the night too. This gives us a chance to go to a fantastic Tango show - apparently you are supposed to book ahead, but we just turned up and waited in the queue. We got the last 2 seats for the 8.30pm show (The next was at 10.30pm - maybe a little late for us) It was a great show tracing (in Spanish) the history of Tango with lots of singing, music and dancing (of course)
The parking spot also gave us a chance to chat with other overlanders. They all warned us about leaving GR2 in Argentina. Apparently the rules have changed this year and they may query you when you leave the country without your vehicle, or may fine you when you return. All of them recommended Uruguay, as had a number of other overlanders we had met previously. We decide it is not worth the risk. It is Thursday and we fly home Monday, so we decide the rest of BA will have to wait. We need to head to Uruguay to find storage. Just to complicate things, it is also Easter.
The border crossing is congested and chaotic, but we manage to check out of Argentina and into Uruguay, getting a 1 year vehicle permit for GR2. We finally reach Colonia (a town only 1hrs fast ferry ride to BA) in the evening, and by mid afternoon on Friday we have found a great spot for GR2 to rest up. The lovely people at Granja Arenas, a farm come restaurant and museum, are quite happy for GR2 to stay - amazingly right beside our French friends slide on camper - how is that for a small world.
We have 2 days left to enjoy Uruguay before we board our ferry back to BA and then taxi to the airport. We are looking forward to returning to Uruguay. It is a lovely, peaceful, clean, safe place. We camped right on the waterfront at Montevideo and went to their Semana Santa show with lots of guanchos & horseriding (and huge crowds)
It has been a fantastic trip. We have travelled about 23,500km, making our average about 240km per day ( a bit higher than usual, but we have covered a lot of country). All thanks to the work of Stewart and the boys at SLR on our fantastic GR2.