16.01.2007 37 °C
After a couple of days puzzling where to go next I settled on Rosario, a mere 4 hours away (one of the main draws - didn´t fancy another 18 - 24hrs bus journey).
Rosario is north of BsAs and is on the banks of the Rio Plato (the same river that runs from Buenos Aires to Colonia) - the River Plate and is considered the 3rd city of Argentina after Buenos Aires and Cordoba. According to many it is home to the most beautiful women in Argentina and the guys from the hostel certainly seemed to agree! Can´t say I was looking myself - there did however seem to be an abundance of heavily pregnant women....wierd eh?
It is also home to one of the largest road bridges in Argentina if not South America and the National Flag monument - Monument de la Bandera. General Belgrano designed the Argentine flag in Rosario about 180 years ago. This is an impressive edifice with a nice museum to Latin America inside (on the right, half way up as you face the tall front of the monument). This monument has many sculptures on the walls and statues behind it with a reflecting pool. The locals tend to hang out here and chew the fat with their friends and its also the venue for major events in the city, unfortunately I had just missed a major opera event the day before I arrived - you can´t win them all eh?
The city is clean and modern and a nice place to walk around, there are several beaches to choose from. Our beach of choice was over on Isla Verde - the Green Island being the literal translation and very nice it was too. Basically involved getting on a bus for 30mins and then grabbing a boat across the river - headed over with Sarith from Alaska, Amelia from Paris and Silar from India, a good day had by all and definitely worth a visit. Also better than La Florida on the opposite side of the river as its less crowded and much cleaner.
A word about the weather.....my good god - how hot??? The humidity was a complete killer and made sleeping nigh on impossible although I guess a 10 person dorm is going to be pretty warm anyway! It was here that my heat rash on the old hands reappeared and made life pretty miserable for the next 2 weeks but if that´s the height of my worries I can´t really complain eh?
That was Rosario - again a good place to chill out for a while. Next stop: Salta.