Rio Paranà, La Vuelta de Obligato, Argentina

Camp on the shores of Rio Paranà

A beautiful public beach in this sleepy  Argentinan town  is offering us easy living today. We are camped at the river beach where older couples come to fish and sit on the shore of Rio Paranà. The sun is strong enough to charge the solar panels; the weather is warm enough for shorts and swimming. It’s off-season so camps are closed, there is free camping everywhere.

Sheep dog.

Gypsy (not pictured) is having a better time here than in the city. In camp, there are up to 6 other dogs at a time causing a lot of action when there is food. Now in mid-afternoon, they are asleep in the sun. At times, they move to the shade. This lucky pup below was using the solar panel as a bed until Niles pulled him off, absolutely not moving,  by his legs.

Comotose sun worship in the park
Where we are…

History of the area: in October 1845, there was a battle stretching across the river here in Vuelta de Obligado. Argentian gauchos and women from the area were organized to fight an English-French trading convoy that intentionally circumvented the protocols for trade through Buenos Aires. (I can understand the desire to go around the port authority of Buenos Aires, ‘nough said)….But, more seriously, the British/French flotilla had colonial intentions. The young country of Argentina was able to block unauthorized trade up the Rio Paranà and thwart the commercial aggression.

A map of shipping up the Rio Paranà, Argentina today from Marinetime website. Imagine if England and France had taken the lands bordering this river….

Today, the river accommodates large container ships  We saw several heading up river. One named the Norway, another, Captain Adams and another the YaSa. The Argentinan Ambassador to the US recently commented in an article that the US is Argentina’s greatest investor and China is its greatest trade partner. Argentina finds itself between world powers because of its location and resources. To help us understand the history of the area more, we have been reading and going to museums.

Books we are listening to while driving are : Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara, Operation Condor: the History of the Notorious Operation by Charles River Editors, and Destiny Disrupted by Tanin Ansary (this one more to understand the Muslim World). These books all give a view of history and travel that we were missing when we started.

Ship heading up Rio Paranà

Although, the Motorcycle Diaries is the most enjoyable to me, Operation Condor is the most shocking. It details the crimes against humanity committed by the “junta”, extrajudicial killings sanctioned by military dictators in the 1970s-1980s aided by CIA intelligenc. It may be too detailed for some readers regarding torture and killings in the 70s and 80s so, readers beware.

When visiting the museums of Argentina, the information in this book has helped us to understand the US influence in the Cone Countries of South America. Museum exhibits make a lot more sense as do comments by Argentinan friends that US travelers don’t tend to know what the US has done in South Americn countries. I can say that, that’s true usually.

Hope that wherever you are, there are people you like enough to share a meal with and that you can find Chilean or Argentinan wine to pair with your food. We have found doing this over and over is improving our moods and Spanish. Love, Sarah

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