Tigre (a place Mark Twain might have loved)

Tigre and the Delta lie about 50 minutes outside of Buenos Aires and are easily accessible by train. I took the subte to Retiro train station, and bought my ticket to Mitre. I’d been told that the Trene de la Costa provides a beautiful view of the Argentine coast, but you have to switch stations at Mitre. Cost of a train ticket to Mitre: 1 AR, 50 Centavos. That’s like…25 cents. Maybe 30.

I stood in a long line for no reason; I asked the girl in front of me in horribly broken Spanish if this was the line for Mitre and she’d nodded, but then I realized the front of the line was not ending at the train platform but through a door on the right. Instead of being a lemming, I headed away from the line toward the turnstyle just in time – the train to Mitre had arrived.

The ride was about 35 minutes, and the train ride took us through graffiti’d stations and some shadier sides of town, making the NJ train to NYC look like the Hogwarts Express (I had to do it, I’m sorry Allison). At Mitre, I literally took an escalator up to a new station that looked immaculate and almost homey, with shops and light music playing. What a difference a staircase makes! I bought the ticket to Tigre (14AR, so a little over $3 US) and hopped on the Trene de la Costa, which was nice and brought us alongside some beach, where people were flying kites and making the most of a cold day at the shore.

Once in Tigre, I was flagged down by some tourist lady asking if I wanted to do a boat ride for four hours. Tigre and the Delta are obviously mainly accessible by water, so boat rides are the thing to do when you go there. I was advised not to take a catamaran, that the commuter launches offered better views, but I listened to this girl’s pitch anyway until she told me the price: $400 US. (!!!) There had better have been some caviar and wine included in that package for such a crazy price.

Instead, I investigated the tourist center and found a nice launch for 30 AR, so under $10 US. While I waited, I ate some McDonald’s in an attempt to stay within budget. A man sat at the table next to me, approaching diners and asking if they were going to finish that burger or shake. His table was covered with the best fast food McD’s had to offer.

After eating, I boarded the boat and our Spanish guide began talking, probably relating the history of the area and pointing out things to see, but as usual, I couldn’t make anything out. What’s cool about the Delta – or interesting, maybe – is that people living along the delta rely on it for everything; there are trash boats, grocery boats, log boats. And every house has a dock with a small boat at the end. I guess it’s not fun if it’s raining, but otherwise, a different concept, especially when it comes to buying your kid her first boat. Probably cheaper than a car.

running to the store

In the summer, it’s probably very nice and green here, but in the winter, it’s chilly and the trees look unfriendly and arachnid-like. All year round, the water is latte brown, which looks kind of cool.

back to the launch point

Categories: Argentina

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