Posted by: powellpjc | November 19, 2013

Buenos Aires, Bye Bye.

Finally, after 5 months I get out of BsAs, Argentina. I was there during their winter and some nights it got down to 4C which is too cold for a tropical guy but perhaps good training for what is to come. The area I stayed in, San Fernando, a suburb of BQ was clean and uninteresting. The whole delta of the Rio de la Plata is flat flat flat, the waterways are small rivers or dredged canals. There are a lot of boats in the area and in summertime it would be a fun place to poke around. All the little waterways have restaurants/cabanas/parks and small hotels so the weekend business would be brisk with the powerboats. The fewer in number sailboats try to beat up and down the rivers but it is not real sailing and the shallow waters are treacherous, although just mud bottoms. I know. I went aground at least 3 times and ploughed through the mud on a few other occasions.
I did get a lot of work done on the boat, the biggest addition being a stainless steel arch over the stern to carry my two new solar panels and my new radar—replacing the radar that was stolen in Peru. They tell me radar can come in handy down south in the channels of the Beagle in the fog/rain and rocky inlets. Nevermind the house-sized icebergs that calve off the many glaciers dropping down from the high mountains.

My pretty new arch and radar installed and working!

My pretty new arch and radar installed and working!


When I go to visit the pompous authorities I dress up in my whites and get shown into chambers right away. Works a charm.

When I go to visit the pompous authorities I dress up in my whites and get shown into chambers right away. Works a charm.


I broke my stay up by zipping over to Chile—Iquique,as usual—to go paragliding. Paul Mahony joined me in September and was a great help in the boat jobs. He came over to Chile with me and we rented a car and drove over the Andes back into Argentina just to see the gorgeous sights once again. It was my 7th trip to the area of Salta, Cafayate and NW Argentina. Beautiful.
Across the altiplano in the high Atacama. 15,000'.

Across the altiplano in the high Atacama. 15,000′.


Vicuna. They make great fur coats but they don't like being skinned. Sorry boys.

Vicuna. They make great fur coats but they don’t like being skinned. Sorry boys.


Melting ice, called 'penitentes' (prayers) at 14500' across the Andes.

Melting ice, called ‘penitentes’ (prayers) at 14500′ across the Andes.


Precariously picking a cactus flower.

Precariously picking a cactus flower.


Because they look so pretty.

Because they look so pretty.


The famous descent into Argentina.

The famous descent into Argentina.


How green was my valley, how brown were my hills.

How green was my valley, how brown were my hills.


The grand cathedral of Salta, Argentina.

The grand cathedral of Salta, Argentina.


Just about to set up his artisan shop in the middle of nowhere.

Just about to set up his artisan shop in the middle of nowhere.


More pics of NW Argentina follow:
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view from our hotel in Cachi.

view from our hotel in Cachi.


Rugged beauty, rugged boys.

Rugged beauty, rugged boys.


Cactus to snow.

Cactus to snow.


The flamingo pond at 14,000' but no flamingos today.

The flamingo pond at 14,000′ but no flamingos today.


Some palms just don't have it.

Some palms just don’t have it.


Summer home on a reservoir.

Summer home on a reservoir.


Not a wedding destination facility, I am guessing.

Not a wedding destination facility, I am guessing.


That lake is in Bolivia.

That lake is in Bolivia.


Bodega Esteco, Cafayate.

Bodega Estecho, Cafayate.


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Paulie surveying his holdings.

Paulie surveying his holdings.


Paulie waiting for a train, ticket in hand. The track was built but no train ever ran. ?

Paulie waiting for a train, ticket in hand. The track was built but no train ever ran. ?


Paulie is a railroader and is not ascared to park his rental car on  the tracks. Well, these tracks.

Paulie is a railroader and is not ascared to park his rental car on the tracks. Well, these tracks.


Sometimes we got carried away. The wine is great, after all.

Sometimes we got carried away. The wine is great, after all.


Grand Hotel Salta.

Grand Hotel Salta.


Don't be running through these brambles.

Don’t be running through these brambles.


My summer home in Cafayate.

My summer home in Cafayate.


These fellas are not porcupines. The llamas eat them up around 15,000'.

These fellas are not porcupines. The llamas eat them up around 15,000′.


General Belgrano in Salta.

General Belgrano in Salta.


Back in Iquique, Chile and a small fishmonger's stall. Cockles and mussels, alive alive ho.

Back in Iquique, Chile and a small fishmonger’s stall. Cockles and mussels, alive alive ho.


Also some fine Mahi Mahi.

Also some fine Mahi Mahi.


Lobe del mar, waiting for me to fall in.

Lobe del mar, waiting for me to fall in.


but I was going nowhere near those teeth.

but I was going nowhere near those teeth.

Paul did a couple of tandem paraglides and I flew all over the place, landing in ditches sometimes, but having a grand old time. We stayed with my friend, Claus—a fellow pilot—and he suffered us for 5 days but we got our share of seafood and wine into us.

Paul looking tough before takeoff. His pilot not so sure.

Paul looking tough before takeoff. His pilot not so sure.


Sometimes I get to land on the beach.

Sometimes I get to land on the beach.


But hard on the brakes before the Oceano Pacifico.

But hard on the brakes before the Oceano Pacifico.


With Claus chowing down on great seafood, Iquique.

With Claus chowing down on great seafood, Iquique.


Back in Buenos Aires now.
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Dik Courtis joined us for some male tit grabbing. It's a guy thing.

Dik Courtis joined us for some male tit grabbing. It’s a guy thing.


We can be normal sometimes.

We can be normal sometimes.


Paul looking cool.

Paul looking cool.


Slim, trim and fun to be with.

Slim, trim and fun to be with.


I am trying my best to maintain a serene and calm demeanor in the face of adversity. Failing.

I am trying my best to maintain a serene and calm demeanor in the face of adversity. Failing.


Bolivian day in BA.
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A prettier face.

A prettier face.


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Paul and I left BA 6 days ago and arrived here in Mar del Plata yesterday. We had 4 good days and one miserable, on the nose 42 kt vicious hammering and went backwards for a day, but all well in the end.
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Look, boys, I'm just drying my feet, ok?

Look, boys, I’m just drying my feet, ok?


I also enjoy your bean bag chair, thank you.

I also enjoy your bean bag chair, thank you.


A shearwater. Tough guy to capture on camera. He is a fast flyer.

A shearwater. Tough guy to capture on camera. He is a fast flyer.

Now comes the hard waters. There is a large text/guide book for the Argentine, Cape Horn, and Chile canals written by a couple of long time southern sailors. They describe our next passage with these words:
‘The route between Rio de La Plata and the South end of the continent, is considered, without exaggeration, one of the toughest a yacht is likely to meet. A long record of wrecks, accidents and misfortunes, amplified by time, could not but strengthen the discomfort sailors feel leaving Mar del Plata.’
So, I guess we’re in for it. We leave in 4-5 days. Hope to make Ushuaia, Argentina in 3 weeks, insha’allah.

We're going here. Maybe now you understand.

We’re going here. Maybe now you understand.


Responses

  1. And down she went, what an F…ing bummer, sorry buddy, but what a great ride you had. Thanks for all the great stories and photos.


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