South America Blog
About this blog
Wayne Bernhardson is the author of Moon Handbooks to Buenos Aires, Chile, Argentina, and Patagonia. Here he shares his vast knowledge of South America and its people.
- The Papal Cumbia
- The Uruguayan Sacraments: Tango & Mate
- Taxing the Tourist: Argentina's AFIP Aims Low
- Fortress Falklands: A Book Review
- Pope Argentinus I, The Musical: Ragtime Meets Tango
- Credit Where Credit Is Undue?
- ¿Adios Hugo?
- When "No" Is A Positive
- Chile and Its "Crazies"
- The Oscars: A Post Mortem, So to Speak
- Sacrificing the Atacama? A Chilean View of Dakar
- Chilean Oscar Faceoff? "No" v. "Kon-Tiki"
- Friday Digest: Southern Cone Nuggets
- Dancing in the Mud? The Andean Aftermath
- Floods & Mud: Summer Storms Hit the Andes
Along the Riverside: A Sunday Stroll in Baires
Some say that, because it’s flat, Buenos Aires is a good walker’s city. That’s debatable as, for my part at least, I’ve always preferred walking in the hills and mountains of California and other parts of the world that offer relief and, especially, more of a workout. That said, the city’s heat and humidity often make walking here more of an effort, as it did on a recent Sunday when went from our apartment to and along the riverside road that passes the landmark Club de Pescadores, Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (the city’s domestic airport), the recreational area known as Costanera Norte, and the Ciudad Universitaria, a campus of the Universidad de Buenos Aires. In the process, I saw and learned a few new things.
The Club de Pescadores (Fisherman’s Club) is a Tudor-style structure that sits atop a pier extending into the Río de la Plata. It has a restaurant open to the public – I’ve never eaten here, though it’s an appealing location – but only club members have access to the pier.
From the Club, it’s only a short walk to Aeroparque, past dozens of fishermen who cast their lines into the sediment-laden waters in hopes of snagging the night’s dinner. Aeroparque’s something of a mess at present, as it’s undergoing an overdue renovation that leaves little room for passengers to maneuver as they wait in line. At the small international terminal, which serves neighboring countries only, the ferry company Buquebus has finally begun flights to Montevideo as BQB Líneas Aéreas. The twice-daily services are competitively priced with thethree-hour fluvial crossing, and faster in theory; given the need to arrive early at the airport, though, there’s no major time advantage.
Beyond Aeroparque, the Costanera Norte devolves into a string of fast-food grills where working-class families load up on choripán sausage sandwiches; there are also several more elaborate grill restaurants. Where that ends, the Ciudad Universitaria begins, and there’s something new here since 2007: the Parque de la Memoria evokes the memory of those 30,000 Argentines, many of them university students, who died at the hands of the 1976-83 military dictatorship.
Recalling Washington DC’s Vietnam Memorial, the park’s terraced walls, behind a reflecting pool, acknowledge each victim individually and chronologically: one of them was María Eugenia Sanllorenti, my brother-in law Carlos’s first wife and the mother of my nephew Manuel. I never met Maru, who died five years
before I met and married Carlos’s sister María Laura; still, there’s a visceral connection when I see Maru's photograph or read her name engraved on the wall. Tired by my four-hour walk, I took the bus back to Palermo.
For Further Insight
For additional images to accompany this entry, please visit my own Southern Cone Travel blog.