I think I have just had my best ‘going to the shops’ experience. I spent the last few days in Tigre, a short one-hour journey from Buenos Aires. It’s a delta, and to be honest I never really understood what one of those was, until now anyway, because i know that deltas are amazing. I managed to find a couchsurfing living there, Paola, who lives in a beautiful little shack by the river. It’s actually been a couple of days since I left Tigre now because all I did each day was canoe down the river in the sun, and it took me quite a while to recover.
When I arrived there the water was quite low and we had to go super-speed on the boat to get it over the mud and up onto the bank. It remained at this level when I went out on the canoe but when I returned the bank was no longer visible, the water had shot right up to the foundations of the house. It’s a crazy environment, and one which makes the delta really special. On my second day we built a fire to get rid of all the wood that Paola had chopped down. Still with a load of wood remaining to be burnt, the water had managed to rise underneath the fire, so that it was no longer burning on earth, but on water. Unfortunately this was the moment Bonzo (currently my favourite dog in the world) showed up with a dead cat he had found in the river. He thought this cat was hilarious and was throwing it around the garden like an epileptic bull would throw off its rider. We decided to put it on the fire, unfortunately just at the point when the fire was about to stop. In a desperate attempt to rekindle it we slapped a load of leaves and twigs on top offering it a brief respite. I like to think it did the job although I didn’t check in the morning. Nobody wants to see a dead cat before lunchtime.
With the river at its highest I set off to buy bread and some provisions. Two hours later, wearing sopping-wet clothes I returned remembering to buy some food for dinner but not the bread, which was the only thing I was really supposed to buy. There’s nothing quite like rowing down the river, tieing up your boat and popping into the shops. In this case I had to do it a lot of times as every shop I could find was closed. Something about it being Monday and Argentines not being bothered to do anything on a Monday.