Saturday, January 7, 2012

Laguna dos Lobos

The lake was a perfect spot to wait out Christmas and New Year. It stayed quiet most of the time. Christmas Eve was noisy with plenty of fireworks being set at midnight to welcome in Christmas Day. However, after 12:30AM it was quiet again. Christmas Day, we went back to Lujan to the Basilica for mass. We are used now to Spanish mass and are always interested in the slightly different customs in the countries. Brazil has, by far, the most exuberant of services both in music and the participation of the congregation. This was a more subdued service but the sheer beauty and magnificence of the church more than compensated for that. After getting back to the campsite, the rest of the day was quiet. The biggest highlight was being able to Skype with our kids and family. Christmas for me is probably the most difficult time to be away from home, my son told me the same thing. It is just one day however and we will see them in June or July when we are in Ecuador, as we plan to rent a house there and have friends and family visit. We also learned that Tom’s niece who swims with the US swim team will be participating in a swim meet in Patagonia at Viedra on the Rio Negro. The event is scheduled for February 4th and so now we want to re-arrange our schedule, yet again, so we will be able to meet with her and cheer her on in her open water event. We have never seen her swim so that will be fun for us and her. New Years Eve was similar to Christmas and when the campsite was the busiest. At midnight, we were treated to a beautiful fireworks display set off from the other side of the lake. This meant they went over the lake and so we were able to see the gorgeous colors set against the night sky. We only had one bottle of champagne and decided to save it for New Years Day, so we settled with toasting in 2012 with a glass of Argentinean wine. There were also fire crackers in the campsite, much to Winston’s dismay. After watching the big show, we went inside the RV and Tom kept him snuggled up on the bed with him. Fortunately, everyone went to bed at around 2AM, not bad for New Years Eve standards. The campsite has very strict rules about music, which is very unusual in South America. As a result the true party people camp on the other side of the lake, which was fine by us. I have come to the conclusion there are two types of people. Those who revel in New Years Eve and love the hype, the excitement and the partying that accompanies the New Year and those who don’t. I fall into the second category. Most years, I have spent the evening quietly with friends either at someone’s home for a small celebration or at a hotel and again with only a group of friends. I have never liked being out with hoards of strangers who are usually in some stage of inebriation. So, this New Year was perfect. New Years Day had the most visitors to the lake. It was one of those beautiful summer days, not too hot with a breeze. As a result we were able to watch wind and kite surfers out on the lake. Since most people only had Monday as a holiday by Monday night, the campsite was back to just a handful of people. Because of the relative calm and tranquility, there are lots of birds nesting around us. Daily we were treated to a family of burrowing owls. These little guys had burrowed and nested by the lake and had had a chick. It was mature enough that they were letting it out of the nest and it was fun to see it walk around while the parents tried hard not to look proud! Okay, that was my interpretation. Likewise for the family of hawks who had their nest in the tree hanging over our motor home. When we first arrived, we knew there was a chick in the nest and we would watch the parents fly around, taking turns in guarding the nest and getting food. But after a week or so he was also getting out and about, whilst all the time they kept a wary eye on Winston. Fortunately, the only times Winston would get curious was when they were getting him settled back in the nest and making lots of noise and rustling. This would immediately get the dog’s curiosity and set him barking. There were lots of hawks around but we soon found out that hawks are very shy, skittish birds. Whilst we got some great photos of the burrowing owls, the hawks would fly off as soon as Tom got a little too close with his camera. One day we were fortunate enough to see a flock of flamingoes come in. They arrived late in the afternoon and looked beautiful with the sun reflecting off their pink feathers. They stayed through the night and following morning but left by midday. In addition to bird watching we took long walks by the lake, read and caught up on household chores. We are a little undecided on how to spend our time until the 14th when the fridge arrives so we decide to spend a couple of days in Buenos Aires, referred to as Capital Federal by most Argentineans. We can find the port where the shipment comes in and get in some sight-seeing. Since the Monday following New Year is also a holiday, we decide to wait until Wednesday to travel. We have been told there is parking in the Puerto Madera area so that is our destination. I am excited. Buenos Aires, for years has been dubbed the Paris of South America. It is supposedly a beautiful city and we are looking forward to a few days of simply being tourists, not travelers.

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