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Tasha’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 14 Jun 2006

Location: Ibera National Park in Corrien, Argentina

MapIbera
This weekend has been another excellent un! I really wanted to visit Reserva Provincial Esteros del Ibera, mainly cos the Lonely planet suggests it, and well Posadas ain't the most lively place. After some debait as to what to do, I managed to persuade the guys to come to the park. The whole thing was a bit of a gamble, as it was organised the night before and the agency revealed that they had never had a party of people go off to Ibera before (information which Ii felt they could have kept to themselves). Anyways we didn't know what to expect and so planned for the worst, and naturally got the beers in! The gamble paid off though, cos when we arrived we were taken to this absolutely gorgeous ranch and met by Marcos the owner (oooww Marcos - he deserves a paragraph of his own!), took us straight to lunch - very impressive! This was followed by a boat ride on the Marsh's, where we saw the wildlife and watched the sun go down - so tranquil. When we got back to the house we watched some of the documentaries Marcos had on Ibera, that was the first time I have stayed at a place that has featured on National Geographic! After dinner, we went on an Armadillo hunt! and why not, it was pretty cool to be wandering round the forest looking for Armadillo's at the dead of night. Alas we didn't find any but the event was definitely one I'll remember. The evening was finished with a few drinks by the fire and Marcos telling us stories about life on the ranch and Argentina in general.

On the sunday I had my first horse riding experience, and I cant think of a better place to ride than in the open plains of Ibera. The morning didn't get of to the best start, as one of the horses got a bit frisky and shot of with Clare on board, this was funny to begin with, but ended with her falling off! But as the saying goes if you fall of a horse you have to get back on, and so she did. Some of the guys were a little put off by this, but the trip went ahead and I think everybody had a wicked time. Well I did, even though my horse was more of a donkey! and I rode in a good 15minutes after everybody else, at least the next time someone ask me if I have ridden before I can say yes, and I might get a horse rather than a mule!

Marcos The Legend
Ok Marcos, a very fine specimen of an Argenitian man, the guy can only be described as supercool, from the cravat, to his infinite words of wisdom this Gaucho had it all! He impressively drove his Jeep while holding a spot light, whilst also sending a txt and still having time to point out the wildlife. Ok before Fernando gets upset
Ibera - Land of shinning water & San Ignacio

I think I should point out that Marcos is knocking on 50, but still the guy oozed charisma and all the girls were pretty taken by him, I think even Aiden was pretty mesmerised.

Since writing this Marcos has been to Posadas to visit us, as he had a few things to do up here, even off the ranch this guy is amazing, we met up with him in town, then went down to the Costenera and drank mate and listened to more stories, and finished the evening drinking with the owner of Cristobal (one of his mates - of course!) which is a lovely bar/resturant on the Costenera!

San Ignacio
So what are those red bricks? I hear you say. They are whats left of the Jesuit Missions, the Jesuits or Priests of the Jesus company were Spanish that tried to convert the indigenous people, to Christianity. They were soon run out of town when the natives revolted, in 1817. The bricks are whats left of their settlements. I didn't really expect it to be so impressive cos, when I think of ruins I imagine the odd brick here and there, but these are pretty well preserved. The Jesuits set up 30 towns all in all, across Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, San Ignacio Mini was founded in 1696.