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The skies of Argentina
YOU ARE IN : Articles » The skies of Argentina The skies of Argentina
, text and photos by Juza
. Published on March 16, 2011
I wrote an article about my trip to Argentina almost one year ago, soon after coming back. I liked it the first time, but after a second read I tossed it in the recycle bin...this is one of the reasons why I am a photographer and not a writer: it is really difficult to convey some emotions, feelings and images in writing, without creating a banal travelogue identical to thousand of others "been there, done that". Imagine that you dream to fly, then you wake up and you try to tell the dream to your friends: you see the dream disappearing in the banality of the few words you find to describe it. Where has gone the emotion of feeling weightless in the air? The magnificence of watching the landscape from the sky? All that has disappeared, and your fantastic story has become a short, dull sentence that will be forgot in matter of minutes. Now, one year has passed since I landed in Buenos Aires to begun my Argentinean journey with my good friend Emanuele Castronovo, and I have decided to give to the Patagonia story a second try - as time passes and memories fade away, I wanted to make a kind of written picture of three weeks spent wandering in the extreme south of America; stories, thoughts, feelings and experiences.
The Valdes Peninsula
At the beginning of our trip we had not a clear vision of how to travel around, so we rented a car at the Trelew airport. It was a sixty horsepower little car that somehow managed to get the crappy fuel mileage of a sports car combined with the speed of a sloth. We soon felt the need to nickname it "Poderosa", both as ironic reference to its greatly underpowered engine and as homage to Ernesto "Che" Guevara and his motorcycle journey. Che Guevara was born in Rosario, Argentina, and when he was 20 years old he did a long journey in South America.
The Valdes Peninsula is a 3600 square kilometers flat area; it is covered by sand, desert, salt lakes, grass fields and vast estancias where sheep live in the scorching heat. Living in Europe, we are not used to see so much empty space. It was mesmerizing. In spite of the hostile environment, there is actually an abundance of life in Valdes: sea lions, armadillos, guanacos, foxes, countless birds. One evening we decided to drive for two hours in the lonely dirty roads to reach one of the seals colonies. Driving on these roads feelt a bit like being in a rally - but the maximum speed is limited to 50 km/h and, even though there is nobody that controls, there was a very good reason to avoid speeding: the gravel that covers most of the road gave very little adherence, so it was extremely easy to make accidents. Several times we risked to "park the car in the ditch", and other times the rocks hitting the underside of the car made worrying noises. We arrived just in time for sunset, we toke our tele lenses and we slowly crawled in the sand to get close to the sea lions. These animals can weight up to 300kg and, even though they look like huge fat slugs, they can be impressively fast: it is better to keep always a security distance, because adult males can be aggressive. They are not exactly beautiful, but the babies are very cute.
As nature photographers, we appreciated a lot the wild environments and the abundance of animals of Valdes; as romantic travels, we appreciated the lonely estancias, the red sunsets and the colorful pubs. In the peaceful atmosphere and relaxed feeling of Puerto Pyramide, a little town in Valdes, there was something that I can describe with these words of my travelmate: "It looks like an hippie place, as if hippies from 60s and 70s had tried to build here a community". I don't know how accurate this depiction can be, but for sure it describes perfectly "La Estacion", a colorful pub and restaurant that we visited several times. The walls, the table, sofas and even chairs where boldly colored, and a poster of our good Bob Marley completed the joyful feeling of the place: "Rise up this mornin', Smiled with the risin' sun, Three little birds Pitch by my doorstep, Singin' sweet songs Of melodies pure and true..."
We left the Valdes Peninsula with the feeling of being inside a book of Sepulveda or Bruce Chatwin. Emanuele always slept with the famous Chatwin's book, "In Patagonia", under his pillow; we never regretted waking up early, because reality was as fascinating as our dreams, as the tales written in the adventure books. The flight to Ushuaia was a bit less romantic; it all begun with an unusually long wait to get on board. Once seated, nothing happened. Something was going wrong? After a while, the hostess told us to leave the plane and come back in the waiting area: there was a problem with one of the engines and it would have taken some time to fix. One, two, three hours...the times passed and we camped in the airport, together with other angry passengers. After several hours, I had almost lost my hopes and I feel asleep. It was 2 a.m. when Emanuele woke me up "We are leaving!". The engine had (hopefully) been fixed and the plane was ready for takeoff. Our adventures goes on.
Ushuaia, end of the world and the Beagle Channel
It was something like 4 a.m. when we landed in Ushuaia. How tired I was! After taking the luggage, we walked near the exit. Emanuele was going to exit when I asked him "What are you doing?" - "Well, I'm going out, do you want to stay in the airport" - "Yeah...where could we go at 4 a.m. in Ushuaia?". I admit that I was a bit nervous after the troubled flight...anyway, we quickly realized that we had no options other than waiting for early morning, so we looked for a quiet place, we covered the floor with our jackets and I tried to sleep a bit using my backpack as pillow. I finally fell asleep; around 7 a.m. we woke up and we moved our first steps outside the airport, in the fresh air of Tierra Del Fuego. Compared to the warm temperatures of Valdes Peninsula, it was quite cold, but overall it was pleasing. It was a sunny day and the landscape looked awesome.
A taxi toke us to the city. We asked for a tourist office, instead we were left in front of an hostel. Maybe the guy did not understood what we said, or maybe he understood perfectly what we were: backpackers with little money and dreams of adventure. The hostel, decorated with postcards and colorful photos, had two hippie-looking guys at the reception. We booked two beds and we asked some suggestions for trekking, "what about this", "do you think we can do a boat tour", "how much does it cost"... "Why so many questions?" said the long bearded guy "Just do it...enjoy". We must have looked a bit silly, so worried about planning, costs, times and dates...after all, our trip was an adventure, so "let's try and see what happens".
Staying in a hostel usually is a nice experience, and in many hostels of Argentina it is genuinely great. The hostel was simple, clean and friendly. Once again, the "Bob Marley spirit" was there; people from all around the world living together in a atmosphere of peace and collaboration. One Love! At the beginning, it takes a little of time to truly join the community; the problem is all inside us: we often carry with us negative feelings, distrust of the foreigner, and many worries typical of our western culture. Once you forget these worries, you truly join the community. Of course it does not mean being simpleton and naive, it means looking at the other persons with a positive attitude! I remember the breakfast, there were some cookies prepared by the hostel staff, and a kitchen that could be freely used by everyone; once you finished the breakfast, you had to wash the cup and the dishes that you used, so they were ready for the next person. It is really nothing special, but it is one of those little things that make you feel as if you are in a big family instead of an hotel.
In late evening, we did a boat trip in the sea in front of Ushuaia. The Beagle Channel is not just a place on the map, it is also a place in my imagination: I have often dreamt about the explorers of previous centuries who sailed on the waters of these extreme lands...you can imagine how fascinating it was to actually be in a place that I have dreamt so much! When we left the harbor, there was a light rain, the sky was dark and cloudy.
Our little ship was shared with five other persons of miscellaneous nationality - a guy from east Europe, an Australian couple, and two other men. After two hours or so of navigation, we landed on a little inhabited island. The soil was surprisingly slippery and soft, it felt like walking on springs; everything was covered by mosses, green vegetation and lichens. The rain was getting stronger the wind was freezing. Once upon a time, Yaghan lived here: these primitive indigenous populations lived by hunting sea lions, that provided both food and grease. They did not use clothes, but they had and higher than average metabolisms that allowed them to survive naked in the cold temperatures of Tierra Del Fuego. Their impressive resistance to the elements was not enough to survive to "civilization", and the majority of natives died in past centuries for the diseases carried by Europeans.
The story of one of these natives is particularly interesting. In 1830, the captain of Beagle bought (in other words, kidnapped) him together with other three Yaghans, for the purpose of creating interpreters that should have helped "civilizing" - or conquering - these lands. The fourteen years old native, who had been named "Jemmy Button" because he was sold for a mother-of-pearl button, lived in Great Britain for some time and he learnt English, becoming a classic English gentleman. One year later the Beagle came back to Tierra Del Fuego and Jemmy was released. During his return trip, Jemmy met a young Charles Darwin, who was aboard the Beagle as geologist and scientist; Darwin described J.B. as a merry, intelligent person. In his mother land, J.B. quickly come back to his habits and he disappeared together with his young wife. Some years ago, he was accused of the massacre of some missionaries, but he denied responsibility. He appeared one last time in 1863, until he died for smallpox.
Trekking in Tierra Del Fuego
Next day was spent trekking along the coast. The landscape is fascinating because there are mountains, sea, rivers and forest mixed together, and little human presence; even the wildlife seems more tame, as if there is an invisible equilibrium between humans and nature. The forest is a tangle of threes and lush vegetation; little torrents often cross our path, while other areas are covered by ponds and grass fields. Sometimes, the blue of the sea appeared between the trees; it was a sunny day with limpid blue sky, and the air was fresh, pleasing. Most of the threes were covered by lichens, and some flowers here and there added a touch of color to the view.
We walked all day and we finally stopped for dinner in a small restaurant back in the town. In Argentina, it takes ages to get a simple sandwich, and if you order more complex dishes, be prepared to wait forever. That said, food is generally good; the long wait gives a lot of time to talk, and I can say we really talked about a lot of things. I had met Emanuele in 2009, during a trip to Finland with many other photographers; few months after, in September, we spent three weeks in a trip to Madagascar. Since then, we have been good friends, so I was happy to join him in another trip - originally Emanuele planned to visit Argentina with various friends, but as it often happens, they gave up the trip so at the end it was again me and him. When you spend so much time traveling with one person, you easily end up talking about the meaning of life or things like that, because no matter how much you talk about sport cars, girls, favorite music and so on, there will always be some moments when you get tired of taking about everyday things, and you get into philosophical discussions. I remember that I discussed with Emanuele about the one-million-dollar question, the meaning of life, in a lonely hotel without electricity in Madagascar, 300 km away from the nearest town. It was night and there was a starry starry sky, it was that kind of other-worldly mood that inspire these moments.
Talking about life, I have risked mine once again next evening, when we toke the flight to El Calafate. I really hate flying because you have no control; you are just a passenger, and if there is some problem, you can do nothing other than having faith in the pilot. If I travel in Europe, whenever possible I prefer to spend one day or two driving my car instead of flying (it is a good way to save on car renting, too), but when I travel to remote locations...flights are unavoidable, so I just forget my fears and go. Ok, maybe I have never actually risked life, but for sure in some moments I felt so...the engine failure that delayed the Trelew-Ushuaia flight had made me a bit nervous about taking another plane, and during the flight to El Calafate we went through some really bad turbulences. Anyway, once again the plane landed safely...
The daisy fields of El Calafate
We were walking in a little street of El Calafate when we saw a weird and sad spectacle. A stray dog begun to follow us. Initially we were a bit worried, but we soon realized that it was not aggressive. Then a car passed by... in front of our astonished eyes, the dog ran towards the car - I thought it was going to kill himself, then at the very last moment it avoided the impact. Then another car passed, and the dog did the same. The scene was repeated several times, and each time it looked like that the dog was going to end under the wheels, but it always managed to avoid the impact. It left me somewhere between puzzled and sad. What may led a dog to behave in this way? Desperation, suicidal tendencies, craziness?
Right outside the town, there was a pond where we were told that it was possible to see flamingos and other birds. We did not expect that the pond was surrounded by an endless field of one meters high daisies! We even managed to get some good photos of the birds, but the real spectacle was the place. The wind created waves in the flower field, while the last rays of sun graced the landscape with their warm light.
The daisies, photographed with a long shutter speed, looked like a painting. The landscape was so beautiful that we kept taking photos until the very last rays of sun, when we finally toke our big lenses and walked back towards the hostel: there we meet a fellow photographer, Jacob F. He was doing a trip very similar to ours: Valdes, Tierra Del Fuego, Torres Del Paine, El Chalten, but he was staying three months, not just three weeks. He told us about his adventures in Chile: one night, he woke up at 3 a.m., and he walked for hours to reach the best point of view on the mountains at sunrise...indeed, his photos were gorgeous. While waiting for a bacon sandwich in the little restaurant of the hostel, we talked a lot about traveling and photography; it is always nice to meet someone who shares your passions. Sometimes I envy guys like F. who do trips of several months, because these experiences are far more intense than the classic 10-20 days trip. But I wonder if I'd actually do the same: nowadays, I prefer shorter trips; I like adventure, the change of lifestyle and the different cultures, but I like the life in Italy, too. Even thought I am fascinated by those who spend months traveling, my equilibrium is to frequently alternate travels and periods an home.
The day before leaving for Chile was spent visiting the Perito Moreno, one of the most famous glaciers of Patagonia. The wall of ice is 70-80 meters high, two kilometers wide and 30 kilometers long; often large pieces of ice collapses in the water with a loud splash. The ice had all shades from blue to white, and it created shapes that remind giant crystals, castles and creatures of fantasy. The overcast sky created the atmosphere that I love: often sunny days lacks of the magic, mysterious appeal of cloudy skies. Sometimes the clouds are so thick and dark that they almost look like a roof, as if the earth was an enormous room filled with mountains, oceans and billions of people, all under the same roof. And what about the mantle of fog that embraced the distant mountains? What was hidden behind that white curtain...other glaciers, marvels of nature, or the walls of my imaginary enormous room? The "c-c-crack-kaboom" of another piece of ice, several tonnes falling from seventy meters, woke me up from my fantasy thoughts. It was all afternoon that I were trying to capture a photo of the ice falling in the water, but if I kept dreaming I'd have never got that photo...let's come back to the earth for a little while.
Torres Del Paine, Chile
It was still night when we toke the bus to Torres Del Paine. The sky was cloudy and, as usual, there was a strong wind. My friend quickly fell asleep, while I preferred to stay awake, looking at the landscape from the window. Few kilometers outside the town, we were in the wilderness: no more phone coverage, no more houses, only the endless pampas. This is a peculiar environment of South America: prairies and grass steppes with very few trees. Some areas are used for agriculture and breeding, but many places remain wild.
On the Argentinean border we stopped in a small office in the middle of nowhere. It looked more like an house than a office; through an open window, you could see a room with a pool table, probably one of the few ways to spend your time when you live in a place outside the world. The whole house-office had an ancient look; as if it was something for 60s or so and it hadn't changed since then. While I was waiting in the long queue, and thrust me it was a long long wait, I toke a good amount of time looking at the detail of the little room where, little step after step, I was slowly moving towards the officer who was checking the passports. On the wall, there was a black and white picture of someone - a military - he looked very young, maybe 25 years old or so, and he had a serious, emotionless expression. He must have been someone important because the yellowish, old paper of the print looked ancient, as if that portrait had been hanged there from the beginning of the world. I wonder how many decades it spent looking at countless persons passing in front of its printed eyes, from the loneliness of the wall...
One of the things that make the mountains of the Paine massif so spectacular is their peculiar combination of color - the central band of granite has a light grey color, while the top is dark brown. There are several trails around the mountain, and you need 8-9 days to complete the longest trails; along the route, there are several accommodations that range from camping sites and hostels to luxury hotels. The prices are very high in comparison to Argentina, and even the hostels tend to have a more touristic, less friendly feel. Anyway, the marvelous nature of the park makes it really worth the visit. Several species of birds could be easily seen from little distance, and the Guanacos sometimes crossed the road. The three days spent hiking between mountains and lakes were a nice experience, but honestly I missed the warm, cozy atmosphere of Argentina. Luckily, the next destination of our journey was a place that turned out to be one of the best experiences of the trip.
Mountains of a fantasy world
While traveling on the bus to El Chalten, I thought that the Cerro Torre looks unreal, even from almost one hundred of kilometers away. I could see it clearly even though we were still very distant. It looked like a mount from another planet - an huge spire of rock surrounded by other spectacular mountains: Torre Egger, Punta Herron, Cerro Stanhardt, Fitz Roy. I have been told that it is surrounded by clouds most of the year, and we had been really lucky to get three days of clear sky, with perfect view on the mountains.
El Chalten is a little town where the air is always fresh and the large, empty roads are often kingdom of silence and peace. Along the roads, it was common to see some cars that seems to fall apart; maybe they had no headlights, or the doors were devoured by rust, but they still roared around as if time had not passed. Here we stayed in a little hostel with blue walls. From outside, it was not exactly nice looking - an old structure with a barely noticeable sign. Anyway, the room was simple and clean: more than enough for us. It was a four person room but it looks like there was nobody else in the hostel, so it became our private room for the three nights we spend there (at a rate of 8 US$ per night or something like that!). In the reception of the hostel there was a guy that spent most of his time looking at airplane videos, on a stone-age green computer screen. Something must have been broken in that screen because it was greener than a grass field in spring, but the silent guy - as far as I remember he never talked to us - did not seem to care, while watching video after video. Patagonia seems to be a place when slightly weird scenes are pretty common.
We had a little map of the trails that the guys at tourist office kindly gave us for free. When we arrived at the office together with other fellow travelers, they spent some time illustrating the place and their philosophy: as far as possible, everything was free. Free camping sites, no fees to enter in the park, and a free map for you. They told that due to the limited budget they hadn't many maps, so if someone did not really need it, "please leave it for some other traveler". The spirit of honesty, friendliness and cooperation, that was a bit lost in the "pay-even-for-the-air-you-breathe" Torres Del Paine, had come back here in this remote place of Argentina. We felt at home.
On the map, there were two trails that can be done in about one, two hours; one led to the viewpoint for Fitz Roy, while the other led to the mirador on Cerro Torre. We completed both trails, but the light was not too great for photos, so I proposed to Emanuele to wake up at night and try to reach the place for sunrise...he refused, but I was really determined to come back with some good photos of these mountains, so I decided to go by myself next morning. I woke up at 4 a.m. Maybe a bit too early? Walking in the desert roads of El Chalten alone in the night was a slightly spooky experience. Some stray dogs sometimes crossed my path, without getting close. I'll admit I wasn't exactly relaxed - what if a dog, or a group of dogs, attacked me? Sure, I'd have used the tripod as club, but I had some doubt about my fighting capabilities. Once I left the town and I entered in the darkness of the forest, other fears come to my mind. "A puma can jump 12 meters" said Emanuele "and it runs at 60 kilometers per hour. It is very good at climbing, too!". In the darkness, the inability to have a complete grasp of the situation makes us more fearful, and thoughts that I forgot or ridiculed during the day now came back hidden in the shadows and in the ambiguous shapes created by my torch.
I arrived well before the sunrise and I am glad I did because the night was a spectacle. I had walked - or run - so fast that I had to stay shirtless in the freezing temperatures of the morning to cool off. I mounted the tripod and I begun taking photos of the Cerro Torre. Wow. It had been worth the effort. The Cerro Torre is one of the most fascinating mountains I have ever seen, it is a 3100 meters high mountain that seems taken from a fantasy tale...it is extremely difficult to climb, and the top is covered by a "mushroom" of ice created by the wind and the extreme atmospheric conditions. Very few climbers have reached the top of this mountain and it is easy to see why...for 900 meters or so, there is a flat vertical wall of granite. It was a mesmerizing vision, and I kept watching it until the first rays of sun hit the top. Slowly, a golden light painted the whole mountain of red, yellow and orange. All around me, there was silence, a cool breeze and an unbelievable landscape.
In 1959, a 30 years old Italian climber, Cesare Maestri, tried to climb the Cerro Torre together with Toni Egger; Egger died, and Maestri likely never reached the top, even though he always said to have reached the summit, expect for the ice mushroom that he did not considered to be a part of the mountain. In 1974 there has been the first undisputed ascent, and recently another group of climbers reached the top, included the mushroom. Sometimes I think about the spirit of adventure and the determination of these persons who risk their life to reach some of the most inhospitable places on the Earth...as human beings, we often have the desire to go beyond our limits. When looking to the Cerro Torre, I remember the myth of Odysseus, who tried to go beyond the Pillars of Hercules, the end of known world, while saying that "men are not made to live like brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge". I deeply admire explorers, scientists, researchers, writers and all these persons who, like Odysseus, try expand our knowledge beyond the current limits; maybe there will be some things in the universe that are impossible to understand for the human mind, nevertheless I believe that we should always try to find a rational explanation. For me, rationality and knowledge are essentially progress and freedom; without them it is easy to lose our freedom...
Sound of steps interrupted my philosophical moment, an Australian painter and his wife joined me in admiration of the landscape. It was about 9 a.m. when I begun the walk to come back to El Chalten, it was all downhill now, the temperature was a little warmer and the imaginary pumas of the night had disappeared; I was almost arrived when I met Emanuele, that had just woke up. We had a nice breakfast in one of the quiet pubs of the town, in the silent, relaxing morning.
The days in this little paradise passed quickly, until we toke the bus to come back to El Calafate, where we would have taken the flight to Buenos Aires and then to Iguazu, the spectacular waterfalls placed exactly on the border between Argentina and Brazil. After several hours along lonely roads, a bip on my mobile phone told me that we had come back to "civilization". Even though we had never been completely out of the world - there was no phone network at El Chalten, but it was possible to communicate through a sluggish satellite internet connection - it felt like we were coming back home, with all its pros and cons. When I am at the end of a trip, I often have mixed feelings; I am sad to leave a place that has fascinated me so much and I am happy to come back to the persons that I love. But the trip was not finished yet and it still had surprises waiting for us...
Buenos Aires, city of tango and memories
Another night in the airport: but "it is for a good cause, tomorrow we will take the flight to Iguazu waterfalls". Sure. Since we arrived at night and the flight was in early morning, we thought that sleeping in the airport was a good way to save some money. Even though the Buenos Aires airport is far more busy than Ushuaia, at night there was not much people around. We found a quiet place and we quickly created our four stars hotel with a sheet, our jackets, the backpacks and I finally fell asleep with the waterfalls in mind. The morning after, we discovered at the check-in that we had not completed correctly the booking procedure, so we hadn't a ticket and the plane was full: in few minutes, we had to change our plans, and we decided to spend the last days visiting Buenos Aires, for the joy of Emanuele. Here me and my travelmate are very different - while I like almost exclusively nature places, he likes both nature and cities. So, while for me cities are mainly places that I try to avoid as much as possible, for him cities are an interesting opportunity. Anyway, we had no choices, so at least "let's try to get the best from this experience". First, we needed a place to sleep, and we had a name in mind: on our little hostel guide book, there was an hostel that was described as the center of nightlife, the craziest place in a crazy city. Needless to say, it was our choice.
Indeed, if you want a relaxing place for sleep, look elsewhere: in the M. hostel, the music will keep you awake every night, unless you are going to sleep on the roof. At every hour of the day or the night, there is always someone walking or talking loudly in the hallways. In the showers, in the room next to yours, or even in the bunk bed under yours you will easily find a couple "getting know to each other". M. means party, party, party, party until ridiculous hours of the night, when finally the music stops and the crowd slowly disappear; people come back to their rooms, someone asks desperately for one more drink, someone else is crying, drunk guys and gals precariously walk around trying to realize what it is happening, and your ears protest for the decibel overflow with a resounding whistle.
The building is an huge old house in the center of Buenos Aires. We quickly filled the registrations forms, then we received a couple of sheets and the keys or our room, on the fifth floor. Our room was shared with four other guys; when we arrived, around 12 a.m., they were sleeping. We hadn't the opportunity to talk until the next day, when we asked some suggestions for good restaurants to a blond-haired guy that I nicknamed "Sickboy", because he was the perfect alter ego of the Trainspotting character. Sickboy and friends slept nearly all day, then they woke up in late afternoon and they plunged in the roaring nightlife of the Argentinean capital. He turned out to be a nice guy so, after some discussions about the places to visit, we decided to try a restaurant that he suggested. Needless to say, we never found the restaurant, and we actually got lost, and eventually we toke a taxi to come back to the hostel.
In the few days spent in the capital, I have got a glimpse about this city, and some food for thought. The legend says that Tango dance began in lower-class districts of Buenos Aires, so we couldn't miss the opportunity to see a spectacle of dance...well, actually I wasn't that interested, but Emanuele insisted so I went with him and I am glad I did. Two couples of dancers showed their impressive skills, while the music and the lights created an immersive atmosphere. After the show we spent some time walking around instead of coming back to the hostel. Even at late night, we felt quite safe walking in the "avenidas"; it was 2 a.m. but there was a lot of people around, and the only thing that scared us were taxi drivers who drove like maniacs, as if they were deliberately looking to hit someone. But it was mainly illusion; B.A. is a city where you must keep your eyes well open, because there is always someone who would gladly free you from the weight of your wallet. On the last day of our trip, my poor friend Emanuele lost his Nikon D300 and three lenses because he got distracted for few seconds: we didn't even notice the robber, the bag simply vanished in the air. We never got it back, but luckily Emanuele made a backup of the photos so he did not lose all the images.
But the most touching experience of the whole trip was visiting Plaza de Mayo. Here, every Thursday, after decades, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo still protest to remember their children kidnapped and killed during the Dirty War. One of their slogans is still clearly impressed in my mind: "Hasta la victoria siempre querido filhos". The time has passed, but the anger for the atrocities committed by the Videla dictatorship and the infamous Isabel Peron governments won't be forget. During the years between 1974 and 1983, thousands of persons disappeared: socialist politicians, journalists, political activists, and even hundreds of children who had no other fault other than having left-wing parents. The name of a disappeared child is pronounced, the crowd answers: "Presente". Hundred of voices, together, to remember one of the darkest periods of Argentina.
An huge rainstorm marked the end of our permanence in Buenos Aires. In a matter of minutes, the water clogged the drains, the roads became torrents, the cars were surfing in ten centimeters of water and our clothes became soaked; the lights of the shops stand out in the blue waterfall that was coming down from the dark clouds. But it won't wash away the memories of my journey under the skies of Argentina...
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