Wild Pecans

We have a hippie cousin! Or a descendant of a cousin of my granddad anyway.  He has travelled around Europe busking, and is probably the only relative who might just understand me a little!

I met said cousin on a street corner during the coldest day in Buenos Aires so far.  I wore all my warmest clothes at once and was still cold since I was early and he was late to the rendezvous point.  He took me to a little house my grandparents half own on an island in the Tigre Delta area of Buenos Aires, a magical place I haven’t been to for over a decade.  From my childhood I have so many memories here; the smell of deet, the icky taste of powdered milk, croquet on the lawn, and soggy afternoons filled with sunshine.

There are many little silt islands where the river plate discharges into the sea.  People live here permanently, or have little weekend homes.  My grandparents in particular, used to row here every weekend from the mainland.  For those who live here, electricity is only a very recent commodity – post 1990! There are no stores, but people in lanchas (rudimentary speed boats) that go up and down the creeks with fresh bread, produce and whatever else you may fancy.  I would fancy owning a bread boat actually.

IMG_4964Pink Trees

pecan dance


I had no memories of being there in Autumn, look at the beauty.  My cousin said 1500 people lived on our island permanently, but it had the feel of being deserted. I was lucky to go with someone who knew his way around…  We collected kilos and kilos of Pecans, climbed tress and froze our asses off! The next day I took the lancha colectiva back to the mainland with a sense of fulfilment and joy at the thought of coming back.  Going to the little house on the island is like retreating to a little temple of happiness inside me….



My hippie cousin inspired me to take a side trip to Punta del Este, Uruguay for the weekend.  Here I mysteriously picked up a sweet foldable bike to baffle customs officers with.  The import laws in Argentina are ridiculous, you have to literally pay 50% of the price of the item to bring it on for personal use!!!! Unbelievable. Argentina is a crazy country.

I remembered being in Punta de Este as a kid, and all I remember is the advertising stickers on cars.  They will stick them on your windscreens untill it is no longer safe to drive due to poor visibility.  Also a crazy place.  But it is now practically winter, and save a few gung-ho surfers I had the place to myself.

Being only a casual surfer, and having the commodity of a bike, I entertained myself by enjoying the sea and the beaches around.   Uruguayans are very chilled out, and drink a lot of Mate.  I saw some hybernating at the hostel, but not out and about on the streets.  Note me wearing my snowboard jacket.  Brrr!