Walden World

The wacky and wonderful tales of Beth's and Catherine's global adventures. And all things Walden too.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mar Del Plata

Mar Del Plata is a lovely, huge seaside city that every person in Argentina comes to in the summer. This means that it is very, very crowded currently being the August of below the equator.

During the turn of the last century and up to the 1940s very rich Argentinians would come here and build odd replicas of everything from Haciendas to an Anglo-Norman castle in the centre of town as their summer home. Thus the architecture, while breathtaking is a bit surreal: sort of Michael Corleone's Aspen mansion meets, well castles in ancient France.

The beach goes on for miles, but the water is quite cold. That doesn't daunt anyone here as even though it has been about 19 degrees celsius each day, they will wear sandals, a bikini and no shirt if it's the last thing they do. No one is going to tell them it's not 35 degrees celsius and not the Bahamas.

As for the beach itself it´s wall to wall people as far as you can see. One guide book suggested you come here, if only to remind yourself to never again say: 'Gee this beach is crowded'.

Unfortunately for us, we haven´t had alot to do here as a result. We did go to the famous wharf yesterday to watch the fishing boats come in and visit a colony of sea lions (called Sea Wolves by the Argentinians) who had taken root here and lived in a symbiotic relationship with the fisherman.

Along with about a million Latin American turistas we trudged the dirty road to the weird rocks where the Lobos had made their home. A more moth eaten lot I've not seen, though with the others I dutifully snapped photos of a yawning Mar Lobos and one of him scratching his back.

Apparently they are all young males. Thus I could only conclude these were the teenage boys of the seal world, content to eat the equivalent of seal pizza all day and lie around all day sleeping in garbage.

Today was the nadir of our site seeing. We decided to go the Aquarium expecting the fantastic aquatic educational world of the famous aquarium in Lisbon. Alas we were at an underdeveloped version of Marine Land and Game Farm. They had some sad crocodiles, a bunch of flamingos who were busy brawling, and I will admit, a rather cute display of penguins that I felt very guilty about enjoying.

As for the actual aquarium part, C commented that there were more fish in a Petsmart than in their tanks.

However the worst moment came when we went to see performing seals.

C now knew that if she ever tried to get a membership in PETA they would pull out a file with photos taken surreptiously showing her enjoying the 'Lobos Del Mar Spectacular' where sea lions walked upside down, kissed people and, while C clapped heartily along to the music, danced the Macarena.

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