Tuesday 6 April 2010

Rosario, Santa Fe

Four hours on a bus, north-west of Buenos Aires, and you find yourself in Rosario. It's like a miniaturised BsAs, and seems like a nice place to spend semana santa. Four hours on a coach is no-ones idea of fun and having declined the 'lunch' they provide we are starving by the time we arrive. A few blocks from the hotel we find La Pergola, a parrilla packed to the rafters on Good Friday, and wash down a couple of milanesas and some barbecued vegetables with a large cerveza, necessitating a lengthy siesta.

There's not a lot of fish on offer in Buenos Aires (even on Good Friday) but Rosario is different. It's on the banks of the Paraná, and as such, there are a range of river fish on every menu. I take on a Surubí off the specials board at a place called Amarra. I don't know what it is, but it comes in a steak, big and meaty with yellow flesh. It certainly tastes rivery. A bit of wiki-research reveals it to be a tiger catfish. Another one to cross off the list then.

Round and about the Monumento Nacional a la Bandera

Rosario is a nice town to just wander around. Further down the costanera you hit the Monumento Nacional a la Bandera - the national monument to the Argentine flag. It was here, in 1812 that General Manuel Belgrano raised the Argentine flag for the first time. The spot is marked by a massive tower and a few hectares of concrete. It's a central point for the locals to hang out, spilling onto the grassy banks and generally taking it easy.

Taking it easy by the costanera

After all this walking, tengo hambre. I spy the local burger van and put in my order for chori-pan. Forty minutes later (!) my number is up and I take custody of an unfeasibly large hot dog. I'd like to say it was worth the wait, but sadly it wasn't. But it keeps me going for a little longer...

More Pan than Chori

Guessing that the food on the coach won't hold much sway, we tuck into a big lunch of matambrito de cerdo (pork flank) to keep us going throughout. The four hour coach trip takes six on the way back. It would seem that the same illness that grips the M5 every bank holiday affects the RA9 to Buenos Aires. I can't say I'm too fond of this mode of transport but if it helps me skip town to more peaceful climes every once in a while, I can't really complain.

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