We dropped the luggage in a luggage
store and went for a bife of chorizo. Lecker ;o)). So the time we had
to wait – 3 hrs – for the bus to leave at 21:00 to corrientes was
well invested. I booked already a week ago the bus so we had VIP
places downstairs at the doubledecker. Was very comfy so we had quite
some sleep and arrove mornings at 6 am in corrientes. Humberto said
they had to repair during the night s.th. At the engine, but I was
Well 6 am was a bit early but we just dropped our luggage at a luggage store took a taxi to the city center and from there had a good walk to the costanera of the Paraná river. A bunch of people came along obviously coming from a disco but not much else. At the river we enjoyed the sunrise with some fishing men. An easy start into the new day. Strolling around, visiting a arts and crafts museum where one guy explained us a bit and also told us we should visit various places especially the theater which we could visit if we ask. So we did and great we could enter the theater and take some fotos. Really good. Next weekend there would be a Chamamé festival (folklore in Corrientes) but unfortunately we are not anymore around ;o(( .. what a pity.
We needed some money so we asked for an ATM, found one and there was a queue of 8 persons infront. Talking to one of the guys he said this queue is shorter then elsewhere, so we waited. On my turn I tried three times but the ATM didnt give me money and also not to Humberto. I was already slightly paniking no money again ;o((. The next one – there was only one person in line – gave us money so we draw twice 700 Pesos. Puhhh I was very happy. After that we searched for Enofila a restaurant suggested by the Lonely Planet from 2013. We found it but it was closed (as so often things are outdated when printed).
We had a beer in the pedestrian zone
and there was really an ATM with a line of about 20m. After that we
returned with a Remise (50 Peso – he wanted 60 ;o)..) to the
terminal. We took the bus to mercedes and on our way we passed the
Sanctuary of Gaucho Gill (about 10km outside of mercedes, must be a
real big thing with a lot of red flags and souvenir shops).
From the terminal of Mercedes we took a taxi who really napped us for a short drive of 8 blocks he took nearly the same as the one in Corrientes for a drive of 5 kms. Romina the owner – a possibly 25 years old blond – welcomed us, showed us around and arranged the transport to Colonia Carlos Pellegrini in the Esteros de Iberá, and we settled. Quiet town this mercedes, at least the roads are paved. We had some food and afterwards some wine in the 'El Viejo' Hostel.
09.August – Colonia Carlos Pellegrini
Daniel, the busdriver, picked us up at
08:20 (should have been 8) we collected some other people. Befor he
shared some small pieces of bread with us, not only of that a very
friendly guy. We headed down a paved road for about 60km and after
that it became gravel (ripio) this slowed us down but it was fine. He
explained that some american bought a big patch of land and converted
it to a kind of privat park which we are currently passing. On the
way we saw already Carpinchos, Sirvos, Caimans and eagles. What a
start into the park.
After roundabout 3 hours we crossed the bridge to Carlos Pelligrini and he dropped us infront of the hotel. Just before he left I asked him where to get our excursions, and he told us the cheapest one is in the camping municipal. Well, the owner welcomed us and we took our room. He immediately offered us an excursion for 250 Pesos but we said we are first making us kind at home. We went down to the camping and got an excursion for 120 Pesos. Wow, but would that be the same quality?
We found out that there is no ATM and also no credit card is accepted. Shoooot we didnt bring enough money ;o( .. ok the first thing I did was paying the rest of the hotel with PayPal as we had now and then internet. The next thing was we counted and we got roughly enough money to do 3 tours (if we calculated supper into our budget) but we wanted to do more. So we decided to eat supper in the hotel (160 Peso for 3 courses) so I could pay it also with PayPal, which gave us another excursion if we do not eat too expensive.
We met Daniel at the camping and I told him that we have a money problem, and he said he can bring us money, how much do I need and I told him 1000 ARS and he said no problem he will bring the next day, wow, problem solved? I dont think so.
Well, on the excursion by boat the
guide stopped at various places and sometimes he explained a bit in
spanish. The boat was loaded with 9 people but not really full. Well
what could be different with the other one? Not much! The only thing
we could complain is that the guide went too fast, probably this is
different. We saw a lot of animals which I cannot remember the names,
but as boring as Caiman (Yacaré), Caiman and again Caiman, and
Sirvos (deer type of thing) and quite some birds. It was a cool tour
which took about 2 hours so a good value. So we reserved for the next
day the next tour at 10 am.
At the entrance of Carlos Pelligrini
there was a small hut, kind of kiosk and 'bar' so we had some beer
there and saw some redheaded bird (cardinal) which we were hunting to
get a good shot, because there might be no other of this kind. And we
good a good shot. Dinner: The starter was a quarter of a kind of
pancake filled with melted cheese, then chicken with rice and then a
sorbet of Dulce de Leche (all the calories we walked of jumped on
again just with the desert). We took a night cup of Hubertus Whiskey
and a sip of redwine. What a start into the Esteros.
10.August – Colonia Carlos Pellegrini
As we wanted to see the birds and
thought we get them very early we started at 7:30 am – yes you read
correct, Klausi in his vacation (well I really dont have vacation
anymore) – and headed towards the Park Rangers as there are three
short walkways. Hmm quiet some walk to the station, I guess
roundabout 2,5 km.
We took the first walk and had some nice views of a deer and some birds but not really much. After the first walkway we needed to return as we wanted to have breakfast before our tour started. Breakfast was really for prisoners ;o((. Now we have been on time for the excursion but it was cancelled as it was about to rain. So we asked for the next one, and this would be 2 pm. Ok we went to our pub and as we had been there it started to rain, so we were unfortunately stuck there ;o)) had some beers and then Daniel appeared and he brought really the money and didnt wanted security??? So we could do our plans ;o)). After our beers we checked a restaurant – Don Marco – and I had again a beer but Humberto wanted to go back.
Rain already started slightly, so I decided to slowly finish my beer. It was raining heavily for two hours, so I needed to nurse my beer. On my way back my sandals filled with red mud as there was no pavement and no gravel. I cleaned my shoes in one of the rainlakes before entering the hotel. I was just right back to go to the excursion. This time we had a different guide – Fabian - and this one was really tranquilo, shut down the engine and used the paddle so we could get closer to the birds, and I got some really good shots. Wow, wow, wow.
After the tour we talked to the tourist info guy and he explained that he is running a night walk starting at seven, so we said we are participating. Then wensat in Jonnies bar and hunted again the cardinal as he was posing outside the bar ;o) .. Returned to the hotel, showered and changed and went back to the tourist office, which was closed at 18:45 even telling its open until 19:00 hrs. So we waited until 19:10 but nobody showed up. So we went to Don Marco but it was closed – hä? I told the girl we are coming for food – we went up the street to another restaurant, there was light in the room but no one around. I called but nobody answered. So we went to the kiosk on the other side of the road. We wanted to by cheese, ham and breadrolls but he said that he also has empanadas, so we went for that and had a can of beer right there. We bought a bottle of malbec for 35 ARS and went back to the hotel. Having some one wine and whiskey outside I felt tired thereafter and went early to bed (22.30 hrs) w/o being sick ;o)) … well the wine was no good, he had to much tanin and it bothered my stomach so much that I had to get rid of it (we had another bottle of this). After that I could sleep ;o((.
11.August – Colonia Carlos Pellegrini
Well as it is already 5 days ago as I
am writing I am having problems already to remember what was going
on. But I think it had rained again during the night ;o). We decided
to go to the ranger station as there are three short walkways. How
boring, again caimanes ;o) but we got a mountain cat with her 2 black
babies. Black ones look like pumas and is quite rare the ranger said.
Wow great shots. Also we had a lot of birds and again Caipiriñas eh
We used our time there and I got a shot from a Jabali and also from a deer but again only a female ;o(, we are still missing a macho with horns. On the other walkway there should be the possibility of seeing monkeys but we didnt have luck ;o( but I was lucky I got a lot of moskito bites and my biteaway does not help ;o(. We walked two times the monkey path but did not see any monkey. We also walked about 4 times the pasarela (dont know whats the name in english, looks like as I gain spanish I lose english).
We had a beer in Jonnys bar and we made
a reservation to eat Yacare (Caiman) in El Paso. Later then we had a
late afternoon journey with Fabian. Only we both and it was so great
that we decided to have him the next morning at 8 am (I must be sick)
again alone so we had to pay 120 extra for the 3rd guest.
Also we made a horseriding appointment for the next day at 11 (160
The Yacare meat (its from the tail) is
very white and a bit hard but tastes a bit like wiener schnitzel and
also a sweetwater fish called Tararí, didnt find it in my
dictionary. But the fish was also really good. We returned around 10
pm walking through the mud covered streets. Remember: No pavement
12.August – Colonia Carlos Pellegrini – Mercedes – Corrientes
Hmpf 7:15 and the night was over. It
looked foggy but I guessed that the sky will clear up, so we went
down to meet Fabian who came with the bike. Left for the last tour
and got some nice shots from various sized Martin Pescador
(Eisvogel). Unfortunately no macho deer ;o((( but two really good
shots from a leaving Reiher (Garza). And as we had been only two
looking for good shots it was very relaxing and Fabian explained a
Returned quickly to the hotel for
breakfast and got frozen cheese and ham, what a service. Never had
such an ice cream! We left the hotel to go up to the cabalgata 5
cuadras up 2 cuadras to the left. And there we met Bruno & Bruno,
father and son. The sun took us to the ride and he was very friendly
kind of guy like Eduardo my friend from El Bolsón. Bruno explained
us flora and fauna. We where happy that we didnt take the cams with
us as it would have been very tricky to ride especially in the swamp.
No we were finally not happy as we have seen some owls ;o(( which we
didnt had so far.
We returned and Bruno told that probably he will leave with two french girls. So I guess he will have fun with the girls.
I went for a final beer to Jonnies bar as Daniel was scheduled to come around 2:30 pm. Had my beer and there they have been, the french girls, not bad at all ;o)). They start studying economics in BSAS and had time off until end of august. We chatted a bit (age sucks ;o) .. my age sucks ;o))) …) and I had to run back as Daniel was due in 5 minutes.
Daniel came more or less on time picked
us up and we headed back to Mercedes. Well the road was muddy so we
could not drive so fast so I guess we have to skip the tour to
Gauchito Gil (10 km outside of Mercedes. I chatted with Daniel and
told him that he should stop whenever he sees a macho deer. 10
minutes later we had it as ordered a pretty impressive one. So I said
we also need a eagle and we got it as ordered as well. I guess we
should do our tours only with Daniel ;o).
Returned in mercedes, we needed money. My credit card again did not work, not at all but luckily Humbertus did. So we returned the lent money to Daniel.
We took the bus to corrientes at 7 pm
and arove there at the busterminal at 11:15 pm, so there was not much
time to search for a hotel. A guy told us the amigo at the bar has a
hotel. So we went there and he told us 200 ARS per person not
including breakfast. We checked the hotel, well pretty basic but
somehow clean. We went out for dinner and returned around 1 am.
Hmm the walls are very thin as we heard the couple next room talking. I put on my earphones and watched a movie on my laptop hoping they went to sleep when I finished of the movie. But at 2:30 they were still talking. What I didnt know was: It must have been a class of Jodeln with heavy theory, as around 3am practise started. It must have been a beginners class as the Jodeln was not really elaborated but loud. The girl was really into it and she had goings of about 10 minutes and then a rest. The teacher must have supported it by clapping his hands on his legs or probably he was dancing schuhplattler. It must have been also very exhausting as he also sometimes took deep breath. The girl started again and it looked that the Jodeln felt easier each time for her. She started silently but as her teacher started to clap on his legs she started to increase her voice. It must have been great to see her Jodeln. This went on for about 5 times and then it seems that she passed the exam finally. Well, I was about to cheer her up but I was just too tired at 4 am so I felt asleep.