Friday, 9 September 2011

Day Six: Argentina – or Not? Mission!!!


The table was draped in cloth that had seen better days – and cutlery that had had more mouths wrapped around them than a rent boys appendage…

Jesuit Missionary Ruins were next. Hopped on a coach – 5 hours – dropped at the side of a bare motorway. Where were we? The bus station seemed abandoned except for a few Argentine ladies babysitting traveller’s bags who were visiting the Missionary Ruins. http://www.welcomeargentina.com/posadas/san-ignacio-ruins.html

On walking the red dirt track to the village under unforgiving sunshine baring an unbelievable heat we sought refuge at the first restaurant (also to restore our stomachs). The empty 1970s restaurant was painted pink and the fridge in the corner running from a generator flickered on and off. A 60-something year old man enthusiastically greeted us. [We choose a table near the entrance for a swift exit should someone appear with a bloodstained apron and meat clever.] The table was draped in cloth that had seen better days – and cutlery that had had more mouths wrapped around them than a rent boys appendage.


The fading pink back wall was decorated by sun-bleached framed photographs – the waiter/old man – then explained it was his restaurant – the photos were of a European / N American expedition he took 30 years ago. Historical landmarks and familiar famous faces – aka Queen Elizabeth II (how the hell?!?!). This was his life story and we were his captivated audience.
 
He presented their speciality – 5 flavours of Gnoochi – personally twas bland and oily – but I couldn’t disappoint the old geezer! We took our leave back to the dirt track for a 5-minute walk to the ruins.





The ruins told of how the glorious European empire rectified the way other cultures lived. Correcting their habits and beliefs – teaching them that their way was wrong and sinful.

The Jesuits has successfully brainwashed generations of indigenous people over 200 years. The result was a more Spanish catholic way of life – their reward? Death to them all by the very people who had invaded their country.

Another culture lost to better knowing westerners. Time for our next stop!

(Not before the bus broke down and we were stuck in a sauna with the full heat of the Argentine sun beating on the coach)

 
COSTS:
Bus to San Ignacio (Jesuit Missionary Ruins): AR$50
Entrance to San Ignacio Mini: AR$30
Bus to Resistencia: AR$110
Bariloche Hostel, one night: AR$160