Best New Year’s Eve ever. Ever.
And all it took was a simple ‘Hi :)’
Best New Year’s Eve ever. Ever.
And all it took was a simple ‘Hi :)’
Yesterday José Larralde came to Berisso.
I always wanted to see him live but all of his appearances were on hard to reach places.
He gifted us with a magnificent show of a bit less than four hours.
This year I did not attend to many shows but this was one of the bests.
So many drafts, some stories and pictures from the last PyCon at Bahía Blanca.
I was happily hacking on the kitchen the other Saturday when I hear a strange noise coming from the garden.
To my dismal surprise I see that the shed is on fire and part of the roof collapsed. I went in to take out a propane can to avoid an impending catastrophe and called the firemen (lucky us, they are a few blocks away).
We lost the roof, tools, vinyls and books on an adjacent room but nothing that can’t be replaced. Still fuck.
Some pictures of PyCon at flickr (not mine) https://www.flickr.com/photos/70871182@N04/sets/72157677377824525
After my visit to Las Flores Cemetery we resumed the journey. I dropped my new friend at San Miguel Del Monte with a handful of money so he could travel by bus instead of waiting for someone all night.
I continued to route 29, watching wonderful landscapes. Among them people selling homemade jellies, cheese and cured meats (chorizos, salamis…). Finally, I arrived at Brandsen and this time I took the right turn towards La Plata. I did a quick stop at Lisandro Olmos to buy a couple of kilos of strawberries to eat on the last stretch.
When I entered home I rushed for a shower and slept for about 10 hours straight. What a rest.
I took route 76 and then 3. Just a tad after the crossing with route 86 I picked up a guy that looked really beated. He lives on a recording studio in Buenos Aires (property of a friend) but is totally broke. A couple of times a year packs a sleeping bag and some other stuff and hitchhikes to General Lamadrid in order to see his daughter.
We chatted for a while but then he dropped and slept until we arrived at Las Flores. He didn’t like the idea of walking through the cemetery so I picked up the car keys and my backpack, leaving him with some food.
Of all the places I visited this is by far the most decadent. There’s a chapel by the entrance that looks like one of the few spots that had a bit of care.
In spite of that the architecture is impressive and evokes memories of a wealthy past.
I really like when the vegetation starts to take over buildings:
The day was perfect for walking, plenty of sun and a gentle breeze
Now comes the gruesome details. Some crypts were used as storage rooms (that’s actually quite common) but the masonry is almost at the point of collapse. Coffins open or out of place. Strangely enough, the ossuary was not locked. It also had a casserole among the bones. If you are in need of human remains to your anatomy lessons this place is perfect to gather supplies.
I arrived to Sierra de la Ventana and it was almost deserted. I parked near Centro Cultural Sierra de la Ventana to eat a bit and then moved along at a slow pace to Villa La Arcadia, crossing again Arroyo Sauce Grande.
Near Avenida Circunvalación there’s an elevated set of tracks and a bridge that crosses the river.
I climbed and walked a bit over them.
Not very far from that there’s again the Sauce Grande. It was a very hot day, so I left most of my clothes in the car and went for a quick dive.
Most of the water level was below knee but near the bridge pillars it rose to about my neck. Despite other parts being so carefully tended there was a lot of trash here, both on land and among the rocks.
Walking back to the car I started to feel a tingling sensation on the foot. I reach for it and I discover a glass shard that punctured my (quite cheap) sandal and made a cut on me. Fuck.
I returned to the car with more curses and headed to Las Flores. The route was overly calm, just a faint breeze
Today I packed everything and slowly started my trip back to Berisso.
I wanted to visit Sierra de la Ventana and so I took Ruta 72 instead. Before arriving there one must cross Saldungaray.
It’s quite a nice town signed by the works of Francisco Salamone, an architect surrounded by mystery.
His buildings, mostly on an art decó style, seem very alien to the towns. Notwithstanding that, they are designed with extreme consideration to details.
Entering the town at the side of the route flows the Arroyo Sauce Grande, a nice stream of water. The grass was handsomely arranged and it had a great view of the cemetery gate.
The front gate of the cemetery is an amazing display of beauty:
The day was quite windy and it made opening and closing the door a task more difficult than it should.
After that there was a room packed with dark blue birds. When they saw me all but a couple flew away
The gate from behind is equally big, the whole cemetery looks so out of place being on a lonely patch of land
Except for a small set of places the grass was very well tended, with flowers and cacti too.
Despite being smaller I like this one more than the Cemetery of Bahía Blanca. Some of the mausoleums are gorgeous and other parts of the cemetery look like there were undisturbed from 1800s, specially the grave fences.
After this morning excursion at the cemetery I returned to the hostel, had a quick lunch and worked for a couple of hours.
I then spent quite a bit of time walking inside the train station but it didn’t seem safe to be toying around with the camera there.
I drifted towards Avenida Alem, stopping at the Teatro Municipal for a while. I sneaked on the stage and watched a rehearsal.
Continuing on Alem I stopped at a bakery to grab some biscuits and ended up inside Casa de la Cultura (Universidad Nacional del Sur). There, Susana Cirille was inaugurating an exhibition of her marquetry work. Marquetry is the very fine and delicate art of using veneer to make pictures and Susana excels at that:
Universidad Nacional del Sur has a very colorful watertank:
On my way back to the hostel with a wonderful sunset I spotted some birds:
I tried to get in other days but I never manged to arrive before it closed.
So today I was an early bird and got my reward.
The main gate is amazing:
The morning was lovely sunny and warm and it was overly quiet. Some sections were tended with exquisite detail but others were very neglected. Open graves, crypts and that. I got inside some but there wasn’t enough light to take a meaningful picture.
A couple of caretakers / gardeners looked at me funny when emerging from crypts but other than that they made no attempt to stop me.
Some of the crypts were really creepy:
On others the light through the stained glass windows made a spectacular display of beauty:
There’s a big building housing four floors of coffins and a couple of offices. Some sort of air duct runs all over it from the underground up to the roof. Most of the windows allow ample view of the cemetery:
On one of the walls there’s a painting of Jesus, just a tad grotesque:
After this fruitful morning I returned to the hotel for a bit of food and work.
I arrived early at the morning.
The building is amazing, it used to be a power plant (Usina General San Martín). Most of the museum is on what was the workshop.
There’s a bit more of history at http://ferrowhite.bahiablanca.gov.ar/ , http://ferrowhite.bahiablanca.gov.ar/afuera.htm and http://ferrowhite.bahiablanca.gov.ar/museo.htm
We were only three, a couple of girls from Brazil and me. The guides gave us a very warm welcome and invited us to help setting up a workshop for the local kids. As we walked the gardens they started to narrate the history of the place and we chit chatted about ours.
After organizing the tables, chairs and materials we returned to the main building. The private tour was very nice and at a slow pace, giving us time to ask lots of questions and to observe as we pleased.
Some of the tooling was on display, part of it was from the power plant, the rest from the trains and dockyards. Among other things there was a bandsaw made entirely of wood save for a couple of things and really big lathes.
On the background of the third picture, a bit over exposed, there’s an exhibition mounted on tracks. Each one is a prop representing historical events. Behind them there’s an assortment of levers and chains, while one guide explains the other cranks a wheel to turn them into life. They were a bit rusty and we ended up panting after that part.
On an elevated set of rooms there’s a display of material related to a technical / trade school. Mostly about trains, signaling devices and part of general mechanic education.
Back on the main level there’s a room that simulates part of an old train station, complete with benches and a ticket office.
There’s also a very antique phone booth. You can get inside, the phone rings and upon picking up you get to hear some historical speeches.
As we were only three the guides gave us an exclusive tour of the storage room where they keep everything not in display.
I was able to see things I never expected to in real life, lots of antique radios and naval equipment, many Atwater Kent and even a record cutting lathe!
After the tour I walked a bit around the dock and some abandoned buildings then I went back to the city hoping to find that stash of old documents but they were gone.
I toyed again with the steam locomotive and a light fixture, then I went back to the hostel.
Also, this flyer reminds me a lot to Romantically Apocalyptic:
As it is customary on Mondays the Museum was closed but I grasped this a bit later. Ingeniero White is not that big and can be walked fully in a couple of days. I parked near the fire station and with only a backpack full of water I started to explore.
The town’s heritage is due mostly to the Train, Ships and industries related to them and it shows.
Near Plaza Roberto Achával (he was a violinist for Anibal Troilo’s orchestra) there’s an old steam locomotive, the “General Pueyrredón”. Compared to others on my previous trip this one is a bit well maintained, even if lots of pieces are missing. I climbed and walked a bit on the roof. Then I managed to get inside the engine by crawling under the wheels. It’s quite a nice view.
Not very far from it on the corner of Guillermo Torres and General Belgrano there’s an abandoned house.
Peeking from a grating on Guillermo Torres the inside looks like some sort of old dance hall:
The entrance on the other street was forced and I got inside. There’s a pile of garbage and other remains that seem like at least three or four people sleep from time to time here.
Above the kitchen there’s a mural painting depicting the docks and siloes. Given its age it looks wonderful. This place on its heyday would surely be amazing filled with people.
After lurking inside I asked an old couple that was across the street, they told me that it was a Tanguería and later a cinema.
Then I went upstairs. The mezzanine is in a very bad shape and I almost fall through it. The view is breathtaking.
There’s also a crawlspace. I didn’t try too much to explore it as it looked like it could crumble into pieces at any moment. Among other things there’s part of film stock for the 1955s movie The Magnificent Matador, at the left is seen the optical track.
I left the property and drifted a bit, there is a quite nice and small park with benches and games. Lots of houses had very nice fronts.
I also found a stash of old papers, looks like someone died and they family just dumped everything on the street. Now I regret not picking up that letter and the credentials as they were of interest to the museum. When I returned they were long gone.
After spending most of the morning walking around the hostel I picked up the car and headed for Puerto Galván as I was told that, maybe, I could reach the sea there.
I parked and walked towards one of the entrances. Upon arriving I was greeted by an old propeller:
There were silos and the associated conveyors, really big storage warehouses and an oil refinery. On most of those areas there are guards and signs forbidding the use of cameras or phones so no pictures.
Outside the refinery there are lots of oil pipes and rail tracks, most of them look well kept and used frequently.
As I walked towards that pipe over the tracks I reached an old iron water tank. I tried to climb to the top but the stair was really flaky and I backed out.
There was a cargo train by its side, it was very easy to get to the roof and walk a bit but all that iron was really hot from the sun. At the other side there’s an abandoned control house. Not very interesting, some signs of people sleeping and drinking but nothing else.
Walking back towards the parking lot there’s a very old wagon made almost entirely of wood. On the roof some birds made their nests and chirped cheerfully while I peeked inside.
After the PyCon I spent the rest of the week at Bahía Blanca working remotely to rest a bit and tour the city.
Our hostel was very comfortable, a bit far from the centre, just there from a red light zone but also across an old train station and surrounded by antiques dealers.
Today is a holiday here so I went for a walk. Most of the streets and houses have very nice trees and flowers.
Also a house full of cats (almost everywhere I went I found cats)
I also went to Ingeniero White and on my way back I visited Parque de Mayo and bathed a bit on the Canal Maldonado, it was a very hot day.
The first day we were quite busy handling the admission and all that stuff at Club Emprendedores Bahía Blanca, so no pictures (at least from me, there are others from the official photographer)
The following days were at Complejo Palihue. It’s a lovely campus at the outside of the city within very wealthy neighborhoods.
The lecture rooms and amphitheaters are ample and well stocked and the view is lovely:
I also spent a while at our booth