The Road from Posadas to the Wetlands of Ibera
We started out from the hotel at 9am. The drive would take about 5 to 6 hours. The driver’s name was Maximo. He was driving a truck so the luggage went in the back with a cover and Barb sat in the front and I sat in the back. He spoke very little English so we had an opportunity to practice our Spanish. The road we were on was very good until we were about one hour into our trip. We turned onto a dirt road – the road had been flooded a few weeks ago so it was very bumpy. Maximo was all over the road trying to stay within the tracks. He was amenable to stopping along the way. So we had a chance to photograph and see hawks, storks, herons, egrets and lots of other birds. There were no towns after we turned onto the dirt road but there was one rest stop the driver knew about. Although it was chilly, it was a beautiful sunny day – the clouds were little fluffs of cotton dotting the great expanse of sky. We went several hours only seeing flat land, termite hills and very few other vehicles.
It seemed like hours on the road but we finally arrived. We drove up to the main lodge of Rincon Del Socorro and were directed to a cabana. It wasn’t that far away but since Barb has some problems walking, I thought it would have been better to be closer to the main lodge. The cabana was a bit old fashion but charming in its way. The quality was a bit disappointing. We asked for another lamp as it was pretty dark even with all the lights on. The heater was on but was making a lot of noise. Barb said she could fix it but unfortunately, turned it off instead. Andrea was the lady who showed us to our cabana and she said lunch was over but they would fix something for us.
We walked to the dining room in the main building. There were several other small cabanas and a few large ones. The grounds were beautiful with ostrich -like birds called rheas grazing, along with groups of capybara rodents meandering about. The capybaras are about the size of full-grown pigs and a little intimidating at first. After a while, you get use to them and walk among them without worrying.
The main lodge had a lot of huge framed animal photographs. Some of them very unusual and interesting of the wild life found in the area. Some were very good quality others were blurry and not so good. There were also stuffed animals here and there in the book shelves and on the tables. For an ecological reserve, I found that rather in poor taste. There was a huge fireplace with a roaring fire and lots of comfortable couches and chairs. We told them about the heater but they said the person who fixes them was out on an excursion and wouldn’t be back until later. We left our cabana early that evening as it was so cold. They did get it fixed by the time we returned that evening at about 10pm.
Lunch was good. We hadn’t eaten since before 9am and it was 3:30pm so I think anything would have been tasty. For the most part, the meals were excellent and they were kind enough to serve me vegetarian and fish dishes. They also had tea time at
around 5:30 as dinner was not until 8:30 or sometimes 9pm. Tea time was delicious and they always had some very tasty pastries and desserts. There was a puff pastry with cheese inside that was very good. We had eaten it before in other Argentinean restaurants. Dulce de leche is also very popular. It is a caramel that they use in many of their desserts and on top of and inside pastries. They usually made a special dessert for every meal and always had fruit, yogurt, and flan. No dieting allowed! Both Barb and I got so we really liked Malbec wine. It is a little like pinot noir but a smoother taste. We certainly did not go hungry or thirsty!
We had a meeting that afternoon with the owner and one of the guides. He gave us a history lesson about the reserve and the problems involved with making the wetlands protected. An American business man had bought up thousands of acres and had turned them into this ecological reserve. There was a resident biologist and they were introducing anteaters into the area as well as jaguars in the near future. We enjoyed learning about the reserve. The guide, explained about the following day’s activities. The next morning we would go on a four-wheel drive to places on the reserve. We had to meet in front of the lodge by 9:30am.