The family whom I spent Christmas with invited me to Mar del Plata where the eldest son worked. I stayed there with them for a few days and tried all the local stuff which was a great experience.
Maria, the eldest daughter of the family, took me around to explore different places. First, the beach. She really loved it but it was a bit disappointing for me. I expected to see a clean if not ‘pristine’ beach because after all, Mar del Plata was supposed to be a ‘resort’ for the people living in Buenos Aires. But when I got there, it was super crowded and full of rubbish. The plastic was literally floating in the sea. I really didn’t expect that. Andrew’s friend who was French also came with us. He was disappointed too. He said the beaches in France were much cleaner (yeah, I know, everything in France is good. :P)
After spending my second day at the beach, I suggested to Maria that we should explore other places other than the beach. I had read on the newspaper that the ship Fragata Libertad was parking near where we were so I suggested that one.
It turned out it was quite far away. We needed to take a bus so we did. But after we got off the bus, we couldn’t find it. I saw a guy near there and asked him if he knew where Fragata Libertad was. He gave us instructions. I showed him a map and asked him to mark it there so he did. It was a straight road ahead and it wasn’t that far away. Maria was concerned and wanted to stay in her comfort zone while I insisted that we should go. We followed his instructions and started to walk. Then we saw a couple as we walked towards the ship. Maria asked them for direction. They told us it was a straight road ahead but it’d be better for us to take a bus. So, in the end, we took a bus again.
After a few stops, we saw the ship. It was gigantic. It was impressive. I smiled. Maria was excited too. We got off the bus and joined the long queue. I used my broken Spanish to ask the staff how much it cost. He said it was free!! Wow!
So, there we were, visiting Fragata Libertad!
It looked like Lego but 100x or even 1000x bigger!
While we were queueing, a 60-year-old guy behind us told us he used to work on this ship when he was young. ‘Really?’ I was excited. I asked him why he came. He answered with his eyes brightened up and with a smile, ‘Memoir.’
It was really worth a visit.
After spending a week in Mar del Plata with the sister and brother, it was time for me to move on.
Patagonia! Here I came! 🙂
10 – 16 January 2013