Another Day with St. Pete

2011.Jan.24 Monday · 1 comment

in Life, Restaurants

…continuing from where we left off in the last post. The best laid plans and all that, I’d figured on an early start, get out, walk around, see a bit of San Pedro, and start hitting the museums when they open at 9, since their morning hours are 9-12, and then they don’t reopen until after 4, by which time I’d be getting ready to head back to BA on the 6pm bus. But, downtime is sometimes a necessity, and I slept in and didn’t get going until 10. Such is life. I still got to see pretty much everything I wanted to – the only thing, beyond the missing peach festival that I really wanted to see was the museum for the Batalla de la Vuelta de Obligado, which unfortunately 1) I didn’t realize was 19km outside the city and would require a 25-30 peso cab ride each way because the bus service is currently suspended during contract negotiations with the city, and 2) that it’s closed on Mondays. Another time, another trip.

Nuestra Senora del Socorro

The “spiritual center” of the town, the Nuestra Señora del Socorro church…

Nuestra Senora del Socorro

…and the inside.

Paleontology Museum

San Pedro comes complete with a variety of monikers – The City of Peaches (it’s the center of production of peaches for the country), the City of Almonds (apparently almonds as well), the City of the Ensaïmada (which I covered in the last post), and, the City of Fossils – apparently some of the richest fossil finds in the whole country have been found in this area, stretching back as much as two million years, and quite a few examples are on display in the small but well designed paleontology museum. Giant armadillos, glyptodons, were the order of the day.

Paleontology Museum

Also, at least based on their claim, one of only two extant complete skeletons of Theriodictis in the world, a small, voracious fox-like creature.

Regional Historical Museum

The regional historical museum is a bit skimpy and not quite as well organized. It’s got six small salons, each of which is devoted to some aspect of local living, be it machinery or clothing. Much of it is jumbled together, a good percentage is unlabeled, it’s an interesting if not overly informative wander through the history of the town and surrounds.

Paseo del 900

There’s a strip along the main avenue, Mitre, that stretches from the center of town to the river, referred to as the Paseo del 900 – the passage through the ‘900s, i.e.,, the first decade of the 20th century. Each block has 3-4 buildings on it which have been declared of historic interest, some of them well restored, others not, but each adorned with a plaque that states when it was built, who the original owner was, who designed the building, what its original use was, and what its current use is.

Paseo del 900

They just don’t make beautiful windows like this anymore….

River walk

From there I headed along the river. Starting at the eastern end you can’t get right up close and personal because it’s one private club after another.

River walk

But the whole middle section of the waterfront is accessible to the public, and you can go right up to the bank at a few points. Not that there’s a lot to see….

River walk

And then, most of the western end is taken up by trailer parks and tent cities, many of which appear to be pretty much permanent residences.

River walk

You can also, should you choose, take a wander along the Vía del Fé, the walk of faith, a series of twelve carved reliefs depicting the stations of the cross, scattered along one of the hillsides.

River walk

At the far western end, in addition to the campgrounds, there’s a ship museum and several tour services where you can rent a boat by the hour for a tour along the river or to go fishing.

River walk

Earthworms and dough for bait, peaches for you. The street in this area is lined with vendors of those, as well as other types of bait, fishing tackle, and even just to buy fish that someone already caught and cleaned for you.

La Querencia

A late lunch at La Querencía, the other recommendation of my hotel hosts. A delicious empanada, this time packed with diced steak, green onions, eggs, and even a bit of spice; and a very tasty vitello tonnato, with, instead of the usual chopped capers in the sauce, a bit of some sort of pepper relish that was very interesting. And, for the main course, my favorite of the river fish, surubí, the Brazilian tigerfish, here lightly breaded and fried and served with silky mashed potatoes.

Since I’d discovered that an afternoon out to the battle site was not an option, there went my plans for the next couple of hours. I took a walk over to the bus station to see if perhaps there was an earlier bus rather than just hanging out in town, and there was, so I zipped back to the hotel, grabbed my bag, thanked my hosts and headed back home – this time, an express bus for only 2 pesos extra (how come they didn’t mention an express bus when I booked in the first place) – only one stop midway back, and I was at Retiro station in barely over two hours.


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Elias Troche January 26, 2011 at 18:20


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