“But just as the river is always at the door, so is the world always outside. And it is in the world that we have to live.”
― Lian Hearn, Across the Nightingale Floor
It is a rainy day in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which gives me an opportunity to relax from the tourist mode and write about one of our recent adventures, the Delta of Tigre.
Getting to Tigre from Buenos Aires was an adventure itself. Transferring from the green line subway to the blue line subway to the train during rush hour was an experience in which we not only survived, but thrived! With over one million commuters daily, we were jammed and packed like sardines into the subways and train. It reminded us of the chicken buses in Nicaragua, except the train had air conditioning! Good thing we went heavy on the deodorant. All I could see above me were armpits!
An hour and a half later, we arrived in Tigre ready to board the vintage mahogany commuter boat bus to explore miles and miles of interconnecting streams, rivers, and channels through the delta.
Tigre is the starting point to the Paraná Delta. Once home to jaguars, or tigers, the charming waterways are lined with spas, hotels, restaurants, mansions, and thriving water communities. The river is always at the door.
We have always preferred to explore on our own, and found the local Interisleña boat buses, which truly function like buses, dropping off and picking up people along the numerous waterways in the Delta. For $15 rt for both, we could hop on and off to our wandering delight. It sure beat the crowded and expensive tourist ferries and catamarans that only travel on the large rivers and drop off tourists at the most expensive restaurants on the river.
The tourist ferries and catamarans start at $50 per person!! Way too expensive for our blood, and not nearly as interesting as discovering the Delta with locals returning home from their daily shopping trips.
Leaving the port, we chugged past the most touristy part of the river, with large mansions, fancy rowing clubs and sports centers, a casino, a large fruit market which had its own long dock, and…
a huge Ferris wheel! Actually, it was part of an amusement park for families and children. There was something available for every tourist need and want along the Delta of Tigre. But, we were anxious to get out of tourist territory and explore the quaint local water villages. What was life really like on the Delta?
Ahhh…this was what we were looking for! It is fall on the Delta. Leaves are transforming the landscape with brilliant colors. Private docks jut out into the river welcoming visitors.
Every dock has its own unique name so delivery boats and other services can find the houses.
Need groceries? Here comes the grocery boat. It will deliver groceries to your door daily.
If you have your own boat, or use the local boat bus, you can go to the grocery store at a dock! How I love these unique stores on the river!
Garbage is no problem on the Delta. Every dock has a metal box where the garbage boats pick up the garbage on their regular routes around the interconnecting waterways.
Most of the homes are on stilts because the rivers and channels rise rapidly when there is a lot of rain. Of course, the houseboat has nothing to worry about! That is my kind of living!
Now how about this house encased in glass to preserve it? It is a museum of one of the first settlers in the Delta.
It was a treat to explore the small communities when we hopped off the boat at a public dock.
Meandering paths wove through the water villages. Beautiful flowers, hidden restaurants, and colorful houses lined the trails.
Resident boats buzzed through the channels. Their motors were the only noise that broke the tranquility of this place.
Although open arms welcomed us into this incredibly fascinating water world, it was time to catch our boat bus back to Tigre.
We boarded the vintage mahogany commuter boat bus and waved at the passing boats. Wait! Is that a tree trimming boat? Haha! Yes it is!
We picked up babies sleeping in their mother’s arms, people carrying their bicycles on their heads, and locals returning to Tigre for supplies. I sang, “Rollin, rollin, rolling on the River” the whole way back to Tigre to the laughter of some of the commuters.
Back to civilization again. But, just as the river is always at their doors, the world awaits us on the outside. What a thrill to open so many new doors on the Delta de Tigre!