Tigre, Argentina: Where the River is Always at Your Door

“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.

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The Umbilical Cords of Ometepe Island

      The ferries and lanchas (small boats that remind me of Popeye’s boat, “The Olive”) are the umbilical cords connecting Ometepe Island to the motherland.  These umbilical vessels have supplied nourishment to the embryonic island by transferring thousands of people, vehicles, and supplies to and from the host mother, mainland Nicaragua.
In a span of six years, I have watched the population of Ometepe expand from 20,000 to 35,000 inhabitants. The development of the island has not come without a price. Soon, our ‘fetus of peace’ will have an aerial umbilical cord. An airport is in the beginning stages of construction, only a quarter of a mile from my house.
Clamping and cutting the ‘sweet seagoing’ cords will be difficult, if not impossible. There will always be a need to nourish the island through a rich and readily available source of cord blood. The ferries and lanchas are the heart and the soul of my embryonic island.
It remains to be seen how the addition of an airport will change Ometepe Island. Enjoy my reminiscent article ( written in 2004) before a blood transfusion transforms my oasis of peace.  Keep reading…