So far, the temperatures on this holiday have been consistently over 35 degrees. Coming out of the snow in the UK and being suddenly thrown into summer was fabulous but I found the lack of beaches a bit disappointing. (The nearest beach from Buenos Aires is about a 4 hour bus ride).
So, you can imagine how excited I was when we arrived at the inland town of Corrientes and were told that we were all going to the beach (the playa) that afternoon!
The beach in Corrientes is on the river Paraná. There is a free bus that runs from the towns main bus station to the free section of the beach. Apparently, someone (I assume the government) brought in a whole lot of beach sand and laid it long the riverside. They then cordoned off a section of the river where people can bathe (although its not very deep) or just stand and drink their maté or tereré (see below). I learnt very quickly that I would need to have to get a much better tan and buy a much smaller bikini if I wanted to blend in on this beach!
Maté is the national drink here in Argentina. It is a kind of herbal tea that is drunk through a straw (with a filter). There is a fabulous ritual involved with drinking maté which we have enjoyed sharing with many locals. In Corrientes we learnt about tereré – it uses the same herbal tea mix and same straw but instead of adding boiling water you add flavoured iced water. It is very refreshing! People here are obsessed with it – they carry it around with them everywhere, drinking it in the water, in their cars, on the bus….
The other thing you have to do in Corrientes is visit Carnival – check out our amazing time here.