11/21/23 – Silver Lining

Despite spending over two years traveling in Latin America since 2016, I managed not to learn the Spanish language. So, when Martin, my fellow Bromptoneer, suggested cycling to La Plata, I assumed the name would translate as something related to the flatlands of the Buenos Aires province, of which La Plata is the capital, following the logic of plata->plateau->flat. To my surprise, the translation is “silver”. It’s a bit confusing, considering Argentina also means “made of silver.”
Anyhow, we started early Monday morning, in the aftermath of Argentina’s presidential election, the results of which can be described using Russian expression “The circus is gone, but the clown remained”. Because it was also a nationwide day off, the roads were tranquil. Regrettably, the large part of the route to La Plata goes through urban sprawl, with only a short stretch passing through a wooded area.

We stopped at the Children’s Republic, an amusement park predating Disneyland and supposedly its inspiration. When we entered La Plata, Martin guided me through this geometric city, crisscrossing its meticulously planned streets. La Plata possesses, amongst other landmarks, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the form of a building designed by Le Corbusier. Being the provincial capital with many government offices that were closed on the occasion of the national holiday, the streets were virtually empty.

After about an hour of sightseeing, we hopped on a train back to BA. But cycling didn’t end there; we disembarked a few stops shy of Buenos Aires city center to have an ice cream at the place Martin holds in high regard. Unfortunately, it was closed, and we had to cycle for about another hour to get to our respective houses. The silver lining: I already had an ice cream in La Plata, and it was a pretty good one.
This marked my final escapade in Buenos Aires; Messi10 show is almost at the end of the run here, and I don’t see myself going beyond city limits before I leave.

La Plata in numbers:

105 km — distance cycled
47 — silver’s atomic number in the periodic table of elements
1882 — year La Plata was founded