A Buenos Aires Weekend Hideaway

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The preparations for a visit to Dos Rios always follow a similar pattern, particularly packing up the cool box. What might one forget? Did we leave wine, vodka, and lemons from the last visit?

The caretaker Beto picks us up from the dock on the mainland – sometimes the water is like silk, sometimes it is choppy from all the passing boats if lovely weather beckons the Porteños out to the Delta. Boats of all shapes and sizes bob and rush about on the river, and a line of people forms on the dock, waiting for other boats. Then it’s up to Rio Lujan and through the narrower Canal de Vinculación with its pretty houses and tended gardens.  The views open out, and the waters become calmer, although we must periodically ride the wash from a larger passing motor yacht. As we turn into the Tiburon river and then make our way down the Arroyo Las Malvinas, the same feelings and vistas from a thousand visits return – that sense of beauty and seclusion, that feeling of the stresses of the city dropping from one’s shoulders, the diverse shades of green from the foliage with the bows of the willows gently touching the water, bringing a sense of calm and tranquillity. 

Following a delicious lunch of salads and cheeses, and wine and fruits, I leave for a walk around the paths, in part pleasure, in part exercise, and also to check the state of the wooden walkway at the southern corner near the swimming pool, on the Arroyo Tres Sargentos side. On the first stretches of the path, I marvel at the speed of growth of the willows that we planted some 8 years ago as small saplings, which are now large swaying trees that provide both shades and to strengthen the base of the path. Results exceeded expectations on both counts.

I approach the walkway with mild trepidation: following high tides, the strength of the receding waters has caused the support posts to incline sideways, tilting the surface of the walkway. The solution is to drop thicker support posts deeper into the ground. The repairs have worked, and the walkway is no longer tilting. The new posts are in place, they seem firm, and the walkway has been successfully levelled!

I walk on, beyond the walkway and down into that section of the path that leads towards the pool.  The bushes and trees on each side met above the path to create the sensation of a dark greenish tunnel laced with shadows and shafts of sunlight. In the past, this is where I have been mobbed by a nightjar, the one with the spectacular long scissor tail, doubtless annoyed by a trespasser to his domain.  But there is no sign of him this time. 

I arrive at the pool and deck area. It’s surely hot enough to swim, so why did I not bring a towel and trunks? Should I throw myself in any way? I think the better of it, as I am expected for tea at the house of another owner nearby on the Las Malvinas side. So I walk on. A group of friends are staying with him, including a professional economist of some repute. Inevitably a quick cup of tea becomes wine and nibbles, and we discuss the Government’s latest economic and political challenges.

An hour and a half have passed in a flash, and it’s time to go home. The barbecue must be lit for dinner, and I must get back before the light fades. The pleasure of the return journey is enhanced by the stimulation of the economic discussion, the beauty of the light as the dusk gathers, and the sight of several limpkins who always stand guard on the tops of the several trees that seem to be their evening gathering point at this time of the evening. And not least, the prospect of a Dry Martini (yes, there were lemons and vodka in the house!).      

Dos Rios  

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