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October 12, Posadas; October 13, Presidencia Roque Sáenz Peña; October 14, Santiago del Estero, Argentina

Before leaving Brazil for good, we visited a lovely bird park at Iguassu, full of birds native to the area, as well as some earth-hugging fauna. 

The ostrich looks sweet and friendly, but maybe we’d better not get too close.









This toucan was amazingly tame.






















But we had no intention of testing the friendliness of these fellows .














































The demoiselle cranes truly earn their name with their gracefulness.











































Meanwhile in the parking lot, Tony is making adjustments to another bike. Denny brings water, and Brian looks on helpfully.







This startling wall at the Jesuit Mission of San Ignacio Mini in Argentina took our fancy.








The Jesuits—TO THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD—arriving by boat up the Parana River, on whose banks the San Ignacio Mini mission is built. This mission lies in the heart of the forest.






A model of the mission in the adjacent museum. Without the Jesuits, the indigenous people of this area, the Guaraní, would have been victims of the colonial conquest in South America. The Jesuits promised the king of Spain large tribute in return for exempting the Guaraní from the slave labour to which all the other tribes were subjected.





Fresco in the museum depicting daily life at the mission. For about 150 years the Jesuits protected the Guaraní from the raids of the slave-hunters from Portugal and Spain. The Jesuits lived with the Guaraní in communities called Reductions, where everyone worked the communal land and the products were divided fairly. In San Ignacio Mini there were over 3000 inhabitants.



Pathway to the mission church. The Guaraní were skilled artisans and by all accounts these were model communities. Unfortunately the missions ended in the mid 18th century. The Jesuits were recalled by the monarch, who was growing increasingly jealous and suspicious of their wealth. 








Detail of the mission walls. The Guaraní returned to the forest and the settlements fell into ruins. Paraguay has two official languages, Spanish and Guaraní, the only native language with the status of official language in any South American country.









The walls are currently being treated to prevent further decay. The Argentinean province in which this former mission is located is called, appropriately, Misiones.






The city of Posadas, on the banks of the river Paraná.







October 13, Presidencia Roque Sáenz Peña



Almost everywhere we went in Argentina we saw similar roadside shrines, adorned with red flags. They are in honour of Antonio “Gauchito” Gil. Gauchito means little gaucho. Gil is a folk hero, something like a Robin Hood.






The inside of the shrine, with the requisite water and burnt offerings.









October 14, Santiago del Estero, Argentina



Typical Argentinean gas station, in Quimilí. Repsol/YPF is a petroleum giant.








On the way to Santiago del Estero, we stopped for a short break in Suncho Corral and chatted with the villagers.






























The school.








Given that we arrived on motorcycles, this lad went running home to get his. He was very, very proud of his spiffy new bike.








Making friends along the way. As everywhere in Argentina we were greeted with welcoming smiles. 

















In Santiago del Estero, Tony carefully cleans the road tar off the trailer, before putting her away for the night. This lovely new trailer had no excuse for what she did to us later.