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Thursday, August 2, 2012

1 week after Buenos Aires

More posts coming soon...

Part I: Nature not in Buenos Aires

I’m sitting at a campground in Errol, New Hampshire, less than a week after landing in Boston.  This was originally written with a pencil and a notepad.  I do NOT miss my laptop.  After seeing some friends, spending  time with family, and eating some much-missed Mexican food, I headed into Maine’s north woods.  I took a new route to the mouth of the Rapid River, through some logging roads and across a nearly untouched, surrounded by DENSE forests, serene, difficult to access, pond.  I left one of my two kayaks at the top of the river, and then headed back down through the logging roads to the take-out.  It was complicated…take my word for it.

I fell asleep to the sound of whitewater, knowing that I was more likely to get robbed by a moose than by a human. 

Today I spent about eight hours on the river (whitewater kayaking, if you didn’t already get that).  I hadn’t paddled a boat for about eleven months, but it all came back pretty quickly.

            Last year after coming back from Madrid, I drove up to Vermont to go hiking with my friend Gretchen.  Even though cities are great and everything, after spending too much time in concrete jungles, I get wilderness deficit disorder.  I didn’t make that disorder up.  It’s totally real.  I think.  Go and read my Uruguay post.  I sort-of explain it there, but in short, humans do best when they’re surrounded by green, moving, non man-made environments.  When we stray from such places, we become less satisfied with our lives.

            Not to say that I couldn’t find trees and green things in Argentina, I just really like the biome I grew up in.  While I can’t ever get too much deciduous forest, I can certainly get too little.  After dodging taxis for five months, I’m now happy to be dodging potholes and rocks, and bombing down whitewater.

Part II: Nature in Buenos Aires

            While Buenos Aires can’t compete with the Maine wilderness, it’s certainly not bad on the nature front.  Depending on where you live, the Bosques of Palermo (parks in the north of the city) can get you a decent chlorophyll fix.  Running inside the golf course at night was also pretty nice, but after getting chased out by a guy on a bike (felt like Casino Royale), I limited my inside-the-barbed-wire-fence running.  Barbed wire does its job pretty well, both for keeping people out and keeping people in.

            Along with the Ecological Reserve on the southwest side of Buenos Aires, the city’s parks aren’t bad.  I ran 800 miles in them (that isn’t an exaggeration), all on soft surfaces.  If you’re reading this, and you’re still not sold on the naturaleza of the city, read my “Eco-aldea Velatropa” post.  Even if you’re not that into trees, it’s still WILD.  I promise you.  Go read it.

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