Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Moments in Chaco Time: Laguna Blanca

Collecting imaginative and near unique campings is rather easy these days. Commercial sites are a rarity, paying for the privilege uncommon. We’re in the National Park at Laguna Blanca. You could pay thousands to achieve this aspect in Bali or some Melanesian island. By walking down a wooden boardwalk, through the indigenous forest, amongst pond and wetland marginals, suddenly you come out onto a lagoon of mirror calm water. The boards take you out into this vast reflection of intense silver light. An area of water bordered by a low horizon, punctuated by a few date palms, held in place by a vast blue sky. It’s a picture that could come from any expensive southeastern or Conde Nast travel brochure. For this the park service charge 80 pence, ($AR 5) per person and then only on Sundays and holidays.

The following day we find ourselves on a Reserva at El Espiilla. This time the mosquitoes are waiting in ambush, encouraged by 41 degrees and a humidity that pomises a thunder storm tomorrow. The site is dry. A dry water play park, surrounded by date palms, royal palms and sawgrass. Initially it has the feel of a failed venture, somebody’s attempt at a tourist business. It turns that it is ourselves who have failed as tourists, by touring right out of season. The reserva comes to life, the water is pumped in, the thatch applied to the umbrellas in September.