Friday, 27 March 2015


I've often wondered who reads their local paper. Now I know.

Possibly it was a quiet news day, or more likely he'd gone out to report on the commemoration for yet another multiple road death and needed to file a contrasting piece. We, or more accurately, The Navigator, had a chat, he took some pictures and we left it at that. Invariably at some point on a trip we find ourselves in one of these situations. Only we've never seen the results, generally having moved beyond the local media's coverage by the next, or at least the broadcast day. Not this time. much?

Sunday mornings are quiet in a Pampan cereal town. We've been stopped by a red traffic light, a car pulls up, the window wound down, and a voice asks if we're the people in the paper. Next stop is to extract some pesos from a bank..."can I take your photo for my kids?" the time we've replenished in the supermarket, we've answered in the affirmative, the same question five times.

The day is progressing rather rapidly, only we're not, we're getting bogged down, so rather than pushing on through town, we decide to head out to the coast, to see what a campground has to offer. It's worth noting at this point that an Argentine costa-campsite at the end of a summer season can be a dispiriting experience. The best that can be said for them is: "at least they're open". The general ambiance is one of 'well worn'. Grass, if it ever existed, will be threadbare. Sand being the more usual flooring medium, will be heavily impregnated with bottle caps and fag ends. The bins will have been emptied, the resident pack dogs, and will now be being liberally redistributed by a gale around the perimeter's fence. The poplar shade trees that are entering autumn, will be less than sun proof, water in the standpipe could be saline, if indeed it's even running. Prices can easily be double that of an inland site. With these 'vfm' experiences and low expectations in mind, we pull up at the entrance. To be met by; "we've been expecting you". There's a Saltire flag up the pole.

Graciously we accept one of their premium numbered sites that comes with deep day long shade, twenty-four hour hot running water, electricity and cable television. Direct access to twelve kilometres of bikable sand. And hold our breath for the price. At first The Navigator swallows very hard. Extortion. No, that's the pitch number. Management offers a 375% discount. Graciously we accept.... for a further three nights, making it one of the best values for pesos on this trip.

Necochea on the map had looked like just another pleasure resort, one like all its neighbours farther up the coast. We'd had no intentions of stopping, yet it's odd how serendipity can so easily intrude and change your mind.