Saturday, January 19, 2008

Day 16 part 1

Last night one of our local hosts, Ricardo unexpectedly appeared at our hotel in San Raphael to announce a change in our travel plans. Evidently the Agricultural workers are on strike in General Roca which was to be our next destination. A workers strike is not unusual in Argentina. Currently, the Aerol√≠neas Argentinas airline workers are on strike. It enters its second week today has no end in sight according to this morning`s Buenos Aires Herald newspaper. Last Monday, a roadblock forced passengers to drag their suitcases for three kilometres in 92 degree heat to an aircraft which remained grounded. Dale and I are grateful that we fly home on Lan Chile airline. We were scheduled to take a 10 hour sleeper bus to General Roca from San Raphael but now will fly east to Buenos Aires instead. Our Argentinian hosts feared the worker strike might block the national route and we would be stuck in the middle of nowhere on our sleeper bus. We are most grateful to Mauro (in Wenatchee) and our local hosts who are looking out for our best interests.
A few days ago we personally witnessed and photographed a demonstration in Tunuyan that blocked the road where we were traveling. This demonstration was staged to block a new mine development in the region. Our hostess there explained that Argentinians do not trust the government to look out for their best interests and therefore the people have to "speak for themselves". She personally had participated in this local demonstration that very morning before she took us to lunch. 
Stay tuned as our adventures continue......

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