Being in Mercedes is very exciting as it means we’re one step closer to seeing animals as it’s the gateway to Esteros Iberá 😉
Mercedes also lured me with the promise of seeing heaps of gauchos coming to town on Saturday with their wives dressed up in frilly dresses (this promise came from the guide book so should have probably been taken with a pinch of salt…) Yesterday (Saturday) I believe I saw 2 gauchos and a big fat 0 wives (or any other females) in frilly dresses… 1 gaucho was waiting at the bus station… the second got out of a ute… no horses in sight… gauchos are either moving with the times or I still haven’t really seen a genuine gaucho… Well apart from one in the middle of the roundabout at the edge of town…
Mercedes – in spite of this initial disappointment is a friendly place…. We met a local in the main square who was looking in the fountain for the town’s pet turtle… I kid you not… unfortunately the turtle wasn’t there – but there was a notice on the fountain from the turtle asking people not to throw stones or paper into the fountain! According to the friendly local the turtle had probably been taken out so they could clean the fountain 🙂
There’s honestly not very much to do in Mercedes… it’s a small rural town… but we’ve strolled around exploring anyway… apart from the main square, we went to the local park and a small museum in the park that is full of animals (stuffed ones) so you can see the local wildlife of the Esteros Iberá… the next part of the trip could be very exciting… let’s hope we’re lucky!
There’s a second museum here – a railway museum – I can’t tell you much about it as it was closed… we only got to see it from the outside… which, well… wasn’t that exciting…
Mercedes is also home to the original Gauchito Gil Shrine – Gauchito Gil is legendary here in Argentina… We took the challenge to visit the shrine, and succeeded… we now have an 18km walk along not so pleasant main roads in Argentina under our belts!
The Shrine is now a huge tourist trap and it was very busy… everyone there was thanking Gauchito Gil for all the good things in their life, and many had left personal thank yous at the shrine. Red seemed to be the colour that those in the know where wearing and some had even gone the extra mile and put on their gaucho outfit 🙂
Now it’s time for more ice cream! 🙂