December 18, 2016
I arrived in Buenos Aires at 8:50 AM. After a welcome brunch for the expedition, I spent the day exploring. This began with a walk to the nearby Plaza San Martin de Tours, where I visited the Sunday flea market. A bus tour later in the day took us to the Barrio de La Boca, home of the football club Boca Juniors and many famous tango clubs. We had a great walk down the Caminito, a famous street in this neighborhood where tango artists continually perform in restaurants. As a last stop, we visited the Plaza de Mayo, home of La Casa Rosada, the home and office of the President of Argentina. The balcony of this building was where Eva Peron, First Lady of Argentina from 1946 to 1952, gave many of her famous speeches. Also in the square is the Catedral Metropolitana de Buenos Aires, former seat of Pope Francis (then Jorge Mario Bergoglio).
I spent the later part of the afternoon in typical fashion, searching for birds in local city parks. I found a couple of familiar faces – Monk Parakeets and House Sparrows, two birds we have in Austin – but also quite a few unfamiliar city birds. Upon return to the hotel, I was able to identify from my photographs the Chalk-browed Mockingbird, Eared Dove, Grayish Baywing, Rufous Hornero, Rufous-bellied Thrush, and Shiny Cowbird.
I was very happy to join some of the National Geographic and Lindblad staff for dinner that evening at El Mirasol de la Recova, a recommended spot for good Argentine steak. I got to meet Deirdre Mitchell (naturalist from the UK), Ken Garrett (photographer from the USA), Steve Morello (photographer from the USA), and Peter Webster (undersea specialist from the UK) and learned a great deal about the schedule for the upcoming expedition.
Grosvenor Teacher Fellow
National Geographic Society