In the radio, the weather forecast predicted a 30º C thermal sensation. Therefore, with light clothes, we set off towards the
waterfront. Silent and quiet, the city hardly showed a few stray dogs wandering in the streets.
As we walked, we thought we were perceiving the rowdy resonance of the “batucadas” that had delighted us with the rhythm of “candombe”, but it was only the image that remained of what had happened a few hours before.
A light and warm breeze encouraged us to hurry our pace, and thus get to the Balneario Municipal Norte as soon as possible. This particular area offers bar services, grocery, lavatories, solarium and tree areas to enjoy the kindness of the river to the utmost, without any costs.
There we met Guillermo Giusto (53), who leads a guided excursion along the Gualeguaychú river waters by catamaran, bordering the majestic coast landscape.
There, the opportunity of watching birds and wild animals that wander around the area is given just by enjoying the ride in an absolutely relaxed fashion.
We were interested in the proposal of changing perspective and, without hesitation, we decided to get on board El Entrerriano, letting ourselves be carried away by don Guillermo along the mysterious littoral.
We left towards the South and soon we went under the Claudio Méndez Casariego iron and rivets bridge, the first one with those characteristics in the area.
We did not take long to “tune” with the place. The excursion was just beginning along with all the expectations to be carried away by Gualeguaychu charms.
Our guide tells us that “Gualeguaychú” derives from the guaraní language and it means “quiet waters”. This term was adopted in this form by the Spanish colonists as they were unable to pronounce it in the same way as the natives from these lands.
Other versions assure that in fact it means “river of the large jaguar”.
To the right of the boat we can see the Saturnino Unzue City Park. In its 116 hectares it lodges a lagoon, the archaeological museum Prof. Manuel Almeida, private clubs, restaurants and recreational areas. It is divided into Southern area or Parque Chico and Northern area or Parque Grande, which is characterized by its indigenous vegetation.
Nature has granted itself in a bountiful way in the lands that make up this region. The exuberant vegetation of the park, composed mainly by eucalyptus, turns this spot into an ideal getaway from the city noise.
Later on, we pass by the La Delfina camping site, so called in honor to the woman who married Francisco Ramírez, “the supreme” leader of Entre Ríos
. Apart from being his lover and mistress, she fought with him in the battlefield.
Guillermo explained that the river is not polluted and he invited us to sit on the catamaran edge to dip our feet in the template waters. Wonderful! The pleasant feeling of getting wet and the typical splashing made us feel so delighted with that simple fact that we had to admit that sometimes the simple things of life may be the most charming. Face to Face with Nature
The catamaran continued its course. It passed by the private resorts called Costa Azul and Solar del Este, reaching the Southern end, where it made a 180º-turn to give us the present of a closer view of the shores.
Solar del Este has three hundred meters of sand that enable visitors to enjoy the quietness and kindness of the river. It has capacity for six hundred tents with all services, including security twenty-four hours a day.
On the other hand, Costa Azul has a long sandy coast with umbrellas, ideal to be used when the littoral sun starts to shine. The offer of this resort is completed by a grocery and a modern dining-room, apart from the services of barbecue site rental, lavatories and the strictest surveillance.
El Entrerriano approaches the coast passing by the Complejo del Tiro Federal, and the nautical clubs Neptunia and Gualeguaychú. These sites, isolated from the city because of the river, gain their own fascination, which is evidenced in its purest state.
Afterwards, we start to border the mysterious Libertad Island, a place which years ago was the scenery of secret meetings and battles in the fight for the Argentinian Confederation. Some historians assure that Sarmiento and Urquiza were together in that place. Nowadays, this piece of emerging land is occupied by picturesque private mansions which, due to their architectural style, show the social lineage of their owners.
We surrounded the island and ended up in the local harbor area, where we could see the first reinforced concrete pier ever built in the Republic of Argentina.
Thus, we started our way back to the starting point. The stunning colors of the landscape and the relax caused by the quiet waters of the Gualeguaychú, made us feel more than serene.
The city noise started to be heard. The people, little by little, started to approach the city coast in order to enjoy what would be an intense beach day. After saying our good-byes to Guillermo, we did likewise, finding a shady spot that would protect us from the midday sun.