We had 12 days in B.A. in one apartment. You would think that would mean multiple runs….but it just didn’t work out that way. I was a bit gun shy in this town which meant that I didn’t want to run solo; so that cut down on the runs. In Mendoza, I ran nearly every day since our days were a bit lazy and I had easy access. We were in the center of B.A. but I didn’t have a park right across the street like Lima or Santiago. We were both slightly disappointed to discover that the Buenos Aires marathon ran Sunday morning (we arrived on Friday); a half-marathon while traveling would have been incredible. The race route went right by our apartment, I was so tempted to join in! But I drank my coffee, cheered the runners on, and didn’t become a bandit. You might notice the slight gray to the skies, about 10 minutes later it started to pour and continued to rain for several hours. However, it was our only bad-weather day of our stay.
Our first run was the first full day in town. It took us awhile to find some open running territory. We first headed towards Plaza San Martin as a potential running spot (it looked like a bigger greenspace on the map than in real life). When we hit the Retiro (train station), we resorted to plan B. We headed down Avenue Libertado which is one of the main avenues. We had the benefit of a walking path and biking path (so we weren’t dodging bikes all the time). By the time we found the “avenue” of parks/embassies/museums, we were battling dusk but we were able to make a quick 6 miles before the sun finally set on us. We had passed Parque Carlos Thays, Park de las Naciones Unidas, the Museum of Fine Arts, Plaza Francia, Japanese Gardens, and past another 3 or 4 museums. I had no idea of the names of the various parks until I came home and googled it all!
For our second outing, we decided to walk about 1.5 miles to the Ecological Reserve. It is a 900 are park located on the east side of the city which is home to paths through swamps, lakes, and semi-forested areas. The park was created partially from construction debris. Bird watchers are attracted here for the 300+ bird species. I counted at least 6 during our run. We saw various birds- none of which I could name! Also in the park, if one is observant there are 23 species of reptiles, 10 species of mammals, 9 species of amphibians and more than 50 types of butterflies! We saw some beaver like animal in the water and stopped to watch them as a quick rest (again….I couldn’t name it). And yes, I saw several butterflies. There was an outer loop of about 5 miles that went by several lakes of varying sizes. It was mostly a trail surface and I was glad I had my trail shoes with me. It was amazing how distanced you felt from the hustle and bustle of the city. For much of the run, you couldn’t even see the high rises. We did run pass the river that eventually leads to Uruguay. While researching runs in Buenos Aires, we discovered a great web site for running while traveling- Great Runs.
During our last run, we retraced some the first day’s run but added in side explorations to various parks. The garmin maps shows our side-tracks into the various parks. We ran by a Diversity Celebration (it was Sunday) and my heart warmed. Of note, parks are busy and occupied during the week, but are packed on Saturday and Sunday. One of the larger parks, Plaza de las Naciones Unidas has a huge metallic flower structure on display. Supposedly, it opens and closes with the sun; but we didn’t observe this!
It has been epic running in South American and its hard to pick my favorite run. I loved the beach runs in Costa Rica, the cool weather and ocean views of Lima, the business of the city park in Santiago, and the solitude of Mendoza. I am excited to run on new continents as we travel on to Africa and India!