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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Argentina - 31 January, 2002

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Estancia north of Santo Tome S2813.878' W05606.820' 119 m
Posadas . . . .
Reduccion de San Ignacio Mini . . . .
Finish Campsite, Puerto Iguazu S2537.362' W05432.912' 202 m 420 km

Leg 2 Total:

10,065 km

Leg 1 Total:

9,010 km

Galapagos:

771 km

Grand Total:

19,836 km

 

Weather: Begins clear, then becomes cloudy, very hot and humid.  Heavy rain in the afternoon.

 

 

Today will be our last full day in Argentina - tomorrow we will head into Brazil.  We head off at around 8 AM and drive for about 2 hours before stopping in Posadas to do some food shopping.  From there we drive north for another hour to the Reduccion de San Ignacio Mini.

 

This is an amazing place and unfortunately it begins to rain heavily shortly after we get there, so we could not really enjoy our walk around the ruins.  Some history.  The Jesuit order began setting up missions in 1607 in what is now eastern Paraguay.  By the 18th century there were 30 missions in the region, where the natives would be concentrated (the system of reduccion or congregacion) in one spot and where they would convert the natives, while teaching them skills.  The first threat came from the Portuguese slave traders, who destroyed 11 of the initial 13 missions with two decades of their establishment.

 

Argentina02_Mission_4343_Web.jpg (81008 bytes)

The Jesuits responded by moving westward and raising an army.  Once this threat was eliminated, the missions flourished - maybe too well.  They were viewed as a threat by the Spaniards and were expelled in 1767.  The film "The Mission" portrays life on one of these missions.  The best preserved of the missions is San Ignacio Mini, where at its peak over 4,000 natives lived.  It was abandoned in 1767 and was only re-discovered in 1897.  It is a fascinating place to walk around.  It is amazing how they constructed these huge stone buildings in this remote place.  The enormous red sandstone cathedral is 74 meters long and 24 meters wide with 2 meter thick walls.

 

We headed back to the truck, where we had a quick bite to eat before we headed on.  We arrive at our campsite at Puerto Iguazu at 5:30 PM and set up.  After that we pretty much take it easy.  We work on our journals and sort through our stuff.  A couple of other trucks are there, so we go and say hello to our friends.  The Carnival Run has begun - we will now be sharing the way with the many other trucks heading up to Rio for Carnival.

 

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