by Jorge Sanchez - 10 months, 2 weeks ago
The name of Río Gallegos (Gallegos River) derives from the family name of a pilot of Magallanes (Magellan) during the first expedition of the humankind to circumnavigate the world (from 1519 to 1522). Spaniards were the first europeans to explore that part of Argentina. I had a full day to spend in that city, waiting for my night bus to travel to Buenos Aires. So, I walked to the downtown and in the tourist information office I was given a map and advise about what to visit. After that first I headed to the River Gallegos and then entered the Museo de las Islas Malvinas. Argentinians are very conscious about the Malvinas islands (Falklands in english). In every town you find a monument devoted to those islands and the phrase: Las Islas Malvinas son Argentinas (Malvinas islands belong to Argentina). That museum was very didactic and the director was a veteran of that war, during the year 1982. There were many weapons, all authentic from that war, and the well known picture of Jacinto Eliseo Batista, an argentinean soldier with a rifle conducting three english soldiers surrendered on the second of April of 1982. The museum was free of charge, but I left some tip when leaving. After that I went to the church, I saw the monument to Eva Perón, and even visited a building that was the Spanish Center (Casa de España) because most of the inhabitants of Río Gallegos are immigrants from Spain. I was treated very well, being spaniard, and was invited to have coffee with some pastries by its director. Being a city founded at the end of the XIX century, Río Gallegos does not shelter historical buildings or other tourist attractions. The best are the animals at a few kilometers distance, at the border with Chile. But I had no more time, and furthermore, that was my second visit to Río Gallegos (the first one was in august 1986), that is why a day visit was more than enough. In the evening I returned on foot to the bus station and continued my journey northwards.