Dwight Peck's personal website

The 12th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties, Punta del Este, Uruguay

Once every three years, the Contracting Parties or member States to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands gather to renew old friendships, cast hostile glances round the hall, and freeze the budget for another triennium.

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

"Shopping Canning" near Buenos Aires

We're in the airport outside of Montevideo, with plenty of time to kill, bound for an overnight stay in Buenos Aires and a 13 hour flight back to Frankfurt (then an hour to Geneva; then a train ride to home; never again).

Kristin in the Duty Free Shop . . .

. . . where you can purchase Duty Free Pringles and have them handed to you upon landing.

The apologetic travel agent had gifted us with a night in downtown Buenos Aires, for seeing the sights with, but we're opting instead for an early night near the BA airport in Ezeiza.

On our way in, we stayed in the Holiday Inn near the airport and don't feel any need to do that again, so we've booked hastily into the Hotel Plaza Central just 10km from the airport in the Ezeiza district of Canning. Very nice.

The Hotel Plaza Central is actually built integrally into the "Shopping Canning" mall, which is pretty marvelous in its own right.

The mall claims to have been modeled on a "medieval Italian village", a fairly ambitious goal, but it makes sense since half the population around here seems to have recent Italian ancestors.

George Canning, by the way, was briefly the British Prime Minister who recognized the newly independent states of Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Brazil, declaring in 1825 that "Spanish America is free, and if we do not mismanage our affairs she is English".

The mall covers a huge city block, with a couple of streets through it as well as pedestrian promenades.

The lovely young hotel clerk who walked us over to a nearby restaurant for breakfast (presumably owned by the same management) spoke Italian with Kristin fluently and had just been in Lucca in Tuscany at the same time we were there last November, visiting her mother who owns a B+B there.

In vino, veritas

Early nightfall, it's winter here, and we're just waiting for the restaurant to open.

20:00 o'clock, we are racing for the restaurant.

The next day, we're off for another look round the "shopping" (I don't know why I find this commercial investment, the Las Toscas Canning Shopping, so interesting).

With 70 shops and 15 "stands", parking for 1,500 cars, 2 halls for slots and bingos, 6 film theatres, and 80m2 of games for the kids.

Of course, during our mid-morning walk all over the establishment with its 70 shops and 15 "stands", a persistent question arises.

A pedestrian promenade

The six-screen Teatro Central, featuring a film by the famous comedienne Georgina Barbarossa (a beloved participant of the reality show Celebrity Splash)

The persistent question persists. With 70 shops and 15 "stands", where are all the punters?

Maybe it's more of a summer thing.

A roadside view on our way back to the Ezeiza airport of Buenos Aires

Next stop (God knows when), Frankfurt, Germany, for our sins

For Mediterranean wetland fans, this classy 44-page booklet, at least, has come out of Ramsar COP12 -- a comparative analysis of the triennial National Reports from Ramsar Parties in the Mediterranean region, very well made (I edited the English text). Available free from the MedWet Secretariat.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 26 June 2015.

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