Thursday, 6 February 2014

282 On our way home...

Wednesday 5th Feb 2014

Miles Today 20 Total miles 39,963

I caught the train into Buenos Aires to attend the shipping office and pay for Wallace's flight home. After getting off the train I fired up my GPS and it took me straight across a park. What happened next then left me in tears. I walked straight into the Argentine shrine to their soldiers that died in the Falklands.
It was a huge wall with a large stainless steel emblem of The Malvinas. On the wall were the names of all 649 soldiers that died in the conflict in 1982. Had I planned or know of the shrine I would have been mentally prepared but stumbling across it, hit me like a train. I was a young soldier involved in the war and along with my mates, had a fox hole in the ground in San Carlos Bay and dodged the bombs from the Argentine Mirages.
I gazed upon the shrine with extreme sadness at the unnecessary loss of life instigated by one man, General Galtieri, the Military leader at the time, who wound his country up into a fever pitch to divert their attention from the financial crisis the country was in at the time. A similar situation to what they are in now and their current female Prime Minister has recently tried to do the same via political means at the UN and lost following a referendum of all the islands inhabitants.

The shrine to 'The Malvinas'
What really pushed me over the edge was the fact that I helped bury many of the people named on this wall in makeshift graves. All young men like myself going to war for one mans popularity crisis. War is never a good thing but it is sometimes necessary to ward off aggressors. This was one such occasion.

There are names on this wall that I helped bury. Very sad ans unnecessary.

After composing myself I proceeded to the office to pay for Wallace's ticket home. I again met Arun there and we spent the rest of the morning together bouncing from place to place to finalise the admin. At around 1pm we were both given our Air Waybills and the deed was done.
I tried to bet the train back home but for some reason, that I later found out to be a large explosion that had killed 9 Bombero's (Firemen - RIP) the trains were disrupted. I caught a cab back and we them went out to our local Irish bar and booked our flights home for the next day. Karen was ecstatic. We now knew when we were going home.
Thursday 6th Feb 2014

Miles Today 22 Total miles 39,985
After final packing I wandered down to the local train station, hailed a cab then went back to collect Karen and our luggage. We were now on our way home. The trip to the airport was awful.It was hammering with rain and for once I was glad Wallace was cosy and warm in a cargo bay. 
Once in the airport we checked our luggage in and went straight through to departures. 
Again I saw a monument to the dead soldiers of The Malvinas, this time a photo of the actual burial ground at Darwin, the site of one of the fiercest battles for the islands. 

A suitable fitting and probably long overdue. The Darwin Cemetery.
In 2009, the British Government allowed the Argentina to build a shrine and associated graves on the Islands and also allowed the relatives to visit for the first time.

We are off to catch our flight to the UK now and look forward to a proper English breakfast in a greasy spoon cafe in the morning.

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