We spent the long holiday weekend in the coastal resort town of Miramar, which is about 50 km west of Mar del Plata. We went with a group of friends, one of whom – celebrating a birthday this weekend – has a summer home in Miramar.

While there was a record number of people traveling around the country this weekend, 2.3 million is the latest figure I read, you would never know that in Miramar. From the looks of it, Miramar appeared to be at only about 20% occupancy, which was fine by us. We really enjoyed the quiet nature of being away from Buenos Aires.

Miramar is a typical oceanfront town with high-rise apartment buildings on the coast. We stayed in one of those buildings and it was a remarkably nice apartment. Strong waves pound the coast and there were a number of surfers. The drive from Mar del Plata to Miramar offers some very nice scenery. I wanted to visit neighboring Mar del Sud, just 15 km from Miramar, but didn’t have the opportunity. Miramar has a nice walkway along the beach for enjoying the ocean views. I actually gotten to the point where I now prefer the beach on a cold, blustery day rather than warm, sunny ones. (I lived too long in Miami).

Miramar has a number of stores, if you’re into shopping. The place looks like it gets quite busy during the summer but the off-season is very tranquil. The nicest aspect of Miramar are the charming stone houses. While Miramar isn’t my favorite place on the coast (I actually prefer even smaller, more woodsy places), Miramar is a nice small, family-oriented town with good beaches and there is a forested area on the western edge of town. Also, there’s the unusual Bosque Energetico, which I will blog about in a future posting. I’ll also try to put up some photos from Miramar later.

The drive back on the autopista from Mar del Plata was incredibly congested. At one point the two-lane road north became four lanes as people drove on both shoulders of the road. But those impatient drivers got a surprise when they ran into the police blockade issuing citations.

We finally got home about 1 am after leaving Miramar at 5pm. We were in two cars following each other. At one point we got separated and had to wait at a Shell station for our friends to catch up. It was fortunate that we waited for them. Later, just as we went through the final toll booth before Buenos Aires, the car with our other friends broke down. So that was another long wait.

I slept late this morning, only to be awaken by a group of drum banging piqueteros marching down my street, welcoming me back to life in Buenos Aires.