Carnival conjures in my mind images of vibrant colors in motion, of brightly dressed revelers crowding the streets, shakin' it down to the music.
The capital on holiday
But the only sign that it is Carnival in Chaco's capital is the absence of activity. Inactivity. There is no dancing. There is no music. In fact, there are hardly any pedestrians at all.
There is not much to do, either. The two museums in town are both closed. Shopping is limited to the window variety or browsing tiny two-aisle convenience stores.
The buses are the only things running on the road.
A colorful bus stop near the main plaza.
The main plaza has a couple of vendors working the street market.
In skimming the two paragraphs in my Lonely Planet guide on Resistencia, I learn that the city maintains some 500 statues. I jokingly set out to find them all.
Café San José
There aren't many restaurants open. I have lunch at a corner store, munching down a packaged alfajores.
Café San José thus becomes the highlight of my visit to Resistencia. Inconspicuously decorated outside, it's easy to miss by sight. What gives it away is the familiar melody of chatter mixed with the cacophonous clatter of plates and silverware from inside.
I walk in, relieved that something's open. The scent of fresh baked pastries, lomitos, and toasted triple-decker sandwiches sets my mouth watering. I order a turkey and ham club and a large orange juice. It's fresh squeezed and worth every peso.
I have lunch here the next day as well. This time I try the empanadas. They're fantastic.
Flakey empanadas and a tall glass of orange juice.
A last word on Res'
From how I've written this you probably think Resistencia is pretty boring. It is boring, but in all the right ways.
From time to time I still find myself thinking back to my visit to this city. It's a charming place that places no demands on its visitors. There are no "must see" attractions, there are no itineraries to follow. It's a chill, no frills, destination with the most bombin' .
But make sure you give yourself enough time to find all of the statues.