Daily Archives: January 28, 2015

Palace de Aguas

We had seen it many years ago, and did not know what it was. When we did find out it was time to go home. So it has been on my places to visit for many years, we just never got around to seeing it.
We got off the subte at Callao and back tracked one street to Riobamba. We passed a similarly grand college building and as we passed, the Palace de Aguas came into view. If anything it was even better from Riobamba than Cordoba. (Full title is Palace de Aguas Corrientes, or Palace of running water)

Palace de Aguas from Riobamba

Palace de Aguas from Riobamba

The entrance is on Riobamba anyway, so we arrived right at the front door, where it said “Museo entrada libre”. So that was good, but once I was inside I did not know where to go.
The ground floor seemed to be filled with counters. It looked like people came here to pay their water bills. Around the corner we found a guard and he directed us to the lift. I felt stupid as there was a sign by the lift which clearly said “Museo primera piso”.
Once on the first floor there was another guard, he wanted a passport or photo identification. This is the first time this on vist that this has happened to us, I really though they had finally dispensed with all this nonsense, so we no longer carried our passports.
I gave him my best Doe eyed look and said “No tengo” so he let us through anyway.
Once inside we were approached by a Guide and she took us, along with another couple, through to the tanks. Everything was in Spanish so I had to translate for Viv. It is all improving my Spanish no end.
Basically the place was built by the British, with bricks made in San Isidro and steel from Belgium. The building is beautiful and decorated with Royal Dolton embellishments. There are four sets of three tanks. The three on top of each other, with manual control of the filling. When It was built it was higher than anything in Buenos Aires and so could supply water to the whole city. The tanks held 7.48 million gallons. (Working from memory here, so forgive me if I am slightly inaccurate.)
The water was pumped from the river and filtered at Recoletta.
The tank room, showing eight of the tanks. The four lower ones have been removed. the remaining six would have been behind us.

The tank room, showing eight of the tanks. The four lower ones have been removed. the remaining six would have been behind us.

The remaining floor, we thought, would make an excellent milonga.
We then had time to look around the museum. Lots of old toilets taps and other plumbing accessories. For me though it was the big pumps that were the highlight. I suppose for Viv it was the old offices.
On our way out I got in trouble for taking a photo of the floor. It seems I was not allowed to take photos where people were paying their bills.
We rested a while in Parque Rodreguez Peña, before taking some refreshment in Viamonte.
Funny but it was more expensive than Palermo, but we found out that hey have Paella Velenciano, it has to be worth a return trip for that.
We managed to get Viv some of her special shampoo on Corrientes and some Yogurt pants, whatever they are.
Quite a successful trip out but I wanted some hamburgers from the local chino. The butcher was not there and everything was put away, because there was yet another power outage.
We took the subte to Nuevo Chique again, and once again I had a great night. Viv meanwhile had an awful seat. I could not see her without standing. So I was surprised to Hear how well she had done. She said she had only missed two tandas.
On our way back to catch our 151 we noticed almost all the shops and bars up to Congreso had generators outside them. The infrastructure here is falling apart.
Never mind our power is still on and so is the other chino. The one that has fresh bread, So while we needed milk, the bread needed us to eat it.
Warm bread for supper……………Hmmmm.

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