Golf in Mar del Plata
Mar del Plata is the nearest big seaside resort to Buenos Aires – their holiday playground a bit like Brighton except it is 300 kms from BA and it is either a four hour drive or a 40 minute flight – in theory! The Argies have decided that they need to rebuild part of the domestic airport runway and have diverted random flights to the International airport so instead of a 10- minute journey to the airport it is nearly 50 minutes and the queues at security are stretched to say the least. I was up at 4 am and arrived at Mar del Plata at 9.30 on a flight delayed only 1.5 hours! The joys of travel!
Mar del Plata is right on the sea and I can see the central beaches from the hostel. Apparently there is a vibrant nightlife! I will ask for reports! It is also a summer golfing area and today we went to play a links course about 30 minutes away near the neighbouring rival town of Miramar – the Miramar Links Golf Club.
It sounds more grand than it is but it was a beautiful day, it is right by the sea so you get the ozone in the air, the wind was blowing and although the condition leaves something to be desired it was fun. AND it was great to be able to walk a golf course. After the ‘shot’ achilles muscle I thought I might never play again but the cortisone seems to have worked and I could walk – albeit a bit slowly. They wouldn’t have let me play at Rye at that pace but 3 of us were round in 4 hours so it wasn’t too bad. Agustin, the my 1 handicap tour guide and his father, who had been at the RAC at Cirencester in the 60’s, played and Chris and I took on and managed to beat the young star!
We then looked in at the Marayui County Club, which was a groomed parkland course with amazing clubhouse where you can stay. Pretty good as a base for the area.
Dinner was a choice of two sittings – one at 9 and one at 11. We took the 11 pm and sat down at about 11.30 in ‘Viento en Popa’, which translates as ‘Wind in the stern’ – obviously a very popular fish restaurant. Mine host Neco Cioffi is a great PR man and when told I am a journalist he insisted on many photos and regaled us with how the great and the good came to eat with him!! And it was pretty good. Plates of Langostinos, Gamba, Pulpo and Mejjillones washed down by a very acceptable chardonnay were followed by a most wonderful shellfish hotpot and deserts before the inevitable local grappa. And the cost!
This is reckoned to be one of the most expensive restaurants in Mar del Plata and the bill – my treat – came to $60 – £10 per head!! Back to bed at 2am – only been up for 22 hours!!
A lie in! I woke at 8.30 and tried to upload photos etc but the new site would not accept them. Disaster! But the helpdesk was so efficient that all was sorted in about 5 minutes and I am told I can now upload movies as well. Now I can really bore you all!!!
Mar del Plata Golf Club -Playa Grande Course- is right on the seafront on the prime real estate site in town – not unlike Durban CC. It is set in only 30 hectares on the slope overlooking the sea and is very like a links course – not dissimilar in some ways to Rye. There are 5 great, mainly short, par 3s and challenging par 4’s – some not too long. The greens are wickedly quick and of course everything rolls towards the sea. Thank god for a great caddy who was so good on the lines. We also played in the Friday medal!! Not to bad to shoot a net 73 (par 70) especially with she injured leg!! Playa Grande Mar del Plata Lunch was again with shrimps, mushrooms and capers with of course a few French fries!
With beer, wine, desert and coffee the bill came to £7 a head.
Back on the late night flight to BA and then off to the Andes tomorrow. Not too much rest at the moment! Miramar travel lodge right where I am now staying is next to domestic airport – pity the flights have been changed to the International! Also next to a golf shop and driving range so the views aren’t too bad.