Los Pumas – Scotland: what the foreign rugby fans who toured the north of the country liked and didn’t like about Argentina
SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO.– They walked everywhere with their national team jerseys. They also carried the occasional flag, just in case. It was not a matter of a good tourist image not being registered with the blue flag of the white X. Better still: someone wore kiltY beret. The fans who came to Argentina to watch the three test matches of the Cardo against the Cougarsfar from wanting to go unnoticed, moved proudly showing their status as scots.
And they enjoyed. In quantity. They are closing a three-week trip, organized by tourism agencies, and they went through Jujuy (they have a hard time pronouncing that name), jump, Tucuman, Iguazu Falls, Santiago del Estero. Y Buenos Aires, Sure. And in that time they built their impression of Argentina, where they took “a million photos” of them and even confused them with the Scottish players who this Saturday met for the third and last time with the UAR team.
Before the vibrant 34-31 that decided the series in favor of the Pumas in the mother of cities stadiumseveral of the fans/tourists told THE NATION what they collected in the country after traveling thousands of kilometers over the Atlantic and covering thousands of others in northern Argentina.
Pumas compact 34 vs. Scotland 31
“It is my first time in Argentina. We expected good things, but it’s even better than we expected. Wonderful, wonderful country. People have been very friendly. Now we hardly want to go home”, he was pleased Rum Campbell, who without being asked spoke slowly, as if to facilitate the understanding of his English. His empathy corresponds to what she found during the visit: “What I liked the most is the warmth of the people. There are beautiful colors, cities and landscapes; good food, good wine. But my memories will be above all of the Argentine people”, he added at the hotel where he stayed, in front of Plaza Libertad, with his green and blue kilt. Checkered, of course.
In three weeks of permanence, there has to be something that you did not like. “Eehh, that’s a tough question… I can’t answer. The size of the country makes travel difficult, but transfers were fine. The flights, the buses, the groups have not been a problem. But the transfer between cities is the only thing I would say… It’s not a negative aspect, either, because we saw some lovely scenery along the way”, concluded Ron, about to go to lunch before going to the Mother of Cities for the great quote.
In his group of six members was Ian, also wearing the Cardo shirt. “Our trip has been fantastic. We were in all the games and in each place we have been very welcome. We were in the local rugby clubs, also being very, very welcome. It is my best experience in a rugby trip”, he was pleased before the collective photo at the hotel reception.
Rugby brought them to Argentina, but the matches consumed barely 250 minutes in a three-week stay. Tourism was a substantial portion of the trip, and boy did they take advantage of it. “I am enjoying my stay, It is brilliant. people are fantasticthe flavors are amazing beautiful country. We arrived in Buenos Aires and we were in Jujuy, Tilcara, Salta, Iguazú Falls…”, Lindsay recounted with overflowing fervor and good vibes. “We always wanted to see Argentina. It has been spectacular!”, he celebrated.
The redhead was one of the most enthusiastic when her group of 11 members was asked to sing the Scottish anthem in front of the hotel bar, before curious eyes. And he did not hesitate when he had to mention the best and the worst of his stay in the country. “I loved Salinas Grandes; Santiago is awesome. Y what I liked least, the bathrooms. They are terrible!”, he concluded, with such sympathy that he did not seem to be talking about a defect.
proud of scotland
Robert, a fellow traveler in the contingent led locally by Rosario Andrea Carenzo, who facilitated access to foreigners, definitely had something to regret: “We are reaching the end of our three-week tour,” he pronounced, also slowly and clearly. I mean, empathetic. “There are a lot of things that we enjoy. Firstly, the cordiality of all. It was a fantastic time, not only in Buenos Aires, but also in the charming cities of the north. The test matches in Jujuy, Salta and Santiago del Estero were a great way for us to travel around the north of Argentina. we would like to return to revisit those places. It was a wonderful, wonderful stay“, held.
As a good Briton, he is able to mention other people’s shortcomings tactfully, so that they sound soft, never aggressive to the interlocutor. “Nothing was negative nor did we stop enjoying it. The only thing that he hardly is that you see a lot of poor places, and we’re very sorry about that and things like inflation. On the other hand, we really enjoy different parts of the country, and the rugby clubs, and the test matches… It was a huge enjoyment. It is very difficult to say a favorite moment. There are a lot of great moments,” said Robert, who despite having seen up close a magnitude of poverty that does not exist in his own Scotland was delighted with the local experience. “The main reason we came was to watch the three test matches. At the same time there was the opportunity to see a part of the world we wouldn’t necessarily have chosen to visit. And that does not imply something negative for Argentina. In fact, that was one of the great attractions: not only visiting the big cities, but also seeing all these different parts. It has been spectacular. And another positive point: all the people we saw were proud to be Argentine”, he concluded, happy with what he had lived through for twenty days.
Such was Robert’s sensitivity towards the locals that, beyond the desire for Scotland to win, he wanted “an exciting match, full of tries”, because “for the inhabitants of Santiago del Estero this is a culminating day”. And the man was well informed: “This is the first time that the Pumas play in the city, so I hope to see the atmosphere. I imagine it will be incredibly exciting. It is going to be really spectacular”, he confided.
Indeed, it was. There was bagpipes in the execution of the Scottish national song, fervor and a professional interpreter in that of the Argentine National Anthem, folk dances with dozens of dancers well dressed in the break between times, a recognition video to the Bronze Puma of Santiago Juan Manuel Leguizamon and the cup raised by another native, Facundo Isa, to whom the Pumas captain, Pablo Matera, gave it. And also an electrifying end to the match, with a try and his conversion by Emiliano Boffelli in the last two actions so that the result was turned around and Santiago del Estero had a reason to party until the wee hours.
It was not the outcome that Ron, Ian, Lindsay and Robert wanted, but they already had their victory in the series: the long visit to Argentina left them much more to celebrate than to regret.