In the Summer of 1979, after my kids returned to Argentina, Marité and I felt that we needed a change of pace. Marité had been working the last two years compiling a list of victims of torture in Argentina, which had been published recently with more than 13,000 names in it. It had been a grueling effort and she was physically and mentally exhausted. She was also unfulfilled in her day job and I was frustrated with mine, so we decided to quit our employments and, what else, embark in a travel adventure.
We bought Frommer’s book: Europe on $ 10 a day, (believe it or not, that was possible in 1979!) and the Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable a book that had all the train schedules in western Europe, got two Eurail passes for three months, took out most of our savings from the bank and exchanged them for American Express travelers checks (use of credit cards was not so prevalent then), bought two tickets to London with – the long defunct – Laker Airlines for (if memory serves me well) $ 89.00 each, rented a storage room and crammed it with most of our possessions. We would try to travel light.
Many of our friends and acquaintances knew of our project and most of them were very supportive, giving us tips and, most importantly, addresses of people they knew overseas and where we could crash; many of them Argentine exiles that had escaped persecution from the military junta.
With the information on hand, I had worked out an itinerary with cities and places to visit. I don’t remember how I got the data (one must remember there was no internet then), but I still have my notes covering useful information, (24 pages of small letter scribbling, that includes American Express offices – where we could exchange our travel checks and get mail -, tourist information centers, fares, exchanges rates, etc.) and possible destinations for our trip.
So, we finally packed one suitcase and two large hand bags and took off on the adventure of our lifetime. The day…