• Member since Dec 21st 2021
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Posts by Sarran1955


    How many national holidays are observed in France?

    Des jours de congé offerts par l'État pour célébrer des fêtes chrétiennes, des fêtes civiles et les commémorations des deux grandes Guerres Mondiales. Chaque année, 11 jours sont traditionnellement fériés en France.

    So that is 11 days, no longer counting Ascension, which is now a day of national solidarity, helping old folks like myself....


    Hello all,

    I researched this with one of my students today.

    Today Friday, is a school holiday , commemorating the death (shot in the back) of General Martin Guemes (1785 to 1821), who played a major part in the liberation of Argentina from the Royalists.

    Here is a link to a 1942 film 'La guerra gaucha,


    You tube:

    Just to point out if I may, salaried employees in Argentina have 3 weeks paid holiday per year, rising after 5 years service....

    so even with 20 working days of public holiday per year, that is less than the European average of 5 weeks holiday plus public holidays...

    It is hot and sunny here in central France, there has been an influx of hot air from the Sahara over Spain, and now here. Spain and Portugal are suffering water shortages.

    I have been working in the garden....

    100 sq metres with 147 plants of 'Mossgreen' honeysuckle. There is an automatic watering system and plenty of bark chippings.

    The family from Misiones will be here in August, so busy busy busy....


    Hello everybody,

    Yerba Maté , grown in the region of Misiones and the neighbouring areas of Paraguay and Brazil, is an

    important crop.

    It looks like a mulberry tree, and is in extensive fields alternating with tea bushes. There are large drying hangars

    that stand empty for most of the year.

    The active ingredient is caffeine, though it was asserted for a long time that this was a different molecule called Mateine.

    In and around Oberà there are many Maté conditioners, so the shops have all the varieties.

    Incidentally, the tea produced in Misiones is used extensively in 'iced tea' drinks and...Coca Cola

    This is due to its limpidity when chilled. It is high in anti oxidants.

    The biggest importer by population is Syria and it's neighbours.

    It is available in France and Germany to my knowledge.

    I'm off to mow my meadow...( no dog)


    Hello everybody,

    Yes.. Adblock and Cookiebro for me.

    I'm using Firefox and Chrome.

    Firefox because it blocks pop ups and is very easy to hide your history and is Open Source..

    Chrome because it has built in e mail and One drive, that I use with my son's business to transfer large files.

    Cookie bro lets you collect the cookies on sites you use, and remove the ones that are toxic.

    It is rare for me to come across an Adblock firewall, and as has been said earlier you can get the information from other sites..

    From up on my mountain on a beautiful Spring day.. 8)



    I am 66, and worked for 22 years in the UK. I have been receiving my pension since November, directly into my French bank account.

    There has been an (annual?) increase, but with the fluctuations/pound/euro it is a bit difficult to judge.

    A couple of pointers: the pension is paid 4 weekly so the date changes. It starts about 6 weeks in arrears, with a partial payment initially.

    You will be sent a form to fill in and return by post after 12 weeks of payments, to confirm that you are alive.. this form must be witnessed, I asked my doctor to do it.

    Since then no problems.

    I have been receiving my French pension since 62 yrs.



    Aah the Dacia sandero and duster...

    The Sandero, built in Roumania is France's cheapest new car. The Duster, especially in 4x4 format is the best selling little 4x4 in the French countryside.

    In Misiones we bought a Kango camionetta, with extra seats, because it has the heavy duty suspension.

    I am wary of low cost cars with lots of technology.. just another thing to go wrong.


    Hello everybody,

    Here is my 2 eurocents worth...

    My son sends me dollars every month by Paypal, which I transfer to a LDDS saving account in my name.

    I order USD from my French bank one month before departure. The bills are usually all brand new 'blues'

    As I understand, I am allowed to bring in up to 10 000 USD as a tourist.

    I also have some 5's 10's and a 50 dollars. These proved very useful, when I ran short of pesos for the taxi between airports,

    I explained, and offered dollars. No problem, I think I got about 150:1 exchange rate.

    He also dropped me off at the cafe terrace, where you can have a little break before tackling the queues.

    With my 1000 USD I exchanged at 210:1 mid Febuary and bought a 0km motorcycle with taxes, helmet, gloves, 2nd hand GPS etc...

    and still had enough to take the family to the and 10 pin bowling.

    A thousand dollars is about 840 euros...I'd be lucky to find much of a 2 wheeler for that hereabouts!!

    From a snowy mountain,



    I found this video quite informative...

    Especially for those not familiar with 4-5% per month inflation and the Argentinian export dollars situation

    Fuel prices in France are still horrendous, at 1.92 euros for petrol, down from 2.20.

    Trips in my VW camper will have to wait a bit...


    Hello everybody,

    Just to let you know I go back home OK.

    No, problems, everything on time.

    I got lucky with my seat, as I wait until arrival at EZE to get my allocation..

    I got row 12 aisle, the best in economy class just behind business class on a Lufthansa 747.

    If you book this there is a 50euro surcharge....

    Mild and sunny Spring here...

    But I had to contend with resetting all the clocks 1hr forward....



    Here is the 1st tracing of my itinerary. Taken anti clockwise from Obera.

    Through the hills on small roads until La Roca turning left onto the R12 to San Ignacio. (ruins)

    Overnight stay in good little hotel, then visit the leisure beach on the Parana river.

    Onward towards Posadas on the toll road .I paused then turned back to Santa Ana for lunch.

    Then on to Salto Berrondo for a break and photoshot by the waterfall,

    finally return to Obera.

    The little machine (110 ccs) was at its limit, cruising at 60, max 70, so not keeping up with most traffic.

    The suspension and small tyres are fine for going shopping, but struggle with bumps and worn roads at higher speeds.

    It also has a small petrol tank, and is thirsty when ridden hard.

    I have now got my 500 km on the clock, so it will have its first warranty service before I leave.

    The clip on 4000 pesos GPS worked fine, and the deluxe Helmet with built in flip sunglasses was great.

    I would have to change strategy and machine if I envisaged going much further, but at my age it might be just

    easier to take the coach for tourism...



    Here in Obera Misiones, it is difficult for me to estimate the real inflation rate.

    I am preparing for my return to France next week.

    Some items, such as tobacco are heavily taxed in France, the typical price for 30 grams being 14euros 50 cents.

    At 400 pesos for 30 grams of Lucky Strike this is 3euros 31 cents, the limit being 250 grams.

    This will see me through to my next visit.

    A bottle of 100 Pipers whisky is 690 pesos..5euros 71 cents, in France 16 euros..1930 pesos.

    However, the price of groceries in our Condor Supermercado have gone up in Euro terms by about 40% since this time last year.

    My students have inflation based salary increases every 3 months, but the real value lags behind by an average of 18%....almost a 1/5 of lost earnings.

    Petrol is 1/2 the price of Europe.

    A bar of Corrientes chocolate is now 300 was about 200 last September.

    Local produce is plentiful, good quality and cheap. We have had the same delivery man for 3 years, and though prices rise, he does his best.

    We are lucky having a farm in the family, so once a fortnight Opa does his round in the old Toyota pickup.

    To give a more objective view I use this site:

    Cost of Living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mar 2022 prices in Buenos Aires.
    Cost of Living in Buenos Aires, Argentina :: Average prices of more than 50 products and services in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    which is up to date.

    My internal air ticket Posadas to BA was 6000 pesos, now 8300

    Here is another site I use:

    Be Wary of Argentina's Latest Economic "Miracle"
    Has Alberto Fernández learned the wrong lessons from 2002?

    Americas Quarterly, which gives a good overall view of the economy

    Anyway, back to the early Spring on my French mountain soon going from 33c to 13c.

    This week end I am embarking on a mini-road trip with the motorcycle to the San Ignacio ruins, stay in hotel and come back along the Parana river

    frontier with Paraguay.


    Hello everybody,

    Another quick update on the motorcycle project.

    My contact at the dealership did all the paperwork during the week, including going

    to the Obera administration.

    He sent the documents, title and certificate of Zero kilometers by e mail this morning.

    The number plate..patente.. has been made and attached.

    We have arranged the insurance through the broker used for the car, house, and children. Very convenient

    with a 3 month cover .

    My hi-tech helmet arrived from Mercado libre.

    So, all being well I will go to the dealer tomorrow, and will be riding this long week end.

    The whole process took 1 week.

    This will be the first time in 50 years that I have bought a brand new machine... 8)

    Photos to follow...



    For my 2 pesos worth...

    When I am in English classes with young Argentine women and the topic is 'The seashore'....

    For any shell the preferred word is Ostra, and not Concha.

    The english language has an unrivalled range of four letter 'rude' words.


    Hello everybody,

    A bit of an update on the Motorcycle project..

    We went to the dealer this morning to complete the paperwork and pay the balance.

    I just love the bill counting machines..

    So I should have an e mail by Friday confirming the 'Patente' or number plate for the insurance.

    I might be doing some grocery shopping next week-end!!

    We have had some good thundery downpours for the last 2 days with more expected. This is good news for the jerba and tea plants.

    I'm all settled in now and we are discussing ways and means for the family (5) to come to France this Summer.

    I have been looking at flights and I'm seeing the prices rising back to pre Covid levels.



    Good Morning,

    As I understand things, this is a very low category of machine, the smallest engine at 7 BHP, no alarm, no GPS tracker.

    max speed 75 kph.

    So the only insurance option with an active button was civil responsibility.

    At that price, what more will I need?

    The machine will be parked under cover at the back of our house, (which has CCTV).

    I am covered for injury by my bank insurance.

    So my son and I go to the concessionaire on Monday to sign the Cedula Azul application, with the balance outstanding.

    I ordered the helmet and gloves on line from Mercado libre.

    Although this is a basic machine, fitted with a carburettor so Euro Pastille 2, it is still less than 1/2 the price for the base model Peugeot (fuel injection Pastille 5), equivalent in France.

    I'm looking forward to this, although I'm old enough to know better, I have several small machines at home, including a well-tuned MBK Hard Rock (2002)

    Have a nice week-end,



    Good Morning everybody.

    I'm settling in and acclimatizing nicely thank you,

    The motorcycle project has moved forward. I had underestimated the difficulty of buying a 0km machine 'off the peg'.

    The 1st Motomel agent had used up his allocation of that model until at least March, so following the path of least resistance, I went to the

    Honda main dealer, as they have several brands in stock. A Honda machine is way out of my budget, so the choice was between Motomel, Keller, and Zanella.

    I have gone for the Zanella ZB basic model, as it is the only one with a USB point that I can use for a GPS.

    Helmet and gloves are coming from Mercado Libre.

    I have paid the main deposit, and we should sign and complete on Monday. Hopefully I will then have the immatriculation plates for the insurance, and permission to circulate in Obera

    So I now ask for your advice concerning insurance. Ideally I want to insure,(I have my French license and an International driving permit), on line for 1 month. All risks.

    Does anyone have experience of this please?

    Today it is cloudy and hot, but yesterday evening we were on the terrace eating mangoes from the fridge.

    I have a class at 1pm.



    Soyez bienvenue, Monsieur Sarran. Nous sommes heureux du bon voyage pour arriver a Obera.

    Merci pour votre message bien aimable..

    The start of a busy week, working early and late to avoid the heat.

    I give classes in technical English on line, so now I am having to get used to classes from 6 am local time.

    We had a good week end, despite Shirley recovering from Covid. Habitually I babysit on a

    friday evening while Dave and Shirley go out to a restaurant, but this time they just went out for a stroll.

    Foodwise I've ticked several back of beef, Quilmes, Mendoza red wine, and German potato salad.

    Lifewise I've got a celular with a local basic forfeit. I do have an Orange smartphone, but it is too much hassle to

    get it unblocked. I am back on the desktop computer with fast internet. When travelling I have a HP stream notebook

    which is lightweight and has a long battery life, but it is so much easier with a big screen and keyboard.

    I was disappointed to find that there is no public Wifi at Dellepiane.

    Even staying in the shade as much as possible, the UV index is very high, so in 1/2 hour bursts I am losing my 'milk bottle' legs... 8)

    There is one more week of school holidays, so I hope we will go on a trip, maybe to the cascadas encantadas in the national park about one hour away.

    We have been to Iguazu about 3 hours away before, but this part of the national park is much quieter, with a better chance of seeing wildlife.

    Class now..