South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford says he was in Buenos Aires— not hiking on the Appalachian Trail—during four days when he dropped out of sight.

The Republican governor’s disappearance ignited a media frenzy when even his wife did not know his whereabouts. Sanford’s staff claimed that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, but that was followed by reports that his cell phone had been used near Atlanta.

Yesterday, Sanford returned from Argentina, cutting his trip short after being informed by staff that his mysterious disappearance had caused a national stir.

He told The State, a Columbia, S.C. newspaper,  that he went to Argentina to recharge after losing a painful political battle over accepting federal stimulus funds.

Sanford said he doesn’t know why his staff said he was hiking, but noted that he had said he “might’ consider heading for the Appalachian Trail. “But I said ‘no’ I wanted to do something exotic,” Sanford continued. “[Buenos Aires]…is a great city.”

Sanford claimed that he was alone on the trip. According to the newspaper, “He declined to give any additional details about what he did other than to say he drove along the coastline.”