Published: July 10th 2008July 9th 2008
Our time in Argentina's Capital City, Buenos Aires. Tuesday 24th June
We arrived in Buenos Aires after a 12 hour overnight bus journey from Corrientes. It was AR$85 each and left at 7.30pm yesterday so it was a long day with lots of hanging around with our backpacks but we passd the time playing cards and using an internet cafe.
The bus journey was a little bit posher than usual. We recieved a warm meal of spag bol - not the nicest, but edible - and we had bed seats (Ooooh, aren't we posh?) The only downside was the two kids sat directly behind us. Like any nine year olds, they were not going to sit still, but nothing prepared me for these two spawns of Satan! It's lucky hand signals are the same in most countries! So, that's how the journey began and we gave in to sleep at approx. 11pm. I was in and out of sleep until the unbelievable happened. I turned on to my side to get comfy, and I'm half asleep with my ear-plugs in, and my eye-mask in place when all of a sudden I felt a hand go over my face and
Palacio de Congreso
One of the sights in Buenos Aires
fingers viciously stuck up my nose! I obviously panicked and wiped my eye-mask off thinking I'm being attacked and the kid from behind is stood over me, staring down at me. He took a step back and sat down, never taking his eyes from me! It was like something from a horror movie! At least I know who they base all the scary children on, cos I think I just met him! I turned around whilst calling him every name under the sun but I was in so much shock that I had to turn away and think about what had just happened. I was thinking, "Does he think I was snoring?" as I don't snore anyway, plus I was awake when he did it. Then I thought maybe he thought my head was a bowling ball or maybe he was intrigued at the size of my nose and wanted to try it on himself to see if it suited him. I just don't know but it freaked me out. I was contemplating putting ear-plugs up my nose to avoid it happening again, but my ears were scared. I wonder if his name was Damien?
Well, we finally arrived
I predict a riot!
Oh, it's all go in the square!
in Buenos Aires at 7.30am and headed for the Metro (thats so easy). We went up and down the wrong street before finally finding our hostel that we telephone booked a couple of days ago for ten nights (it was pay for nine and get the tenth free). Unfortunately they had no room for us which was annoying, and they were giving us a few excuses but basically they had overboked. But they sorted us out another hostel for two nights on the same deal, so it was good in the end as we had two days at the other side of town - best of both worlds really!
We were apprehensive about the locals as we had read that the residents of Buenos Aires were stuck-up and miserable, but they're far from it! In fact, they are unbelievably friendly and helpful. When we got lost and stood looking at the map they would walk up to you and ask you where you were looking for and point you in the right direction. Can you imagine that in London? You'd pass out at the thought. It's sad though as you're conscious of them being up to something so you're
Pink Presidential Palace
Don't cry for me Argentina la la laaaaa (I just couldn't help it)
holding on to your belongings, which I know you should do, but they are just genuinely helpful people.
There are a lot of strikes going on in Argentina at the mo and there were posters advertising a riot on the 24th. Aaaargh! That's tonight!! We asked at the hostel and they advised us to stay away - and there was me, looking forward to some proper action! The rest of the day was spent finding our bearings and we bought some warm tops - Steve a wooly lined fleece and I got a jumper, nice and warm. On Avenida Florida the clothes are reasonably priced. They're similar to the UK so not too many bargains. But the Galerias Pacifico Shopping Mall is very fancy. I feel I look like too much of a tramp to be in there as everyone is very well dressed. I'm so missing my wardrobe right now. Wednesday 25th June
Had a look around Buenos Aries. There's some interesting buildings, tall and old (like Steve, tee hee), with the pointless but pretty wrought iron balconies. We saw Plaza Congreso and "Casa Rosado" (pink house) the Presidential Palace - Evita's home. We visited the Cathedral
It's too cheap! I can't resist. My head hurts. I never learn!
Metropolitana and Avenida 9th Julio. They have so many theatres here - very posh. We are finding a lot of places covered in scaffolding or closed which is a pain after walking miles to get to them, but some are in desperate need of restoring so it's obviously for the best. Thursday 26th June
We moved hostels and chilled out mostly. We had a walk through the city centre and dodged the traffic on the 18-lane road. Aaargh. You really have to run for your life! We went to an all-you-can-eat restaurant for tea (it's not dinner, it's tea! - Steve says so). We over-indulged! Steve nearly had an argument with the meat chef as he told him, in Spanish that he had enough on his plate. We must have looked like right vultures! It was like winning the food lottery. I struggled walking afterward and looked about 18 months pregnant - not a good look, but it was really nice. We have decided to avoid those sorts of restaurats from now on though as your eyes are bigger than your bellies, nor could we walk for 48 hours afterwards. Friday 27th June
Why do you always wake
I bet she's got bigger feet than me!
up feeling so hungry the morning after you ate loads? I don't get it! We couldn't drag ourselves out of bed so we had a long lie-in and wrote our blogs of Iguaçu - God, they take ages! Saturday 28th June
Ready and raring to go. Blue skies out so get those thongs on!
We took the tube again. Such a fab way to travel at 90c a journey (I should be in advertising) - it works out about 15p. Our destination, Palermo, the description, "full of green parks, imposing statues, elegant embassies and large sporting complexes" and allegedly a "yuppie" magnet on sunny weekends which apparently means Young Urban Proffessional. Steve was a little worried he'd be too old to go but I said I'd hold his hand and tell everyone he's my "Sugar Daddy!" He's paranoid as his hair's grown and keeps complaining about how bad the cleaners must be in the hostels as the dust in his hair is getting worse, oh bless him. I've nicknamed him snowflake. Lucky we aint going to Barcelona because they'd probably cage him and charge an entrance fee whilst praising the lord for resurrecting the albino gorrilla - hey, not
My eyes, my eyes!!
a bad plan if we run out of cash! Aren't I cruel? I'm getting him back for the homeless person dig.
Anyway, back to Palermo. We made our way to the first park. "Closed" apparently due to trying to clear all the tramps out. No wonder they wont let me in! Ah well. It makes a change from the usual scaffolding we're being greeted with recently. We set off to our next park and visited a few statues along the way. We saw one for Garribaldi and Steve got all excited about biscuits. I didn't have a clue but we took a photo anyway! We went ot the "Rosedal" which was OK. Apparently it's a gay/transvestite hang out on a night so Steve was clock-watching and making me walk behind him most of the way to hide his ass. Men!!
We didn't bother with the "Botanico" or the "Japones" as you had to pay to get in, so off we went to see more statues. We came accross a Planetarium which was a funky building, but the temperature dropped and it was real cold, so I was freezing in only my thongs. My poor little toes..........I didn't mean camel toe's
Cemeterio de la Recoleta
One of the many tombs - check out my "thinking finger."
I mean real
toes in my thong flip-flops, cheeky!!
We finished the day watching all three of the Matrix movies. TV can be a life saver at times. It's worth paying a few dollars extra for as you're sometimes tired after sightseeing all day and just want to chill. Sunday 29th June
Visited "San Telmo" which on a Sunday is famous for it's Antiques Fair. There were some cool gadgets and some of the shops had amazing stuff like chandeliers made from crystal and old fashioned, genuine Victorian mirrors and antique dresses and shoes. Oh, heaven. I just wish I could distinguish the genuine from the fakes though as there were some gorgeous little pocket watches and interesting hats. My eyes were being pulled out by some of the shops and some of them smelled like they could be genuine antiques. So, we really enjoyed that, definately worth a visit, but has to be Sunday as it's the market day.
We bought our first "street vendor" lunch. It was from a guy who wore a chef's outfit and had a huge, covered basket of pasties. There were loads of locals and tourists alike queueing so we knew he was
good. We got a cheese and ham pastry thing. It was well warm and so nice. It was huge and it weighed a ton! We shared one, but some people were eating them themselves. I don't know how you could. I could hardly move after just having half!
We ventured to "La Boca," a working class area situated along an old port. The main attraction is the Camonito area where the buildings are made of metal. Also it can be a dodgy area and you're warned to stay on the backpackers trail because of gangs etc. but due to the reputation it's a cheap area to live so it's home to a lot of artists and students displaying their colourful creations. Some are really good. We caught the end of a few tango shows outside the bars and restaurants. It looked like a nice area to eat but after our little pastie, food was the last thing on our minds!
Good day overall. Monday 30th June
Updated our blogs today with photo's and published them. Tried to go shoe shopping but a size 6 is unheard of here - and a size 7, well, they looked at me like
You have to do something to make these exciting
I have two heads! Nowhere stocks them and I really want some black boots as it's too cold to wear open-toed, so I may cut my toes off. They must stock them with all the transvestites around 'cos men have big feet - unless they've bought them all, now that's a thought. Tuesday 01st July
Pinch and punch, first of the month. Can't believe we've done a whole month already. Doesn't time fly?
We visited Recoleta where the huge "Cemetario de la Recoleta" is. We visited Evita's grave. It wasn't that big and amazing really compared to most that were there. Some were huge with statues and upstairs/downstairs sections to them. This is so that a family can be buried there generation after generation and be together in the afterlife (we followed an English speaking guide). I was actually lost for words seeing how amazing and detailed some of them were, and for me to shut up it has to be good. However, some had been neglected and had smashed windows and coffins had fallen off shelves which is a shame as you would think due to the cost of being buried there the maintenance would be to a
In the middle of a dodgy road.
high standard, but apparently not! Wednesday 2nd July
Yay. I got there before the trannies and bought some gray boots today. They're not bad and only cost 11 quid so a bargain. I'm happy now. Packed all my stuff as we're off to Rosario tomorrow. We'll be up early doors.
Enjoyed my time in the capital. Definately worth staying a week or two as so much to see and do, but a lot of walking so you want a few chilled days also. Thursday 03rd July
Travelled to Rosario today which took 4 hours and cost AR$45 (7/8 quid each). We also booked our tickets for Cordoba as we're leaving on a Sunday and been told buses can get busy and ticket offices can close so we got that sorted. It will take six hours at AR$55 (8/9 quid).
The cost of travel has lowered our daily budget by quite a lot so we're fingers crossing that the kitchens in the next few places are good so we can eat in as I'm the Budget Monster. It's about the only thing I'm good at. I would have bought tickets for Corrientes instead of Cordoba!! Friday 04th July
Our hostel is good. We have a nice kitchen area to cook in and we found some decent supermarkets - not as cheap as Buenos Aires which suprised us. So, today we headed for the sights of the town. It could do with a good tidy up but that aside we visited the "Monumento Nacional al la Bandera." You can take an elevator to the top but it's not really worth it. We then went to find "Museo Provincial de Ciencas Naturales Dr. Angel Gallardo." Basically a museum filled with stuffed animals and insect exhibits, but when we reached the building, lo and behold it's covered in scaffolding and closed. We walked all the way round to see if there was another entrance. On the last side we come to there is some kind of info centre where we were told trhe museum had moved two blocks away. We headed there and had a look around. To begin with we had a bit of a moan at each other about how empty it was and it didn't match the book's description, but at the end there was a photo section that explained everything. There had actually been a big fire
that destroyed everything, hence the building being scaffolded up and the exhibition moved. It's not really worth a look as most items have been destroyed which is a real shame. Saturday 05th July
Visited Che Gueveras house. Nothing special really but hey, no scaffolding so that ¡s always good.
Went for a meal out, first one in ages. It was OK but I think I'd gone past hunger as I'd had a drink and it doesn't take me much nowadays, and at 45p for a litre of beer I'm a really cheap date!
We popped back to "Monumento Nacional a la Bandera" as at night it's lit up and warm as there's a little fire. I was even contemplating on saving money on a hostel and sleeping next to it, but really don't want to fuel those tramp rumours any more!!
Off to Cordoba tomorrow. Staying approx. 1 week so I'll update you on that when we leave.
There are more photos below