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Published: April 5th 2018
By an amazing stroke of luck, our hostel in Buenos Aires turned out to be in the hippy, bohemian area (San Telmo) where the tango developed, alongside impoverished poets and artists. Turns out that men used to dance the tango together as it was a illegal for a woman and a man to dance it together and the only women who would dance it were the prostitutes. But now everyone dances the tango and it is simply amazing. Pete and I have tried in the past to learn the Argentinian tango and concluded that it was impossible for us to dance this most gorgeous of dances with each other. Of course we have different hypotheses for why this is the case. One of these hypotheses revolves around one of us being very difficult to lead and the other revolves around one of us being very difficult to follow. Of course only one us is right and that person is too much of a lady to stress the point. All in all a great shame and one we are now resolved to sort out. We have been enthralled by both the professional tango dancers and the ordinary people who meet to dance
in the street late at night. So passionate and beautiful. And the music! Is it too late to take up the accordion? We hadn’t realised that the characteristically jerky rhythm of a tango is made by the accordion player tapping his knee on the ground and interrupting the sound of the music. I would like to tell you that the photograph is of the two of us but you would know that I did not have room for a sparkly dress in my rucksack.
Apart for the tango? Oh we have visited a huge number of pavement cafes in an enthusiastic effort to support all the bohemian small businesses in the area. We have walked for miles and miles and.....we have watched Boca Juniors defeat Cordoba in a needle match last night. Boca are leading la Liga at the moment but Cordoba are in second place. So it was an important match for both teams and for the 60,000 Boca fans in the stadium. Away Fans are not allowed in football stadiums in Argentina as passions run extremely high and people have been killed in the aftermath of matches. So the whole stadium was full of Boca fans and
the noise was simply incredible from 30 minutes before the game started until the final whistle and beyond. People were going berserk and when “we” scored the whole place went mental. Thankfully we won 2-1 and it seems like we may have clinched the title. Hooray! I have never seen anything like it......ever.
And today we walked to the docks to see La Puente de la Mujer or the Ladies Bridge. I have been very restrained during the last three months and of the 100s of bridges that we have photographed, very few have made it into the blog. There may yet be a specialist subject blog entitled “Bridges” (a suitably catchy and imaginative title) but la Puente de la Mujer is deffo worthy of a mention in the mainstream blog. It’s a reasonably new footbridge over one of the old docks in Buenos Aires and is meant to be evocative of the shape of a lady Tango dancer’s leg. We were both beside ourselves with excitement as we approached and it is indeed a beautiful bridge but a Tango dancer’s leg? We leave you to decide!
A couple of walking tours, a visit around the Opera House
and (get this) a visit to an Art Gallery (yes you read that correctly AN ART GALLERY) combined with just a few more pavement cafes and we are ready to return homeward. I’m writing this on the plane to Madrid where we have a couple of hours before the Heathrow flight. Our beloved friends Liz and Paul are meeting us at the airport and we will be home tomorrow morning just in time for coffee. And this, the first adventure of our sixties, is complete.
Thank you to everyone who has kept an eye on the house, the sheep, the chickens, and the children (haha) and to everyone who has read and commented on the blog or sent us emails. We are looking forward to catching up with friends and family in the next few weeks.
Just a few final thoughts:
Best bits of the trip according to Pete:
• Cozying up to Jan
• Lots of good nosh and hooch
• Mountain vistas in Patagonia
• Iguazu falls; HUGE
• Lots of coffee stops
• Meeting folk
• Watching social tango in Buenos Aires
Best bit of the trip according to Jan:
• Not having to share Pete with 2000 patients, 28 sheep, Ken and the tennis club grounds
• The triumph of Fitzroy and the blue lake beyond
• The steak in Mendoza
• The Coffee shop in Ushuaia
• The view from our hostel in Pichilemu, and from the campsite in Cole Cole and from the campsite in Pehoe.
And absolutely finally, here are the questions that Pete set out to answer during the trip which he finds still unanswered. Beware anyone who comes for supper or meets Pete in the pub.......
• What is meaning of life?
• What will I be doing in retirement?
• What is the duration of perfect holiday?
• Why do people travel?
• What day is it?
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