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Published: June 25th 2009
So next stop on our tour was Buenos Aires - which felt a bit like coming back to civilisation after parts of Peru! We arrived at about 5 in the morning and made straight for our hostel. The original plan was to head to an Estancia (kind of like an argentinian farm where you can do horse riding, trekking etc.) but due to the aforementioned food poisoning we thought it would be best to get some rest instead. After a long schleeeep, we decided to check out the city.
Over the three days we were there we saw some of the main sights including the Palacio Rosada (Pink Palace - not as you may assume the Brighton of Buenos Aires but home to the Argentinian president and once the spot where Evita gave emotive speeches to the public), the congress buildings, the docks, and the famous Recoleta cemetery, where Evita is buried. The cemetery was full of Mausoleums with visible coffins which freaked Joe out and would have been an excellent setting for a vampire/zombie film. One of the less interesting places was (in Joe"s opinion) a botanical garden in Palermo but Sarah found this absolutely fascinating and took many
photos of all of the wild cats that made their home here (but none of the trees, plants and statues that were the real point of the garden).
They say "when in Rome" so while we were here we thought it would be rude not to try the local specialities of steak and Tango. Basically we ate steak every day we were in Argentina and its reputation does not disappoint, we had some of the best steak ever, it was truly excellent - cooked to perfection and melt in the mouth. On the first night we went on an organised Tango event. This involved watching some local experts demonstrate a few dances and then having a go ourselves. During our lesson a few disagreements arose over who was leading, how you were supposed to lead and what the hell Joe was trying to do but it was actually good fun and we kind of got the hang of the steps in the end. This was followed by a steak dinner (of course) a few glasses of some decent red wine (sarah particularly enjoyed the Malbec) and then off to a local Milonga (a tango dance) to try out our
new found skills.
Our first clue that something was unusual was the sign on the door saying "Milonga Gay" - we were not sure what the Spanish translation of "gay" was and we soon found out that it did indeed mean gay. It was actually quite a mixed crowd of same sex and mixed sex couples. We got up and did our basic Tango steps that we learnt but were completely put to shame by the locals who dance as if it is all choreographed as its step perfect but I think they are just that good. They obviously have got the hang of this leading malarky.
We really loved Buenos Aires, it has a really cosmopolitan feel and is very much like a big European city, at points we felt like we could have been in any of Paris, Barcelona, Rome or London. We particularly liked the food (the size of some of the cake portions was unbelievable). Its a shame we did not have longer to see some of the rest of Argentina for example Patagonia but its certainly on the list of destinations for the future.
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