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Published: January 11th 2010
We arrived in Buenos Aires in the day time and found our, rather bohemian, hostel in the city centre, where I was told that while the other two could probably blend in to Buenos Aires, cosmopolitan city I would probably get charged double and stared at everywhere I went. Nothing new there. The first day we were there was an orientation activity. We had a wander about saw a few sights like the Casa Rosa (pink house where Evita sang to the city from the balcony) and then had a wander by the water frontl. The day had started off lovely and sunny and we had nothing with us but the clothes we were in. Then the rain came. It was a huge storm, thunder, lightening, the works and the buildings that were over the water and clearly visible only a few moments before were barely visible. We went to TGI Friday's to shelter and ate puddings, large puddings. That evening there was a massived party in the hostel which didnt finish until 6am. I quickly learnt that things happen late in Buenos Aires - eating 10pm-12 drinking 12-3am going out 3-6am!
Over the next few days we did some
proper sight seeing of the cathedral, the obelisk, the flor and the university law building. We visited Recoletta cemetary which is huge and the memorials are more like small houses than crypts. We went to San Telmo antiques market where they have tango dancers in the streets and it was the market's birthday so there was a huge celebration with a band and lots of people dressed up and dancing around the square.
It was also my birthday in Buenos Aires. Thanks to everyone who sent me cards and messages. I went to the zoo and had been warned that it might rain so we went prepared. Franki went a little snap happy so we have a million photos of lots of different animals. It was a bigger zoo than I expected in Buenos Aires and it was a fun day out, we were there all day and we saw elephants and tigers and lions and birds and reptiles and seals and fish and a giraffe's bottom and a zebra's head (sheltering from the rain) etc. In the evening we went to a restaurant and tango show which was great and quite frankly I find it amazing how quickly
they can move their feet! Then we went for drinks at a great bar called Sugar and got bought a birthday beer by some guys that saved us from some other guys that were hassling us. Lots of fun and the girls bought me a dress which I was very grateful for as I was getting a bit tired of wearing the same clothes over and over. Plus, it's nice to get presents! Some people in the hostel also gave me a birthday empanada with cream (a pastry this one filled with apple, can get different flavours though, usually savoury) yum yum and very sweet of them!
We did some shopping on a street called Florida and at the end there is a plaza called San Martin and we happened upon a ceremonious lowering of the flag at a memorial for vicitims in the Malvinas War. We happen upon things quite a bit actually. Also on the square there was a diabetes health awareness thing with some people doing aerobics and jumping all over the place!
There was one evening where we went to the cinema. We managed to select a film in english but there were bits
in Spanish that obviously weren't subtitled. Nothing too vital to the plot though so not to worry. And another film came out while we were there that Franki and Tracey wanted to see so they went to the cinema and I spent the day in the city in the glorious sunshine on the sunniest day we had been there so far with two girls I had met on the tube. It was a really lovely day and I went to the botanical gardens, which had lots of cats in for some reason and found a lovely rose garden and then we had some ice cream and some drinks. It was lovely to spend the day out and about and to meet new people, which I do all the time but I dont't often have the opportunity to spend much time with them unless you are on a tour. Went to a club that evening called Club 69 which had a transvestite show, it was really funny, by the time we got home it was getting light again - true BA stylee.
On our last full day in BA we went to La Boca where there are markets and arty
shops and people dancing tango and colourful houses and buildings. Also the home of the Boca Juniors football team and stadium, football is BIG in South America. It was nice, we had a nice lunch and wandered around the shops and stalls. In the evening we all had soem drinks in the bar and Tracey and I went to a jam session at a pub round the corner, it was very chilled out.
Our next destination was Santiago de Chile which is a very long way from Buenos Aires. About 20 hours on a bus far, a little less than 700 miles far. Anyway we coped, even without the image on the film. The man that didn't fix it brought us champagne in the evening and then wine and the three of us and him sat at the back of the bus having us a little (quiet because everyone else on the bus was asleep) party. It certainly made the journey more bearable! The border crossing was really pretty as well as it was up in the Andes amid snow-topped mountains.
Anyway, I know I am behind on these as I am writing this from Sydney which makes
me approximately 1 and a half months behind. Oh well, I'm sure you don't mind. Lots of love to you all, be safe in the snow! Jen xxx
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