Buenos Aires (Last stop in South America)

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September 3rd 2010
Published: October 23rd 2010
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We arrived from Mendoza on a not so great LAST night bus no films, pretty crap food and not very comfy seats but at least it was our last.We got off the bus and headed to the Subto (the subway) with our instructions on a piece of paper on how to get to Millhouse. You could tell Buenos Aires underground is one of te oldest in the world, it was run down, old and dirty, although we still felt reasonably safe.Millhouse hostel was very easy to find from the instructions online and you could tell on arrival why it had such a good reputation, the staff were friendly, the bar area was cozy and there were alot of young travellers hanging about. The first dilemma i had to deal with was which football game to see while in Buenos Aires. There was a local derby on that coming Saturday Boca V San Lorenzo or an international friendly Argentina V Spain the following Wednesday both were 250 pesos so we could only afford one which meant a hard decision. We still hadn't managed to get a guide book for New Zealand so decided that would be our first aim. We had been told about a bookshop called Walrus books owned by an American that was meant to be good so we headed there, he had a huge selection of good English books but no new Zealand guide books, although he did point us in the direction of the big book shops on Florida street. Before hitting Florida we stopped in at an Irish bar getting a pint and some advice about buying tickets for the football, we got told unless we go with a tour it's very hard to get Boca tickets.Florida was a typical big city shopping street lined with McDonalds, Burger King, numerous banks, coffee shops and clothes shops not to mention the constant row of street sellers down the centre of the street. As both of our trainers were getting thin on tread and falling to pieces we were both looking for walking trainers/boots aswell as a New Zealand guide. We both found pairs we liked and although they were the same price as the uk we agreed they were essential, but didn't end up buying them and continued to look for the book. After what seemed like 50 books shops and 3 hours later we gave in and headed back to Millhouse for a cuppa soup, warm bread and a few beers with Ian a guy we met on the nightbus from Mendoza. Day 2 (Futbol) Still undecided about the football I asked for advice on Facebook and the answer was unanimous, BOCA! I signed me and Hollie up an hour before we got picked up to go. I had the usual few drinks in the bar before football then hopped on the bus with Hollie and half the hostel to La Boca. The tour stopped at a shanty house half a mile from La Bombarera where we bought our Boca shirts, painted our faces, had a few more beers and tucked into a lovely BBQ'd sausage sandwich before marching off to la futbol. You could hear the atmosphere grow louder the closer you got to the stadium, we got the common police search then headed up to the middle tier. Almost as soon as we arrived we knew we had away fans above us mainly from the piss constantly being thrown onto the 1st tier from the top tier, luckily we were undercover so didn't feel a drop. We arrived an hour before the game just so we could sit/stand together and I was hoping like the Maracana we could have some beers, but there was a strict no alcohol rule within La Bombarera. The only atmosphere that comes close to when the players ran out at Boca was the two cup finals I've been to at Old Wembley, it was way louder than Eindhoven but mainly because the real fans don't get enough tickets at European cup finals. The flares and constant Hitler esk throwing of the supporters arms was amazing to see and didn't stop for at least 20 minutes into the game. Unfortunately like the Flamengo game the match itself was crap, the only thing that I found more and more astounding was the worse the team played the more the Boca fans supported them, it was awesome to watch English fans need to take a page from the Boca book. The game finished 2-1 to San Lorenzo and the Boca fans from the middle tiers (die hard fans) had to wait 40 minutes before they were allowed out, which was annoying in my opinion it should be the visitors that wait. After going to the supermarket on the way back to our hostel to pick up lunch, we drank at the bar with Ian and a few others before heading out. Although Millhouse was good the atmosphere wasn't even close to Loki and there was only a group of 5 of us who went to the club, losing each other nearly as soon as we got in there. The club reminded me of the club in Cusco and I soon got sick of struggling to dance or move at all and with only enough money to get back me and hollie headed back to Millhouse only spending 2 hours in the club. When we got back to Millhouse we ran into Collia an American who had came out with us, he had headed back because two young lads had robbed him at knife point just outside the club. We asked him if he wanted anything then left him sat alone in the courtyard. Day 3 (Market Day) We got up and headed to the Argentinian version of Go outdoors where we had saw the walking trainers a few days before. Hollie bought some Merrells and I bought a pair of Solomons, probably abit too trainer like but I had learnt from my previous pair that comfort is everything. On the way out of Millhouse we had seen a board saying a massive Market was on at Recoleta and as we wanted to see Evitas grave anyway we decided to kill 2 birds with 1 stone and head there today.The Market was very impressive selling eveything you can imagine, also providing entertainment with a number of bands on, along with the Brazilian no contact martial arts group, jugglers and some aerial ribbon gymnastics. Recoleta Market on a Sunday was the best attraction in BA to me apart from the football. We spent about 4 hours there then walked back to our hostel for what we hoped would be a busy night at the bar. Every night upto the sunday night was pretty much dead at the bar but because not many clubs were open on a Sunday people had no choice but to stay in for open mic night. I wasn't so much of an open mic night but more of a band night because the band were so good no one wanted to follow/interupt them. We had a few then headed to bed just before the band finished, asking around if Collia was OK but no one had seen him, so we think he might have checked out early and moved on. 6-7th Sept (best meal in south America) The 6th and 7th pretty much merged into one another with me and hollie walking around the parks of Palermo on the 6th and walking around the Abasto district and the huge shopping center the 7th. We decided to change hostels on the 6th to get a cheap double to chill out before our flight to Auckland, also because we weren't overly impressed with The Millhouse. I think we booked into the wrong one and would recommend the newer Millhouse Avenue if I was wanting a lively hostel. The main thing that sticks out in these 2 days was LA CABRERA we had heard about this place 2 months earlier in north Peru and I now know the reason. I decided to shave off the tash and beard combo I had been modelling as we had heard it was a posh place and suit up in my smartest silks. We got the tube to Palermo then walked the 10 blocks salvating over what to get. As hollie doesn't like much meat I thought we would have a problem at a steak house but hollie described why she didn't like meat (very funny to hear) and the waiter was brilliant choosing both of our dishes for us. At first I was disappointed with the size of my Dry Age Tenderloin steak but when they had finished bringing the trays of condiments and sauces and I finally bit into it all I can say is HEAVEN. I knew right then I would never eat a steak as good as that in my life it was cooked to perfection and simply delicious. The waiter had also done the job on hollie convincing her to eat Pork Flank with her thoroughly enjoying it and even liking the very small piece of steak I give her to taste. We finished off the meal with an Apple and Cinnamon tart with ice cream he headed on our way back. The meal cost 200 pesos for a big bottle of Heineken, a glass of wine, the best steak in the world, pork flank and desert, not bad for 35 quid. Last day in South America (8th Sept) We decided the best way to stop the airport day dragging was to fill the day up. On the morning we checked out our hostel leaving our bags under the stairs and grabbed the bus to La Boca.La Boca was nice to see, an artist area in a run down neighbourhood with buildings painted all different colours. Although it was nice it only took an hour and a half to look round so we got the bus to the palace where the famous scene from the film Evita was shot on the balcony. We sat and chilled there an hour eating some caramalised nuts then headed to a book shop near our hostel for our last hope of a New Zealand book. The guy behind the desk had got us one delivered from the warehouse so we could finally start planning our New Zealand itinery. As we were now on our 6th day in BA we had done more than the city had to offer and were bored so we headed to Millhouse to chill hollie reading up on NZ and me catching up on my blog. After 2 hours there we needed something to do so we headed to the cinema to watch Salt. It was quite a good film actually and I enjoyed it aswell as hollie.After the cinema we picked up a quick meal, grabbed our bags from the hostel and jumped in our pre booked taxi to the airport. Ignore all the earlier mentions of the worst taxi drives ever this taxi ride beat them by far. The taxi driver drove like he didn't have brakes if we couldn't over or undertake a car at high speed he would approach them at high speed beep and flash his lights for them to move then swerve when they didn't. Hollie couldn't watch after the second time he locked up his brakes putting her hands in front of her eyes. He was punctual getting us to the airport 20 minutes before our check in opened reducing a supposed 45 minute ride to a 25 minute one. The airport was same old same old overpriced everything followed by 2 hours of nothing to do. I have thoroughly enjoyed South America and I will definitely miss it but I am looking forward to an English speaking country and the freedom of our own campervan. BRING ON NEW ZEALAND!!! Muchos love Brown

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