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Published: September 15th 2011
It’s a biggie.
Before our long bus journey at 3pm, we decided to go to the three frontiers. A place where you can see Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina at the same time. They are marked by an obelisk, painted in their flag colours. It was kinda cool.
We got our bus and it was pretty fancy with big seats that went back really far, for what we hoped would give us a good sleep. There was a Scottish guy in the seat behind us (Rob thought he was American, he really can’t place accents) which meant I wasn’t able to talk freely in the way I have become accustomed to. You see, most people don’t speak English and even if they do, they certainly don’t understand my common- as-muck, Glaswegian slang. So that is how I speak if I have something to say that you would usually whisper, for example, ‘check oot that guys troosers, pure mental eh’. So I had to go back to whispers for the journey. What I would have liked to have said out loud was ‘I wish that stupit eejitt wid shuv ee’s guitar up ee’s arse ’ . Anyways, the
journey was fine, we had paid for a ‘cama’ journey, which includes food and drink so we didn’t buy anything to take on the bus with us. The problem was, the service didn’t start til 6 hours in and we were starving! A guy came on the bus selling something bready in a poke for 70p. I told Rob to buy them and he looked at me like I was mental. He seemed to think the guy selling them was homeless and a bit special but I was starving and this would be the only opportunity to get some food. I opened the bag and bit into one of them. It tasted like really stale bread, it was minging. I swallowed what I had bitten off but rob spat his out. He then proceeded to take the piss out of me for being so stupid for buying them. Luckily dinner started to be served soon after this. First we were offered a wee sweetie, like some airlines give you for taking off, then a wee whiskey. Then we got our starter which consisted of some ham and cheese, a roll, some cold meat stew thing and crackers. We also had
a choice of drink (I got Pepsi).Then the hot meal came which was a meat paella type thing and a wee cake for pud. After that was polished off we were given a glass of champagne and a couple of macaroons. We also got a breakfast in the morning. All very nice. The journey went in fairly quickly as we both managed to sleep from 11pm to 8.30am.
We arrived in Buenos Aires about 11am and headed straight for the hostel. We got a bit lost but soon back on track. I really needed to go to the loo as I had avoided the bus loo that morning, so we were going as quick as possible with our packs on. It was roasting as well and I was tired, so when I tripped and went flying onto the pavement, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. It was a busy street and a lot of people seen this happen. To add to that, I really hurt my knee (I have a big bruise now ) and I know Rob was dying to point and laugh (he also told me later he was sure I would have pee’d myself). I got up and
carried on but with tears streaming down my face. We finally found the hostel much to my relief. I had had enough that day and even although it was only 12pm, I didn’t want to go out so just sat about the room and Skyped with Mum and Dad while Rob went and found a laundrette and got all the clothes washed.
After I had relaxed a bit, I was up for going out for dinner, so we decided to go out for a famous Argentinean steak (£28) which was lovely.
Next day we got up for our breakfast (which we have discovered only ever consists of bread and jam in Argentina) and out to get the tourist bus (£26). One of those hop on hop off dealys.
We decided to get a ticket that lasts 48hrs, go all the way round the circuit, get off near the end (Recoleta) and tomorrow do it again but getting off at the places we found the most interesting. It was freezing sitting up there with no roof, the sun was shining but the wind was ice cold. This coldness tricked me into thinking I didn’t need sun cream. BIG MISTAKE.
I am sitting here with a big red forehead, not face, forehead! So we got off at Recoleta to go to the Cemetery where Evita’s tomb is. This place is amazing (Louise and Billy would love it). It’s where the rich of Buenos Aires have a family tomb. They are like tiny buildings of various designs and extravagance. They have doors on them that you can look through to see the coffins right there in front of you. It was kinda weird but fascinating. Many of the tombs had clearly not been visited in a long time and were in a bit of a state with ceilings caved or dampness causing the walls to crumble. Some of them looked like an entrance to a bank with a big glass door and marble stairs that led down into the tomb. Many of them had 2 levels going down, with loads of coffins in them, generations of one family. The dates ranged from 1880 upwards from what I could see. We eventually found Eva Duarte Peron’s (Evita) tomb. It was what everyone was there to see. It is said she is two levels below and that if there was a nuclear attack,
her coffin and body would be safe, it is that secure. After her death, she was embalmed and displayed for a few years until Juan Peron was overthrown by the military and her body was removed. No one knew where it had been taken until they admitted it had been put in a tomb in Italy under a false name. Apparently the body was badly damaged during this time and may have been used in a disturbing manner by a military officer. In 1971 her body was exhumed and returned to Juan Peron who kept the corpse on a platform in his dining room! When he died, his third wife returned the body to Argentina to be displayed next to his and then finally buried in her family tomb at the Recoleta Cemetery.
Next day we headed to the Casa Rosada, this is the building where Evita made her famous speech on the balcony to the people (or sang ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina if you are to believe Andrew Lloyd Webber). We then headed on the bus to La Boca. This is an arty type area with brightly coloured houses, cafes and the tango being danced outside the
cafes. This is where we came across our first tourist trap/scam. A woman dressed in Tango gear stopped Rob and put a hat on his head and then posed with him in Tango stances while I was to take the pics, then when he was done she got a guy over, dressed similarly to do the same with me. It was a laugh until they asked us for $20 each (£3). We said no thank you and offered to delete the pics and they tried to make us feel bad saying things like ‘this is my work’. I told her she should tell people that they will be charged before they pose for pics. I guess we should have realised you don’t get nothing for free. Anyway, that put a dampener on La Boca and we realised the whole thing is just a tourist trap anyway, so quickly got back on the bus to the next stop. We went to see the Flor de Metal. It’s a big sculpture of a flower that open in the day and closes at night. We then walked to the Evita museum (£4.50). It was fantastic. I loved it. It was full of information
about her, footage of her and what I found the most interesting, lots of her clothes. They even showed footage of her body after it was brought back to Argentina, and you could clearly see her nose had been broken off and there were gashes on her head. There was audio being played over it of her sister, talking (as if to her) about how she couldn’t understand why they had done this to her. Apparently there was tar all over her feet and no explanation to why. I reckon the military that damaged her nose also tried to stand her up like a statue maybe. I have since learned that when Juan Peron died, his grave was broken in to and his hands were stolen along with his sword. They have never been found. All a bit screwed up eh.
There were lots of protests all over town today. I think its students protesting. They blocked off loads of roads and the traffic was crazy. When our tourist bus passed, some of the protestors that had their faces covered also carried police batons and waved them at us, some in a nasty way others where just waving.
Next day we were meant to get the bus to Cordoba but decided instead to stay another day in B.A and laze about the hostel all day. I still have this cold/cough thing and thought I should just lie about for a day. We did go to the bus station and buy our tickets for tomorrow though. Next stop Cordoba.
P.S Its been 2 weeks and we haven't stopped, not eating healthily but certainly less and I haven't lost a pound! Whats that all about!
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