Sunday 6th May - Cordoba to Buenos Aires
A mere 10 hour bus ride journey and we were in the capital. Argentine buses have turned out to be rather frustrating as they continuously pull off the main roads and will take 10 minute detours into town centres to the bus stations to pick up one man and his dog, especially when you're paying $50 for bus rides that were costing only $10 in Bolivia. Anyway our first sight of Buenos Aires wasn't a great one as we arrived at the Retiro Bus Station which is seeping with scallys and trash but bus stations are generally not a good advert for cities and we were later to find out that BA is one of the great cities of the world, full of energy and character. The arrival at our cobble streeted hostel in San Telmo felt like we'd just got to somewhere in Paris.
Monday 7th May - Buenos Aires
We were almost sad to leave the Teircera Sur hostel which had a great breakfast and unusually friendly Argentine receptionists who invited us back for Mate but we had to go off to slum it at the $300 a
week luxury apartment we'd booked ourselves complete with gym, jacuzzi and sauna across the way. It was late by the time we were able to take charge of the keys but we still had time for our 1st home cooked meal in a long time.
Tuesday 8th May - Buenos Aires
We became well acquainted with both the subway and city buses during our stay here and with fare prices of about 35p and 20p respectively, put London transport prices to shame. A long walk up Florida Street ensued, the Oxford Street of BA but not a lot of purchases were had. If we got a pound for every Argie that barged into us we'd come home a lot richer than when we'd left. We had fun in the Carrefour when doing our weekly shop as the shop assistant refused to accept my credit card without a passport after finding out we were english, which meant spending cash. Cash machines here limit you to withdrawing no more than 70 pounds each time and charge you 2 pounds 50 for the privilege on top of whatever else you get done for by your bank which made this especially aggrevating.
In Argentina we've been asked many times where we're from with the answer repeatedly getting the same "oh" response, a sour face and then silence.
Wednesday 9th May - Buenos Aires
We visited the Recoleta district in search of the Hard Rock Cafe and for some coasters my ears had been chewed to death about. Arnie, Sly and Bruces old place was of course open but it would mean a return on saturday for the ever elusive coffee cup place mats at the crafts market. Recoleta is supposedly the most expensive and exclusive place to live in BA but personally I couldn't see the attraction and would much rather stay where we did in San Telmo which is dripping in charm and character.
Thursday 10th May - Buenos Aires
First stop today was a visit to the famous Cafe Tortoni, the oldest cafe in Buenos Aires, to buy 2 tickets for the evenings Tango show, followed up with a visit to the Seacat ferry shop to secure our exit from the country which meant dealing with yet more rude and unhelpful Argies. The Tango show at Cafe Tortoni was fantastic and well worth shelling out 40
quid for the tickets. Our cheesy waiter even managed to sell me a bottle of wine so I must have felt like a high roller for all of 5 seconds. We spent the evening watching our pirate DVD of "The Iron Lady", a slightly strange depiction of Thatcher as a jibbering old women who is dillusional with dementia which I'm sure an Argie would appreciate if they could pain themself to watch it.
Friday 11th May - Buenos Aires
It was time for a tour of BA so we set off in the morning in search of Congreso Plaza and our tour guide Gaston who provides free tours of the city. Barely 5 minutes had passed before I felt compelled to ask him if he thought they'd ever get The Falklands back to which he almost surprisingly and swiftly responded with No. It is a national obsession here and baffles me as to why he and others believe so adamantly it is theirs. Britain was the 1st and only country ever to colonise the islands after a few nomads had drifted through for 200 years and the people there firmly want to be aligned with the UK and
not Argentina. Until that changes they've got no chance. You never hear any Canadians whining about Alaska being theirs and they're connected to it by land! Anyhow, Gaston did a pretty good tour and we met some more annoying tourists who seem to lap up these type of occassions, in particular a really annoying kiwi girl who you could of easily mistaken for Goofy, another dog.
Saturday 12th May - Buenos Aires
The day had finally arrived for what now seemed like a biblical pilgramage in search of holy tea cup holder mats at the crafts market in Recoleta. I'm sworn to secrecy as to what we purchased but can say I managed to pay 4 quid for what looked like 2 delicious hot dogs but instead what turned out to be 2 red raw chorizos, one of which Stacie only a managed a nibble at meaning I got a big lunch. The vendor laughed in my face when I protested to him that he hadn't bothered to cook his sausages. Nest stop was a trip to the Presidential Palace, Casa Rosada, to take a look at puffy lipped, trout pout, Cristina's place of work and Evita's eponymous
balcony. The evening was spent watching Contraband, one of the most ridiculous, far fetched films I've ever seen, which I'd suggest a side step if ever you have the chance, unless of course you're a complete mentalist like John J Rambo!
Sun 13th May - Buenos Aires
Our last full day in Argentina would be a fairly quiet one, probably worn out after many miles pounding the streets and the exercise bike in the apartment. We had a good walk through San Telmo and visited the weekly antiques and craft market which is like a homing beacon for every yank in town, along with every tourist including us. Dinner involved eating all the leftover scraps in the fridge which was swell.
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