Wrecked


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South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires
January 23rd 2009
Published: September 30th 2017
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I guess I have no reason to complain about my bed being too short - there was a Brazilian guy in the room who was probably 6'-8". He had to put his bed on the floor to sleep comfortably. If I have trouble fitting in the bed, imagine how bad it is for him???
Geo: -34.6118, -58.4173

I ended up sleeping in until about 9:30, since I had trouble sleeping last night. I had breakfast with Robert, the annoying American guy I met yesterday. He's actually quite nice, but is overly-chatty, with an overpowering type of personality. I think he may also have ADD, because he's all over the place with his conversation.

Off to La Boca - the metro line doesn't run that far, so I took it to near the end of line and walked the remaining 20 minutes or so. Some nice old guy noticed me looking at the map on the metro and commented "You can probably get a new map somewhere, you know?" when he saw how shredded mine was. He started talking about how he had recently befriended someone from Canada, but had no idea where they were from in Canada. Anyway, he was a nice old guy, and now that I've been traveling on my own for a little while, I'm once again becoming comfortable with my Spanish.

Walking over to La Boca - what gives with these friggin' sidewalk tiles? I stepped on one, and mud sprayed all over my legs, just like in Mendoza! Honestly, it's just weird!
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Lovely fountain in a park on the way to La Boca - it was actually surrounded by a chain link fence, to I had to stick my camera through the fence to get a decent shot.
There was a pretty nice park on the way to La Boca, but I didn't see much of it, as I was just there to wash the mud off of my legs.

The first stop was the stadium for the Boca Juniors - Maradona is a god here! I didn't stay long at the stadium, as I didn't bother doing the tour, and noticed Robert was there with a few others from the hostel. La Boca is working-class BA, and is supposed to be a more authentic neighbourhood - but not in El Caminito!

It's where all the souvenir shops and tango shows are found - a neat place to walk, but far from authentic. There were a number of restaurants to choose from for lunch, but I choose mine based on which restaurant had the most beautiful tango dancer - a great strategy!

The best part of the meal was the tango show - or more accurately, the best part of the show was Ileana, the stunning female dancer! She had that perfect combination of girl-next-door cute and stunning hottie that is so common in Spain. I think they were married - all I can say is Hector is
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Boca Stadium
a VERY lucky man! The dancing was actually also quite good, though not as acrobatic as what we saw at Tango Complejo as part of the GAP tour.

It was a long, hot walk back through San Telmo - I tried looking for the store where Ranjit bought his Maradona "Hand of God" t-shirt, but couldn't find it. D'oh! Had it now been another scorcher, I would have wandered around until I found it, because I remembered that it was just off the main street.

Back to the hostel for a siesta, where the weirdest thing happened to me -I'd been feeling dehydrated and wrecked all day long. When I got back to the dorm, I ended up having this full-body cramp - stomach, chest, quads ... the only thing I could do was lie down and cool off, until they went away. Bizarre ... I sucked down some water and lay around, doing absolutely nothing, for a bit.

I noticed that the dorm room has odd electrical plug-ins, not the European-style ones found in Chile and other parts of Argentina. I think they're the Aussie-style ones, and you need to borrow an adaptor from the front desk unless you happen
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El Caminito is known for its colourful buildings - all in the colours of the Boca Juniors, of course!
to have Aussie appliances. Come to think of it, the Hotel Waldorf in BA had the Euro-style plug-ins, so maybe it's only this hostel that's odd?

The Dutch guy staying in my room absolutely REEKS - he's wearing the same clothes as yesterday, and his towel is absolutely disgusting. Even when he's not in the room, his towel is hanging off of his bed and is giving off a putrid odour. I'm not exactly sure why his towel might stink, because he smells like he hasn't showered in about a week or so!

Back to Palermo for dinner - I saw an intriguing restaurant near the main plaza the last time I was here. I have almost no cash left, but I couldn't find an ATM anywhere in Palermo, even though I had walked 8-9 blocks to the plaza. Very strange, considering that it's a big cafe/bar/restaurant/shopping neighbourhood. A waiter pointed me to the nearest ATM, which ended up being at a service station four blocks away from Palermo's main street.

I arrived to find that the ATM had no cash - this shouldn't have been all that surprising, given that it's the only ATM around for blocks! It ended up being
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The Boca Juniors walk of fame.
a comedy of errors - getting to the service station required crossing the train tracks, and of course I got stuck waiting a while for it to pass, and got dirt blown up in my face as I waited.

I started walking along the train tracks, hoping to find another ATM, but with no luck. By this point, I had wandered quite aways from the restaurant, and decided to look for another place to eat. Had I known that finding an ATM was going to be such a fiasco, I would've just put my meal on credit card and paid whatever extra the restaurant would've charged me for doing so. The whole thing ended up taking 30 minutes, and I still had no cash in hand!

I came across a Southeast Asian restaurant recommended by the guidebook - the menu didn't look too inspiring, so I crossed the street to Soberbia, a rather upscale-looking restaurant. I was so wiped out that I didn't care at that moment, but as I sat down, I wondered if it was a mistake - it was just after 9 PM, the start of dinner hour in BA, but the place was completely empty. Hmmm ...

Luckily,
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And of course, Maradona's star.
the meal was great and after, I was absolutely stuffed, unable to finish even half of the spinach - there would definitely be no dessert tonight! And the damage? Something like $14 CAD, including a glass of wine, bottle of water, tax, and tip! This would've been $65 CAD back home, easily. It was a nice night to sit outside ... my last full night of the trip ... sigh ...

I ended up catching the last metro of the night - the cashier was already closing up, so they just waved me on through. Normally, I would've just walked, but my body obviously wasn't complying tonight, and I didn't want a repeat of that earlier full-body cramp. I was actually quite surprised that I walked around looking for an ATM for 30 minutes, without having any additional problems.

Back to the hostel, for some free internet before bed - they installed a bunch of extra computers today, so the wait is no longer as bad. Robert was annoying some other users - I don't think he's ever used a computer before, because he didn't seem to have the slightest clue of how to check his email. I'm guessing somebody back
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Some more Maradona ...
home set it up for him, because there was no way he could have done it himself. He kept asking this one guy "Where's the 'H' key? Where's the 'O' key?", and things of that nature. I'm just glad that it wasn't me sitting next to him, because I have absolutely no patience for stuff like that!

Back in the room, there was an Argentinean lady from Mendoza - it sounds like there was tons to do around Mendoza that I missed out on. She was a nice lady but we didn't chat for long, since she had an early ferry to catch and I was so wrecked.


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... and a little bit more Maradona, for good measure!
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Neat mural just outside of the stadium.
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Monument in a plaza in the heart of La Boca.
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Lunch - I was given some horrid, dry, tough biscuit-like bun to start - it resembled some of the truly crappy buns you find in Chile. I finally tried a licuado - I've been avoiding dairy for a little while now (except for gelato) after suspecting that it was giving me some stomach problems. But since the trip is ending, now is the time to try - orange and peach, it was excellent.
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I didn't feel like spending much on lunch, so I ordered some cheap pasta - capeletti, a lot like tortellini, it was stuffed with chicken and cheese and was served in a tomato sauce. It was quite hard at the point where the pasta folded over and joined back on itself, and was a pretty bland dish. An average lunch, but filling.
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I wanted to have some fruit salad for dessert, but there were out, and the only other fruit options were canned - I stuck with having only a cortado.
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The lovely Ileana, and Hector. Honestly ... who the hell even cares about Hector? This was my first attempt at getting a shot of the beautiful Ileana's face - unsuccessful.
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Take two - still unsuccessful.
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I tried several more times, but finally gave up and just asked them to pose for a picture when they had a free moment. Better, but still not a great shot.
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One last time - and still, not a great shot. I finally gave up, though I wanted to shout "Damn it Hector, get out of the way so I can take a decent picture of your stunning wife!"
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The map that the old man on the metro had earlier commented on. Navigating with it was definitely a challenge, as I had to put it back together like a puzzle each time I needed it.
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Dinner time: I was brought a large basket of bread - the variety was great, but the bread it self wasn't, as it was pretty dry. The slightly sour whipped butter was good, and there was also a selection of grilled veggies marinated in olive oil, and some dry roasted potatoes. The roasted red peppers were good with the bread, as the flavour was great, and it made the bread taste less dry. The malbec I ordered was a little too harsh for my tastes. Funny - even though the bread wasn't good, I couldn't stop eating it - good or not, I still wanted to try every type they had. The best part of the bread basket ended up being the crackers and bread sticks.
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I originally wanted to get some grilled veggies as a side dish, but opted for the spinach gratin after seeing the grilled veggies come out with the bread. The dish of spinach was huge, and could've served three people as a side. The parmesan sprinkled on top didn't really melt, but turned crisp and flavourly - the spinach rocked! I wanted to order a t-bone, but the waiter suggested I go for the rib-eye, instead. I've been asking for the steak to be "a punto", which is more cooked than I would normally like, but it always seems to come out so juicy and tender that I've kept on ordering it that way. It was a beautiful cut of meat, served with both chimichurri and criolla. The criolla ended up being a much better accompaniment to the steak, as the chimichurri seemed to be lacking salt and was dominated by herb flavours. The steak seemingly melted like butter when I put it in my mouth, and had a perfectly-grilled outer crust, which provided a slight crispness to the steak, and a great charbroiled flavour.
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Just friggin' nasty - OK, lots of people staying in hostels do some laundry in the sink, and hang it to dry somewhere in the room. But WTF is this??!!??!? Sorry buddy, but if that's how your undies look, you don't need to wash them - you should burn them!


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