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Published: March 30th 2014
Cant quite beleive it has been over 2 weeks since I last wrote! Apologies for this. Partly due to being lazy and partly due t being busy and caught up in the moment. Those close to me have known I am alive and well though so not quite vanished off the face of the planet.
After over a month of living in hostels it has been amazing to have our own flat. We are situated centrally in a new apartment build on the 3rd floor in a studio style flat. It has the standard cooking area, living area with TV etc, then bed with drawers and so on. We also have a balcony with BBQ overlooking a large garden, and the building itself is host to a solarium and swimming pool.
For the first week whenever I could i spent a lot of time there but unfortunately things are a bit cooler now and there have been storms so you take the weather while you can! The first week was up around 26, now more like 23. Never thought i'd see the day I actually developed a decent tan, but I did, and now it is nearly gone! You
must develop some kind of tolerance to the sun, when I first arrived (though i suppose it was drastically hotter) I couldnt stay in the sun over 10 mins with no cream and not getting burnt, here I could sit for hours and get colour rather than being burnt. Aside from the storms and heavy rain the weather here has been really pleasant. Unfortunately the mozzies still continue to be the bain of my life, my prescription anti histamines are done and the other ones i had and th ones i bought here are rubbish in comparison. Not to mention expensive!
As many of you may know I have been doing some voluntary work over here which I really love. However it takes up such a large part of my experience I have decided to dedicate a separate blog post about all of it. I am definately living a double life here and couldnt be more aware of how lucky I am to live in the conditions i do, nevermind having enough money to travel the globe.
BA is a huge city, about 14 million out of the whole Arg population of 40 mil (and a big contry
it is!). I feel bad drawing comparisons to other cities because it is its own place, but for those who havent been I would say it at least looks like something between Paris and Barcelona. I guess due to the Spanish influence a lot of the arcitecture has its root there. Like BCN, it is a huge sprawl of grid style streets. Sometimes I find this confusing, other times easier. Everything is referred to in blocks, but at the same time it can be really hard to get your bearings. They have a metro system but for the size and hsape of the city probably not the best. It costs 45 US cents to ride though so no complaints. When I go to volunteer, I walk the 3k there and back (shocked faces all round). It takes about 45 minutes each way but its good excercise, free, I get to see the city and by the time I walked to and from each metro station to my destinations it would probably wind up being just as long. I have only recently been given the priveledge to get the bus (!) as in south american style everything is more comppicated than
it should be. In order to ride you need a card (like the Oyster in london) otherwiser you need to use coins. Coins are really hard to come by because the denomination is so small, you get a 2 peso note as well as coin (20cents) and they make it very difficult to find anywhere that sells the cards to begin with (of course not in the subway, why would they?!) I eventually found one in anewsagent and topped it up so really living the highlife now!
The same drama continues with the washing machines, you an only use coins (only one accepts both 2 peso an 1 peso coins) so we need to keep aNY coins we get through the week and put it into a jar until we have enough. We have a make shift washing line made from bamboo style large sticks we found on the balcony.
Not sure if I mentioned but we met a couple from here over in Rio and swapped contact details. They havebeen very kind to us and took us out on our first weekend on a sight seeing tour. We went by car and visited both things on the
tourist map and off it, with a typical argentine style sANDwich in between. Highlights included La Boca, the colourful street, the boca museum (you will see why in the pictures!) the flower, and various pretty plazas and impressive buildings.
BA seems to have been a hub of friends here, with both of us knowing people who passed through at some stage and meeting up over a beer with them. As you can only imagine, the amazing food certainly hasnt stopped here. There is a vast array of affordable argentine food and also from all over the world. Quite European in the sense you could eat what food you want - chinese, fast food, local, italian, mexican, etc. There is also a big cafe culture here where they serve the most delicious coffees alongside a biscuit and water to cleanse your palette. You really can eat like a king here, we havent eaten out loADS due to money but we have saved a bit with the blue market conversions so perhaps in the last weeks we can do more. I dont know how i'll cope going to Oz where everything is so expensive compared to the paradise and quality of
food over here.
Again apologies for delay, more to follow on activities and I hope you enjoy the pics.
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