Our first class cama experience on the long 20 hour and wet (James got rained on) bus journey was pleasant enough and we arrived only slightly tired to the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires. We had a problem getting into our apartment as our credit card just randomly stops working so after a lot of phone calls and sitting in a freezing internet shop we got our accommodation sorted and only had to sit in a café for 3 hours before we were allowed in. The problems didn't stop there, the heating didn't work and we needed it as it was about 16 degrees. On Sunday 17th James managed to go to watch Boca Juniors play and it looked as though it would be an exciting match, the last of the season. We had time during the day to go out and went to San Telmo where they have a great market (we ranked it number one market so far) which lines the streets. We got a few presents (yes Kirsty and Jenny some for you!) and some things for us, I got caramelised peanuts (dedicated to Grandy) but that was a dangerous move as I am addicted to them now. James loved the football match; he was even doing some of the chants, not sure if they were word perfect.
Monday in Argentina is like a Sunday in England, everything is shut. So today we went to a few parks in Palermo, our neighbourhood for the week, and then off to the cemetery. It isn't as morbid as it sounds, it is called Recoleta Cemetery and it is where the very rich and famous are buried. It has the most over the top ornate gravestones and tombs. The only famous name we recognised was Eva Peron-Evita and her tomb was one of the plainest, it did have a lot of flowers and the most people taking pictures. We hadn't eaten much yesterday so decided to try our first Argentine steak, I had the bife de chorizo which was delicious, I think we will be partaking in a lot more steak eating in this meat loving country!
The hustle and bustle of city life was getting to us so after a quick apartment switch, we got the train to Tigre. This pretty town is popular for Porteños (like ourselves) to frequent on the weekend, we were just so exhausted from the move and our hectic BA lifestyle we thought we deserved a day out! We went to the popular riverfront and took a relaxing one hour boat ride around the Delta del Paraná. There was not much else to do and after a short wander and a few pictures we headed back to Palermo.
Palermo is one the nicest and safest areas of BA and we were getting a bit fed up with feeling secure so we went to the most dangerous area, La Boca, got off the Subte, the most dangerous station and tried to find our own way around. We walked aimlessly around a piss filled park, couldn't stand the smell and I got a bit scared so we got a taxi to Caminito, the touristy area-phew. The area has been made safe and there is a big police presence that puts you at ease. The area was first colonised by Italian immigrants and all the buildings are painted different colours. They were originally painted in this way as they were too poor to buy paint so they used what was left from painting the boats. The result is brilliant, really vibrant, fun, great for artists (like James with the camera!) and now they are making money from tourists. We thought it was excellent and are pleased they have made it safe for everyone to enjoy.
The evening was dedicated to the traditional dance of BA, the Tango. The location was a fantastic old building in downtown BA. We had opted for the meal beforehand and had our first three course meal since skiing, I was stuffed. We had two Argentine couples sitting near us but two tables away was a loud, posh English woman who bore her friend with endless stories of all the wonderful places she has stayed. She did provide some entertainment during the dance as she kept nodding off, waking up when the clapping started and at the end of the dance she said 'oh how fabulous', we couldn't stop laughing, pretty sure she watched two seconds at the start and then tried, but failed, to stay awake for the remainder of the show. For those of us who managed to stay awake we saw some very impressive Tango moves, a little bit too much of some of the ladies, a guy who was awesome at swinging two bits of rope around, not sure what this is called but it was so impressive. There was an interlude from the dancing when a traditional Argentine band performed. They were really funny as one of them was the happiest man alive, the second was mediocre on the happy scale and the other two were off the misery scale, they were sooo miserable. It was such a good night, got a lot of work to do on our Tango moves but this has inspired us to keep pursuing our dancing talent. NB-We got a free bottle of wine with our meal; the Argentinians next to us didn't finish theirs so James did the honours!