Thursday 4th Oct - Our last day n Buenos Aires ☹. However, the day didn't disappoint, the weather was glorious and we spent the day in La Boca with Jorge. It was a lovely walking around seeing all the bright colours, tango dancers, and looking through the old Italian migrant settlements. When visiting La Boca you can not miss visiting the "Boca Jnr" soccer stadium. We caught the subway into the city centre, then a short taxi ride dropped us near the river, the roads are really old cobble stone, I don't know now the women get around in high heal shoes, many of the younger women wear platform shoes and I'm still taller than some of them!
The main strip - El Caminito, is full of souvenir selling vendors, the buildings are painted in bright colours, and the structure of the houses are still kept to show, with an outside common area in the middle where the food was eaten and small rooms for kitchens & washing surrounding. There are tango dressed dancers offering photos, $10.00 Aus for a photo! for a local it was $1.00, we declined as we had one at San Telmo. There at lots of "tacky" sculptures of famous Argentines such at Maradonna, Evita and the Pope.
La Boca was first landed by Spanish in 1536 due to it a natural port, and it was a grimy shipyard with tannery factories. But an influx of Italian migrants from Genoa in 1830 gave its name from a take on "Boccadasse" neighbourhood in Genoa. They built shacks from scraps of tin and painted them with bright leftover marine paint to liven up the waste land. The Italians were soon joined by other immigrants from all France, England, Ireland, Greece and more. The factory and port workers would gather and dance the Tango, because there were more men than women in the settlement, tango was used as a form of street fighting to get the woman's attention, so the best dancers won the ladies hearts. The El Camanito strip was declared and open air museum in 1959 when it was revived by a local orphan artist who grew up in the area and wanted to save the history of the neighbourhood.
We found a great place for lunch, a BBQ Argentine sausage & veges with chips, Rob managed to pay using his "Peronista" visacard as Jorje called it! Then we walked a couple of blocks along an abandoned railway line to view the Boca Junior soccer stadium. Unbeknown to us Jorje would enquire with his local knowledge of mafia and unsafe areas, the best places to walk or which taxis to catch, it can be quite unsafe only a couple of blocks away from the main tourist area. Once at the stadium everything along the street is painted in the Boca colours of blue & yellow, once inside you can view a small museum and go inside the stadium. Talking with a cousin he said when it is full the place sways with the crowd, at one end there is a cage like fence for the opposition fans to be contained to keep team supporters separate! Our cousins support the opposition team "River" which are red and white, good job we didn't wear those colours!
We headed back to the city centre in a taxi and had one last photo opportunity of the famous Rose building in 23rd Mayo Plaza. We can across some women with white scarves over their heads kneeling at the at the Obelisk, Jorge explained they are mothers and grand mothers of sons who disappeared in the 1967 revolution, never to be seen again. They meet at this place every Thursday, it began as a plea for information on their sons, but now has turned very political. Very sad for the families not knowing. We headed for the subway for one last trip home.
The evening was spent having dinner with family, saying goodbye. Argentina has been a great experience for us, and the best part is sharing it with family. We hope to see them in Australia very soon.