DAY 20 – 25: 6th August – 11th August Buenos Aries
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The easiest way to explain my experience in Buenos Aires is by the following three phases: Buenos Aries; Buenos f***ing Aries and f*** Buenos Aires. These are the three phases I experienced during my four which turned into five days in the Capital city of Argentina. It is situated on the East Coast of South America with an easy ferry link to Uruguay.
I had travelled from Iguazu with the Irish guys, Richie and Joe we arrived at Buenos Aries bus station around 12pm, we then went on a mission to find the metro to get to our hostel Millhouse Avenue. Eventually we arrived at the hostel around 1pm, dropped our bags in storage and went to get some lunch. After we had been feed and watered we checked in and decided to go to sleep for the afternoon and meet that evening to go out for dinner and steak. We also knew two other English guys that were staying in the hostel called Austin and Tim so they were coming out with us too. We went to this restaurant just down the road that loads of people had recommended to us and they had amazing steak for 80 peso each (£11) we had starters, steak and wine with a lemon cello shot at the end and some sort of other shot they gave us at the beginning. In Argentina they have this policy: they will keep bringing little things to the table all night - none of this is free - anything you touch it gets added to your bill (dangerous when I'm out eating with four guys who want to eat everything because their so hungry). That evening we went out to a club it was about 100 pesos (£15) to get in and then we decided to buy a bottle of Vodka to share even though we were already drunk. That's sort of the last I remember from that evening other than getting the taxi home with Joe and Richie.
The next day I went on a walk to the Recoleta Market and Cemetery, best known as the resting place of Eva "Evita" Peron with a girl from LA called Joseclyn. The cemetery was created in 1822 and is huge -- with more than 6,400 mausoleums. Besides Evita's mausoleum, one that stands out is the one belonging to Rufina Cambaceres, who was buried alive (!) After her interment, workers heard screams coming from her tomb. Although, I do not enjoy looking at dead people at all the cemetery was pretty impressive but I still preferred the market. The market takes place every Sunday, and everyone seems to be involved. There were all the stalls selling everything from hand knitted jumpers to kids toys and paintings. There was also live entertainment in the form of punch and judy and a live band. Also walking along the street there were people dancing the Tango. Tango is the national dance here and people seem to do it at every chance they get. That evening we ended up going out again - that is really the only thing to do in Buenos Aries.
The next day I moved on to the second phase Buenos f***ing Aries. BA is like a drug it pulls you in and its hard to get out - all you want to do is stay in the city and party all the time its amazing. The clubs don't open till 2am they don't close till 8am its insane. On the Sunday I began to feel a bit ill from all the partying and had a cold before I arrived in Buenos Aries. I had the crazy dorm ever - there were 8 of us. Below me was an aussi guy called Mic who had been mugged a few nights ago (although I think he was just drunk and fell over) who had hurt is ankle but refused to go to hospital. There was Jocelyn the girl from LA she was cool and came out with us the night before. Then there was crazy Clay from America who drank Vodka at 2pm in the afternoon (this is what BA does to you if you stay to long). Three Brazilian people and another America called Ken who is so arrogant and hates poor people - I can't stand him. That evening we decided that we were going to go to a Chinese buffet and too a little local bar. The Chinese buffet was disgusting - although the boys liked it - maybe I didn't like it as Dad educated me very well on the Chinese eating front. This little bar turned out to be really cool we paid 40 pesos to in - but you have to spend this money at the bar so we ended up getting these 5 litre jugs of beer - amazing invention - should get them at the Union. So I quiet night ended up into another big one.
We had to be up at 12pm as we had booked into a city tour on bikes. This seemed fun at the beginning but it soon became evident that there was not much to see in the form of site seeing. We started at Plaza San Martin where there is an historic train terminal. The cafe in the building (Cafe Retiro) was a throw-back to 1915 with massive bronze sculptures and stained glass. The station also has a mint-green circular ticketing area with great architectural details. Outside the train station is the British Clock Tower and the Kavanaugh Building, a wonderful Art Deco building. There's also a memorial to the Falkland Islands. We then cycled through Palermo Soho neighborhood, posing with the creative murals and graffiti bringing a smile to our faces. We then ventured to Le Boca. Famous for giving birth to the tango in the numerous bordellos nearby, the neighborhood is now known for it colorfully painted buildings. The building were brilliant and balconies were decorated with large mannequins gesturing to the crowds. The area is great fun although we were cautioned not to stray far from the patrolled areas. The tour ended in Playa de Mayo, the political heart of the city. The square is surrounded by Casa Rosada (the Presidential Palace with Evita's famous balcony) and the Metropolitan Cathedral. The square was full of demonstrators supporting the students in Chile.
The bike tour was the end of me - this is where I entered phase three f*** BUENOS ARIES. I got the flu - I couldn't move it was the most ill I have been since I can remember - I had to spend an extra day in the hostel before I moved to Uruguay. So on the 11th August I booked my ferry to and from Uruguay and a bus down to Bariloche on Monday. This turned out to be a very bad idea.