MATT: I am going back a bit now as we have been a bit lax in keeping up the blog over the last couple of weeks as we have been super busy and in a lot of places with limited internet access...but anyway, after our amazing trip to L'Oriental Estancia in Junin, we returned to Buenos Aires for a few more days fun in this amazing city.
We swapped hostels to the much better America Del Sur, possibly the best hostel we have stayed in in S. America - super friendly, well equipped, good location in San Telmo district and very good rooms.
Saturday night is a quiet one, as we are tired from spending all day on the bus, but Sunday we have a great city tour planned, which takes us by bus all around the city to see the sights. Some of it we have seen before on our own wanderings, but the highlight is that it takes us to La Boca (you are not recommended to go here alone - we have met one guy who got robbed at gunpoint in La Boca) which is the poorest district but home to the famous Boca Juniors footbal club (Diego Maradonna's old home) and the famous painted houses of the poor people of the city. Their is a very touristy street in the centre of La Boca, filled with Tango Dancers and people selling argentinian artwork and trinkets and the vibe is good (but a little fake) but we are warned not to stray off this safe street, as tourists are pretty much fare game on the side alleys of La Boca. We are also warned that La Boca is strictly off limits to outsiders after dark. We see the real slums of La Boca as we drive out, our guide says that he is not supposed to take us this way and show us the slums but it is a real eye opener. People living in half built houses, burnt out cars, kids playing in the rubble and garbage...a proper slum. The surprise is that within about 5 minutes we are in the super rich, fashionable dockside area, where some of the flashest bars, clubs and hotels were.
The trip finishes back in San Telmo where the streets are full of Sunday morning makets, handicraft stalls, little restaurants and local Tango dancers, musicians, mimes etc....it is a lot of fun.
The afternoon finishes and we get ready for the evening...a trip to see the other football club of Buenos Aires - River Plate vs Club De Gimnasia. We are happy to be in the River end as they are cheered (roared and drummed) to a 1-0 win (after the gimnasia keeper chucks the ball at a River ball boys face and is sent off). It is a great night and a great experience.
Monday is spent wandering about and exploring San Telmo and the docksides further - eating more meat and sipping nice Malbecs...sweet.
Tuesday and our second wedding anniversary. We leave San Telmo for one night and move to a very cool boutique hotel (Hotel Bobo) in the very cool and fashionable district of Palermo Soho.
The afternoon is spent exploring Palermo and Recoletta and we plan to go to the Japanese Gardens (nice but not a patch on what we saw in Tokyo and Kyoto, understandibly) and the Museum of Modern Art, but after having a very expensive lunch there we find out it is closed on Tuesdays...we will have to come back tomorrow. So instead we wander about a bit then go back to the hotel to enjoy the luxury of not being in a hostel.
We have a very nice dinner at the hotel and, although we are the only people in the restaurant, we make the most of the cocktails, champagne and top class tucker...a great way to celebrate the occasion.
The next day, a bit hungover and tired we look forward to our last full day and night in Buenos Aires - we make it to the museum, wander about the shops of Palermo Soho (which Kel enjoys) and my best bit is seeing and roadwork crew having a huge meat bbq on the same fire that the are preparing the b****umin for the road.
Our last night is spent back at America Del Sur in San Telmo (where we are welcomed back like old friends) and we are up early in the morning to head for our flight up to Salta.