Futbol, faeces and finding Evita

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The darkness lasted till about 7am which was great, our hostel also is great so after our free breako of hot bread, cereal, fruit and very strong coffee we set off across town to the Recoleta neighbourhood – the well heeled live here and also are laid to rest here. While being a great neighbourhood of the elite it is also the home to the cemetery that houses Evita's tomb. We walked all the way there to take in as much of the city as possible. The cemetery was huge but the only advice from the book was 'follow the crowds to Evita’s tomb’ at 8am though there was not a crowd to be seen just a lot of cats (strange), or even another person for that matter. We asked a kindly workman "Hola, Evita?" and he steered us in the right direction. It was an awesome place a neighbourhood in itself.    The tombs were grandiose.  Our Recoleta tour ended prematurely as we had to be back for a hostel tour at 11am. Most people had just got up when we got there and we saw one of the guys from the quiz night who had just come in (yes at 11am) shirtless, they call it the ‘Milhouse Mash Up’ as people just stay for weeks sleeping all day and staying out literally all night, unfortunately this just isn’t in our budget though.

Quite amusingly I normally have a good close look at the Dangers and Annoyances area of the books to see what scams there are, but they generally are always the same now, I was keeping my eyes peeled all around to make sure we weren’t being followed or anyone was taking too much interest in us, that I must have walked through about 3 pieces of dig shit in my flip flops, indeed the lady confirmed that this is perhaps the biggest danger and annoyance in Buenos (Erica edit:  it was absolutely hilarious that Andrew managed to fall foul (get it) of the main annoyance in BA while obsessed with all the others). That said it is a great sight some of the professional dog walkers with I guess about 20 dogs all at once, it looks like complete chaos with some dogs having a bit of loving while another ones plop, then the guy tries to clean it up with three of the others play fighting, it is wonderful to watch. They sure do love their dogs here, but probably like a lot of the English not so much to bother walking them themselves!

We headed off to La Boca with the hostel tour group and were soon in the streets surrounding the Boca Juniors Stadium. We were told that the price of our tour included entry into the stadium but also a safe passage fee in and around the La Boca area which is apparently unsafe for tourists outside of three or four streets. All a little odd really. The stadium was pretty cool actually with lots of standing areas going up three tiers, we were there a little long though but I can imagine the atmosphere Rorie had with so many fans being able to stand so close to the pitch. We were in the section that young Rorie would have been in with the opposition fans over the top (unfortunately the matches are on a Sunday so we aren’t able to see one), I particularly liked the tales of just how much poo is thrown by the away fans on top of the home fans during every game (brings back memories of India), also the old classic bag of piss is thrown exploding onto the heads of the home fans, nothing like a bit of light hearted clean fun at the football!

We then headed off for a spot of lunch where we were met by a local chap who owned a BBQ place not far from the ground, let’s just say he didn’t look like he was a restaurateur traditionally looks (perhaps our safe passage money went directly to him.... that kind of nice chap you really wouldn’t like to meet down a dark alley). It was great though a huge piece of meat, a band playing tango rhythms and a fantastic salad.

We then wandered on towards the tourist area often flanked by young lads on bikes looking well dodgy but not really giving us any hassle. When we finally reached the tourist area there were lots of brightly coloured houses and restaurants with Tango dancers everywhere and the Diego Maradona lookalikey. We were told that the houses were painted from the remnants of the ship painters paint tins – the locals stole them to paint their own houses.  La Boca is the oldest area of Buenos Aires, it is where the first port was and where Tango was born.  All the scallies had walkey talkeys and just hung around smoking weed, they kept shouting “hey its Chuck Norris” at me apparently something about my beard, but it was all good fun (having checked the internet I do not really see any likeness what so ever except for a beard that is a bit gingery). I really liked the edginess of La Boca you felt it was safe but 10 minutes in any direction and you could have an army of lads on bikes with walkey talkies to relieve you of everything weighing you down and a good beating to match. I just loved the simplicity of some of them “pssss hombre there is a great photograph you can take down this alleyway I will show you if you like”, and that kind of thing.

Our guide from the hostel was entertaining to say the least, she could be quite direct and didn’t mince her words, indeed we were particularly amused when she was telling us just how passionate the Argentineans are and with her hand on one of the guys shoulders “you just cannot imagine how passionate I can be, we are all like this though, I don’t think you could cope with my passion”, indeed though I have never been to a country where public shows of affection (PSA’s) are so full on, you have people bumping and grinding on benches chewing the face off each other for about 15 minutes without a break.

We got back to the hostel at about 5pm and we feel like we are right back into the exercise, we must have walked about 15 – 20km again, we have managed to download The Apprentice so are avidly catching up on all the episodes that we have missed.  I was starving again and it is definitely cheaper to sleep than eat (bear in mind the Argentineans only have dinner at about 10pm), so we had an early night and missed the jamming session in the hostel.  We agree that this is a bit piss poor but it is more down to lack of funds than enthusiasm.
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Rorie on

Ya i remember trying to dodge the bags of "you know what" that were being thrown down on top of us when we are at the boca juniors game, and we werent even the home fans.

Hope ye get to squeeze in a tango show, you'll have to get your twinkle toes reputation back again stevo!!!

Stevie T on

Thanks for the email. Kids and Lin are fine. You are welcome back anytime, seriously.

Haven't read blog in detail yet. However, most of S.America seems to look like view from M62 to Leeds (Yorkshire end of course), enjoy!

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