The big BA

Trip Start Sep 23, 2010
Trip End Jul 13, 2012

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Flag of Argentina  , Capital Federal District,
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

23rd Nov.

Arrived into Buenos Aires at around 10.30am, then caught the Subte (tube) to the Garden House hostel where we were in time for breakfast, yay we like these hostels! We then chilled in our room for a while then had a quick wander around to Plaza de Mayo where it looked like they were setting up a concert. Feeling fairly tired (even though it was a luxury bus, it still takes it out of you) we headed back and picked up pizza for dinner as the hostel has an oven! After dinner we watched the film 2012 then got some sleep.

24th Nov.

Woke up fairly late and got up to breakfast around 9.30, then headed out towards Congress where surprisingly the national congress building is a fantastic looking building, apparently it is modeled on Washington DC's capitol building. This is where we saw one of many protests that go on around Argentina, (they seem to have a few) we then headed for Teatro Colon, (which by Rio standards is not that impressive) and on the way there we saw what looked like students covering themselves in paint and having a party on the edge of Plaza Lavalle. We then had lunch in San Martin Plaza where there is a memorial for the fallen in the Falklands (Monumento a los Caídos en Malvinas) guarded by 2 Grenadier solders and after our lunch we saw a changing of the guard. After that we headed down to Puerto Madero which was a working dock yard that was left to rack and ruin but is now a smart dockland with modern residential and business lofts, and has a few tall ships tied along the quayside. Rather tired from a day of sightseeing (it's a hard life you know) we headed back, via the shop to get some chicken for dinner, followed by a dodgy version of the movie Angels and Demons.

25th Nov.

Got up around 9am, we seem to have trouble getting up early in BA, must be something in the air, had breakfast then headed in search of cash and travel advice. So we headed to Avenida Florida to find HSBC (which like all banks we've found in Argentina like to charge P$15.98 (£2.50) per transaction and will only allow you to withdraw P$1000 (£158) at a time, which is a pain when you have a £300 UK limit so you have to make another withdrawal of P$850 (£140)  depending on what exchange rate you get and get charged again. After a chat with HI travel we headed to Cementerio de la Recoleta where Evita is buried, (you know, don't cry  for me Marge and Tina I mean Argentina). It's pretty weird going to a cemmetry but these tombs are amazing and huge, marble, stone and even glass, some quite beautiful and others quite hiddeous! Well after we found the old girl we headed back into the center for an ice cream, (passion fruit and coconut yummy) to get the Subte to a cheaper district where we heard about a good cheap hair dressers for a hair cut. P$18 (£2.85) each and a little lighter on the head we headed back to the hostel for a rest then showered before going out for a steak! We were recommended the restaurant Desnivel by the hostel and reading a few reviews on line gave it the thumbs up for being a good steak at an affordable price. I had rump with spring onions and Cat had hers with mushrooms, both with chipped potatoes of course and it melted in your mouth, it's true what they say about the Argentinians, they know how to do steak! We met a lovely couple from North Carolina, Cheryl and John, who we're hoping to meet up with again when we get up their way. Well and truly stuffed we headed back for a cup of tea and then bed, did I mention earlier it's a hard life this traveling lark!

26th Nov.

Did I mention trouble getting up here, got up around 9.30 and after breakfast had to pack our bags as we were moving rooms, we are now in Love, (they have names on the rooms) not with the room I hasten to add as we're on the road side and right next to reception which are pretty noisy! By the time we'd moved rooms it was getting on for lunchtime, so we headed towards the nature reserve stopping at a cafe to pick up some empanadas, (cheese tomato and oregano yum) which we have to say are the best we've had so far! We spent an hour or two at the reserve then headed into town to get some more money and an ice cream before catching the subway back to the hostel. After a rest we had veggie scrambled egg then at 9pm we we're collected by bus to our Tango show that we booked earlier. The show was pretty spectacular with plenty of costume changes and lots of long leg action and drama! We retired for the night just after midnight and tried to get some sleep.

27th Nov.

Woke up several times in the night as the room was quite stuffy and the noise from the road was annoying, so we got up around 9.30 for breakfast. Later we headed into town via our favourite cafe (Pizzeria La Moderna) for empanadas (this time ham and cheese) and then to the Retiro to book our bus tickets to Puerto Madryn on Monday. One thing we have noticed in BA is that on Saturdays there is very little traffic, to be honest looking around it was rather like a ghost town, until that is you get to Avenida Florida where all the tourists are! Heading back we saw yet another protest with chanting and beating of drums this time marching down the deserted streets, but also waiting patiently at the traffic lights, it all seems so organised here. We were meant to be having the BBQ tonight but as there was 20mins of drizzle this morning it was canceled until tomorrow so we had scrambled eggs again but this time with frankfurter sausages. We then settled in for the night with the movie Sweeny Todd, (which I didn`t realise was a musical) which was quite gory but also "bloody" good. Then to take our minds off the gore we watched another episode of Hustle and then off to bed with ear plugs well and truly stuffed in our ears!

28th Nov.

Up late again for breakfast (we`re glad they have it untill 11am here), ear plugs drowned out a bit of the noise so did get some sleep. At about 11am we headed down to Ave Defensa for the Sunday markets where we saw musicians playing and Tango dancers dancing and plenty of souvenirs to buy, so we didn`t hang around too long. We grabbed a slice of pizza from our favourite cafe and ate it in the park near the hostel then went back for a rest. Around 5pm we decided to get some air and go for a walk, but a few blocks away from our hostel we felt the usual splatter from what we thought was an air con unit from the balcony above so didn't think much of it. Strangely a man and woman suddenly appeared with paper tissues offering to help mop up the green vinegar smelling spots that were all down our backs and shorts. Having been told about stories of people being robbed using this method, I instinctly turned and kept a safe distance from our would be saints or assassins and Cat quickly did the same. We don't really know how innocent or not this was but we were not taking any chances, so we headed back to the hostel to wash off this stuff from our clothes. Tonight it's Argentinian BBQ night at the hostel which consisted of steak, sausage, chicken, salad, potatoes, salad (haven't had salad for so long) and beer! Well and truly stuffed we headed to bed around 1am, should get a good night after a few beers!

29th Nov.

Even though we didn't want to we got up at 9am, showered and had breakfast and then packed ready to to check out at 11am. We then chilled out in the hostel lounge until 2pm then we loaded up and headed to the Subway via the cafe for more lovely empanadas and onto the bus station to catch our bus to Puerto Madryn. Once on board we said our goodbyes to Buenos Aires and settled in to watch a movie, well we would if the audio worked, after several
attempts to reload the movie they got it working all be it quite low so you could only just hear some of what was said. On the journey we managed to watch The Hangover, Fighting and The Prestiege whilst enjoying a similar meal to the last one but no beer so I had to have Champagne instead, what a chore, then settled into to my seat for some sleep.
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