Buenos Aires, Argentina

Trip Start Jun 07, 2009
Trip End Aug 23, 2009

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Where I stayed
The Clan B&B

Flag of Argentina  ,
Tuesday, June 9, 2009

We left sunny Honolulu summer on a Sunday evening and arrived to somewhat dreary and foggy Buenos Aires winter on a Tuesday morning. The two locations are separated by about 6,000 miles. For us they were separated by two redeyes, a 4-hour flight across the states, a taxi and sore backs. It was 9:00 am local time and 2:00 am our time. 

We checked into The Clan House B&B, which was basically an annex to the hostel by the same name but labelled a B&B since it only offered private rooms, no dorms. It's location, one block east of the Avenida 9 de Julio and two blocks south of the Avenida Mayo, made it a great jumping off point to see the central part of the city.    

Hoping to jump right into local time, and mainly because our room wasn't ready, we put  on some extra layers and headed out for a quick walk to get coffee. The walk turned into a 6-hour circumambulation of the central city that thankfully started with good espresso and medialunas (literally half moons but known to us as croissants) and concluded with Italian food and glasses of Malbec. 

After a few hour nap, we headed south a dozen blocks to the San Telmo neighborhood to find some dinner, by now we were pretty hungry. Darren was at Defcon 3. Some of you may be familiar with the Defcon rating, it is used to measure Darren's hunger and linked crankiness- Defcon 1 occurs just after eating and Defcon 5 occurs after about 12-15 hours of no food. Defcon 3 requires food to be administered within 15-20 minutes to avoid Defcon 4. After leaving the hostel, we walked around for another hour debating the merits of each of the 20 places we passed. We were finally saved from Defcon 5 by an amazing and cozy cafe with a 20-page menu full of great food; while hunger is Darren's weakness, deciveness in the face of multiple choices is Katie's, yet in this instance she acted quickly and ordered only after the waiter stopped the second time at our table.  Despite being 120 years old, the cafe had wifi. 

After dinner we followed a tip from lonely planet and knocked on an unmarked red door. As promised we were buzzed in and let up into an old apartment turned bar. It was a cool scene that probably got better as the night passed.  It was only 12:30 which is when the bar scene only gets started in Buenos Aires. 

When we woke up the next day, it was past noon. We got put of bed and geared up for an 8-mile training run through Puerto Madero and the Reserva Ecologica Costanera Sur, a beautiful park by the waterfront with a 5-mile loop. On one side of the park was a clear view of the city, another side was Rio de la Plata, and a third side was a power plant with smokestacks. This made the park a feel similar to the Indiana Dunes, natural but in the shadow of heavy industry.  Along the path there were tons of wild guinea pigs. Prior to this Katie had only seen these in a cage and was quite fascinated by them and took many pictures.   By the time we got back frm running and coffee it was after four pm.  That night we watched Argentina play Ecuador in a World Cup qualifying match at an Irish Pub- Argentina lost.  The next day was more coffee, more pasta, more wine and more walking. 
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