Fabulous Buenos Aires

Trip Start Feb 21, 2006
Trip End Sep 11, 2006

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Monday, April 3, 2006

Oops, been a while since we updated this, have a bit of catching up to do! I think we left off in Uruguay eating BBQ´d prawns... well the next day it was time to move on and unfortunately we woke to torrential rain. We waited for a while for it to stop but when we couldn´t wait any longer we put on our raincoats, loaded ourselves and our packs onto our bikes and headed into town - a rather amusing sight we were! From the bus we could see the fields were flooded almost as far as the eye could see and then our bus broke down - or was flooded, we´re not really sure as our Spanish wasn´t quite up to the explanation - but after many, many hours we arrived in Colonia, right across the river from BA.

Luckily the next day was perfect which gave us a chance to explore the town. It is such a fantastic place! Beautiful cobbled streets, lovely old buildings, a gorgeous plaza that reminded me of something in Italy but with palm trees, an old port that was used by the Portuguese for smuggling contraband into Argentina, funky little restaurants including one that had a vintage car outside that you could eat in - and hardly a soul there! We almost had the place to ourselves in the early morning (which in south america means any time before 1pm - very civilised).

The next day it was back to Buenos Aires to actually try to see some of the city and attempt to learn some Spanish. We spent the first weekend staying in Palermo which is a lovely suburb with a cool market, lots of trendy bars and restaurants and the BEST shopping - funky little boutiques with all the clothes that are in style in London and everything was so cheap! Needless to say, there´s a package of clothes on its way back to NZ and our wallets are a bit lighter...

On Monday we moved to the "legendary" Milhouse Hostel and started some Spanish classes. It was a bit stressful trying to pay attention for 2 whole hours after a month of cruisy travelling (I think my brain actually hurt after my private lesson) but it was definitely worthwhile. In the evenings we checked out the local buffet (all you can eat for just over 2 quid!), caught up with some friends from Rio and watched a tango show at the oldest cafe in Argentina.

After 3 days at the Milhouse we were driven out by the non-stop drinking and the groans from the adult cinema that drifted up to our room at all hours of the day and night, and moved around the corner to our favourite hostel so far (if any of you are ever in BA the Clan is a fantastic place to stay and hang out, it´s one of those places with such a good atmosphere it´s hard to leave). Did some more classes and some sightseeing - one of the craziest sights we saw was the Recoleta cemetery where Evita is buried, and where the rich and famous dead of BA rest in peace in ostentatious mausoleums that are built together in blocks separated by pathways, almost like a mini-town. On the weekend we finally made it out clubbing - went to Pacha and danced the night away before watching the sun rise over the river - thank goodness for sunglasses. After a day to recover we took the opportunity of a quiet Monday to leave the city before getting stuck there for another week, and headed to Mendoza in search of wine and chillout time.
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