Barrio Recoleta

Trip Start Jan 28, 2008
Trip End Feb 08, 2008

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

February 7, 2008; Day Ten...
Today is still Recoleta day.  In the previous blog I covered the Recoleta Cemetery; however, what came before and after that, you might ask?

For lunch we have Llama steaks in mustard and wild mushroom sauce! Unbelievable taste and texture. What we find wonderful here as in many foreign countries is the assistance the service people offer despite the lack of ability to communicate in each other's language. Except for Ottawa of course where service doesn't exist and no communications exist either; something to do with the populace still waiting for a committee decision or a Royal Commission on the meaning of service to the public - either by the public OR the private sector! Anyway, my point is that with a couple of exceptions, most countries try to assist but so far BA goes out of its way. In this case, in very limited English the waiter, 'Mike' (see Photo) offered to us the Llama steak as Le recommendation de chef or him.
We just understood the word that sounded like reko-mendo-dashion which of course if the same pronunciation in French, so not too tough for us. In fact, we left the whole meal choice up to him, I love it when servers do that. I think he was telling us that as Canadians we are probably used to the old adage that food depends on whether you have a cook or a chef: a chef is like a prostitute who prepares food anonymously for anyone who will pay; whereas a chef is like a spouse who do meals for people they know and love. And we should tell you that with the meal from this cook came the usual bread, rolls etc. (standard fare the western world over); however, the 'etc' this time was a piece of pizza-pie or pizza like bread, or dough that resembled pizza with cheese and onions and other 'stuff' in it. Just a wee bite it was.
One for each of us. But bloody wonderfully delicious it was if it was twice as good half the time as they say. We can no longer remember all the drinks we had on our trip, but again here we have the coffee. Nothing beats it anywhere, not Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Columbia Gold or Roach Platinum - this stuff down here is down-under great. The meal digests and in settling within, it asks us to remain seated, satiated and satisfied So, we are sitting over this cuppa and talking, just talking, and then more conversation without our lips even moving; we look at each other with smiles creeping up behind our faces when we didn't expect it; we are having a wonderful kind of fun, we nod.
One of the amazing natural sites in BA is is the Palo Borraco (drunken branch). Like something from a Dr. Seuss book, a thorny pot-bellied trunk gives way to twisting branches often laden with fat pink blossoms. One of these is shown under a previous blog .  The Ombu is not really a tree technically speaking, so the guide books tell us. It has huge limbs that extend high about but also grow parallel and close to the ground. Ombus form an otherworldly canopy of respite from the glare and noise of the city. Seeing them makes one think of a set for say Lord of the Rings. Similar to the Ombu, the gomero (rubber tree) is generally smaller and distinguished by fatter leaves.
As if one notices the leaves on these huge suckers. One is carefully walking in between the roots and branches, not knowing which is which and waiting to be grabbed and sucked toward a giant squirrel hole or sumpthin'. One thinks that - really.  The best known of these and as shown by photo here is supported by an impressive 24 stakes, growing in Plaza Francia, next to La Biela. It is 20 metres high and an enormous 50 metres wide. From the comfortable (see Ingrid nestled inside one) branches in its huge shadow one can observe buskers etc at the markets and pedestrians strolling into surrounding cafes. The rest of the photos following give an example of our promenade around the Barrio. It is large, comfortable to walk, relatively quiet, clean and the sidewalks are a darn site less dysfunctional than their ugly, battered and broken brethren uptown.


Enjoy as we did....(and do not hesitate to double click on any photo to see it enlarged)
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