Birthdays & BBQ´s in BA

Trip Start Jan 16, 2008
Trip End Jan 01, 2009

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Flag of Argentina  , Capital Federal District,
Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hello to you all,

Itīs been a while since Iīve done one of these, which usually means Iīve been having a good time....and to be honest, Iīve been doing just that!

I arrived in Buenos Aires on the 4th of August and had arranged to stay in my old pal Federicoīs place again in La Plata for a few days. The biggest thing about staying here is that I know Iīm gonna put on a good bit of weight. The reason being, that it has some of the best restaurants and bars in Buenos Aires. Namely La Cocina and La Bicicleteria. Both of which I took great pleasure in returning to. Another great point about La Plata is that it serves the nicest pint of Guinness (outside of Ireland that is!). I know itīs not very cultured and everything but I didnīt care! Iīd had my fill of cheap gassy South American beers that give horrible hangovers. I wanted something with a bit of substance! Iīd also forgotten how good Argentine wine was....the fantastic Malbecs went down a treat! It`s safe to say  I was well and truly full up for the four days there before heading into the big city.

I love coming into Buenos Aires city, especially coming up along Avenida 9 de Julio and you can see the massive Obelisk on the horizon. It has a great buzz about it and see all the sights again was a very nice feeling. Even getting back into the lift going to the 6 floor of Hostel Estoril felt very familiar. Once inside the door I was met by the very familiar faces of Eoin and Isabella! It was good to catch up with him again, even if was only about 3 weeks since he left. It took all of about 10 minutes before we got back into the usual habits of having a beer and letting everyone in the hostel know we were there! It took another 10 minutes to find some Irish people, mainly Joanne and Barbara from Dundalk who wanted some drinking buddies for their 1st night in BA. Who were we to refuse!? So the theme for the weekend was set on that 1st night back.

The next day we all decided to go to a district of the city known as La Boca, which is one of the more dangerous parts at night but a very cool and beautiful place during the day. Itīs fairly poor area and a lot of the buildings are made of corrugated iron and wood but all are painted in bright colours. Along the main street, known as El Caminito (The little stroll), it was alive with tango shows, live signing, outdoor restaurants and lots of people shuffling in and out of the tourist shops. Itīs a fantastic place, and one that I was glad to have seen this time round. I even got the pleasure of having a couple of photos taken with a very convincing Maradona look-a-like, who makes his trade from posing in the streets, all for a very small fee of course. A very enjoyable day all round. That night we all went to Manoloīs restaurant in the San Telmo district and tucked into our first steaks in BA, this time round! It wasnīt a disappointment!

Over the course of the weekend we would do more sightseeing mainly taking in a tour of the Bombonera Stadium and myself Eoin and Isabella were invited to a family asado in Federicoīs family home. As is the usual with an Argentine asado, itīs best not to eat for about 3 days beforehand. Plate after plate after plate of fine Argentine beef and pork were placed in front of us. Accompanied by the previously mentioned fantastic Malbec wine, and an after dinner shot of ice cold vodka. This is what I call hospitality at itīs best!! It took a while to get moving after wards as we waited for the food to digest, so the belts were loosened a few notches!

We decided to start the celebrations for my birthday a day early and headed to an Irish bar that night, but it was terrible so we went for a bit more local entertainment and headed to a salsa bar. It was great of course, apart from feeling completely inadequate at my (lack of) dancing moves. Still it was a great night all round and got the first of my renditions of Happy Birthday at 12.01am!

Nursing "slight" hangovers we decided the best thing to do for the night was head to La Cabrera, one of BAīs snazziest restaurants, that specialises in...youīve guessed it, steak! Given the condition we were in during the day, we all scrubbed up well and enjoyed another feast meat, wine, champagne, a birthday desert and another version of happy birthday. Another excellent night came to a close, and I had a fantastic birthday surrounded by some great people. 

And so after saying farewell to Eoin and Isabella as they returned to Sao Paolo, I set about discovering some more of the city that Iīd not seen before. Starting with Palermo, myself and Enrique did a long walking tour of the three districts that make up this area. In truth the place comes to life more at night time. Although itīs full of restaurants, bars and some very cool shops, it seems to lack the buzz and atmosphere that it has in darkness.

Over the course of the next few days, there was an influx of Irish in the hostel and for some reason I became some what of point of reference for them all. As soon as new guest arrived, Roy, the barman would automatically introduce me and Iīd take on the role of tour guide/information point! So I did a lot of the sights of the city on numerous occasions. As I am writing this, I have now visited the Recoleta grave yard 6 times....which is a little bit morbid to say the least! I also took in the amazing antiques market in San Telmo on a Sunday which was alive with people and stalls selling everything from vintage telephones to "I LOVE BA" t-shirts!

Just when things were starting to settle down and the Irish started to move on, Barbara & Joanne returned from a trip to Iguazu Falls and were accompanied by Jim and Eamon, whoīd been here for the weekend of my birthday. So needless to say it all started again with a long weekend to celebrate Joanneīs birthday. More cake, candles and nights out in Palermo were had. One of these nights ended with a member of the group (who shall remain un-named!) attempting to put an Irish flag on top of the the dome bedroom Iīm sleeping in. Needless to say it resulted in half the flag getting there before the person fell and nearly broke the air con unit! Oh well, at least the thought was there!

Having said farewell to Jim, Eamon, Barbara and Joanne, Iīm now enjoying a few days of relaxation and trying to speak Spanish again! I should be here until the 1st of September at which point I will make way up to Rosario for a couple of days, before heading to Cordoba and Mendoza for a few more days and finally arriving in Santiago, Chile, which will be my last stop in South America. Iīll fly out to New Zealand on September 15th. Itīs weird to think that Iīll be in a completely different continent after spending so much time in Latin America. New Zealand always seemed so far away, and I donīt just mean geographically, at the start of the trip and now itīs just over 2 weeks away. Itīll be hard to leave Argentina this time as I know I wonīt be back on this trip and maybe for a good few years. But onwards and upwards they say, a new place, and new start and some new memories to be made.

Until soon,

All the best




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kris on

hostel estoril
i´m on your heels jim.. just got into hostel estoril, nice place..

you on the otherside of the pacific yet?

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