Tango and Beef.

Trip Start Jul 03, 2009
Trip End Feb 02, 2010

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Where I stayed
Pax Hostel

Flag of Argentina  , Capital Federal District,
Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Flew into Buenos Aires (pronounced BWEN-os AH-res, with a quick tango step, CHA!) on what I thought was a bargain flight, wrong CHA!.... slight mistake in the old currency conversion CHA!, 100 dollars was actually 200 dollars, ouCHA! 

Never the less in Ar-HEN-Tina, land of the tango, land of cheap! About a gazillion pesos to the Ozzie dollar, Hooray!, I'm RICH!  Taxis and cocktails for EVERYONE!  Taxi to hostel to meet up with Ursula (Irish, infectious laugh, mad as a hatter) and Callum (from Manchester, funny, easy going bloke also mad with the hatter) lovely couple I met up with in Chile.  We get quickly down to the nitty gritty and get with the tourist vibe, checking out the various famous sites like the local cemetery - strange but true.   A pretty full on cemetery it is too, do not bother dying unless you have saved up for that twelve foot stone carved angel with matching cherubs, hello!  Manage to grab a photo of Evita's grave, smashing, you can never have too many pictures of a graveyard.  Just to add to the creepy factor we come across a few graves that could do with some touching up, like err putting the casket back in the hole.  I have images of some smart ass kid jumping out of one of these caskets screaming Surprise! in Spanish and the three of us getting carted off to the local hospital all hands in the air frozen with heart attacks.

Argentina, famed for Tango and beef, pass on Tango, hello beef, the three of arrange to go to a super swanky restaurant, naturally we turn up in flip flops (to the horror of some of the staff), but we are not phased as we have the power of the dollar and the pound, and money talks.  We are the first there at 7pm, because Argentinians normally start eating dinner at 10pm (eh?), anyways for the first time in my life I order the most expensive thing on the menu (which is like twenty dollars) and a super bottle of wine.  Prior to coming to the restaurant we get warned by other travelers not to order too many sides as there is a lot of food, however having a billion pesos to the dollar can be intoxicating hence totally ignore this advice and order heaps.  One hour and a bottle of exquisite wine later our mains arrive, Callum's meat gets practically hoisted onto the table, all 800 grammes of it! (Big hunk of beef like something out the Flintstones), Ursula and my beef arrives, as do our chips, salad, other mixed salad, potatoes, and the three arm sized TRAYS of sides that actually comes with the beef that the waiter failed to mention, with the other free vegetables and selection of nine or so dips.  The three of us are left gawking down at this five person table which has no space on it what-so-ever, covered with food.  Room suddenly stops, music halts and the other customers turn and look at us mouths parted - I can see it in their eyes, they are thinking "Look at those Fat Greedy Bastards" and ...they would be be right, if we could dislocate our jaws, stick in the Flintstone sized meat and sucked the lot off the bone we would have, Yum!  Two hours later we roll out of restaurant, TAXI!!!!!!! 

Next night I arrange to meet up with Alex, a friend that I met in Mexico (I keep meeting people that say "If you are ever in the country, call me" except I freak them out because I am and I do.  So, anyways we arrange to meet outside McDonald's in the centre of B.A.  Callum comes along with me and we are standing waiting for Alex, when all of a sudden Callum whacks his hand, "Fecking, mosquito".  "Callum" I say, "There is another on your face next to your eye", Smack! with his hand, one dead mossie.  He then thwacks my arm, killing one on me.  What then follows could be loosely described a German Slap Dance, both of us start frantically slapping ourselves and each other as we were getting ravaged by the little b*stards.  Several red hand marks later and a few curious looks from the locals (as we seem to be manically bitch slapping each other outside McDs), Callum spots a Drugstore and runs for it.  15 minutes later we are at peace, with a near empty scan of mossie spray in our hands, a new ozone hole forming above us and all the oxygen within a 10 metre radius replaced with DEET molecules.  Alex arrives with his friends, who look ...younger than I expected, very young.  Callum gives me a curious look, turns out every one is about 21, fab, Grandpa Boyd and the hip crew BUT itīs not as if we are going to McDonalds.  "So, Alex, land of the famous Argentinian beef, where do you suggest we eat", "Well, there is McDonalds here..." . We manage to guide our merry band away from the McDonald's and hit the hippest bars in B.A. instead, which turn out to be Irish pubs with English waiters who can barely speak a lick of Spanish (what is going on?).

A week or late we head off to Iguazu Falls which are simply the most spectacular waterfalls you can ever imagine to see.  Iguazu is the adults version of Waterworld except it is mother nature that soaks the crap out of you.  Hmmm, thousands of gallons of water pouring over these falls per minute, in the RAINforest, humidity very sticky, do you think that we would bring say an umbrella or waterproof because it might rain or be wet, NAH!  It is our holiday, its gonna be sunny, stepped off the bus and someone throws a bucket of water on me, wait a minute, no, in fact nobody there with bucket, that would be the rain.  Soaked, utterly, totally soaked, we all giggle at being drenched either by rain or waterfall spray. Luckily we get blasts of sunshine in between the rain,  the falls are utterly spectacular beyond belief.

Head back to Hostel, quick change and jump in Taxi, Brazil please!  (Iguazu has a border crossing with Brazil).  So what then occurs is the most bizarre border crossing ever, without getting out of the taxi the driver hands our passports to the Argentinian officer in the booth, who stamps them, he then drives a few metres and hands them to the Brazilian officer in the second booth, who stamps them.  We are in then suddenly in Brazil with our bags in the boot full of firearms, cocaine and several small children (ready for sale), well not exactly, but you think they might have at least checked that our passport photos matched our faces, nope, but hey ho, hello Brazil!!!!!! 

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the german on

Very good blog. Never laughed so much while reading a txt :-)
Would love to join you three. Crazy, but I still have the feeling that I belong to this group...

Demeter on

Ahh, John you bring back memories of being in Buenos Aires! Glad to hear that I wasn't the only one to get thoroughly wet at Iguazu Falls. Hope you managed to enjoy some of the local Dolce de Leche icecream - very yum and very bad for you!

john.boyd.123 on

Hi Demeter, must catch up when I get back!!! Loved South America, LOVED the red wine (way too much) and the beef and the ice cream, I am now the size of bus, LOL! Lets make a date soon! Cheers John

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