Back in BA

Trip Start Mar 17, 2008
Trip End Jun 08, 2008

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Friday, April 4, 2008


Well our Patagonian adventure ended with a flight back to BA. Seems we got lucky, some of our group travelling back to BA had to endure a non-direct 5-and-a-half hour flight, ours was just 2 and a bit hours so we lucked out there! It was nice to be back at Cypress In - it´s become a bit like a home away from home as we´ve stayed there on 3 separate occasions now. We mooched around the Palermo district on Saturday afternoon and happended across a couple of markets, with lots of artesenal crafts, jewellery, artwork, t-shirts, clothes and leather goods. The park nearby was packed with families and children. BA loves its weekends - but then I gues who doesn´t?

After that we arranged to meet up for a couple of beers with a old uni friend of Gayle´s, James Marrison, who´s been living in BA for nearly 10 years, and is married to an Argentine who we didn´t meet and who´s name I´ve embarassingly forgotten. He´s working as a journalist, owns a property almost mortgage free (oh how we dream) in Belgrano and generally seems to have embraced this S American lifestyle. He cheerily told us he´s only been robbed twice, and that we should be vigilant to the dangers of ´kidnapping express´ - a concept whereby you´re bundled into a car and your loved ones have about 24 hours to stump up a couple of grand. Somehow this being our last night in BA suddenly wasn´t such a bad thing!!

After we left James we headed over to La Cabrera recommended in Lonely Planet as a must-go for steak. We had been there in the afternoon to book a table but my Nike shorts and flip flops clearly didn´t impress as I was made to wait outside while GB went to see if they had a reservation!! Surprisingly they were ´full´.

Anyway, undeterred we donned our best togs (well the only smart trousers and shirt brought with me in my case) and headed back, swaggered in like important people - and were promptly informed again, they were full. But such is the popularity of this establishment that we were motioned a few hundred metres along the street to La Cabrera Norte - an overflow with the same menu, same great atmosphere, slightly less pretence, and one remaining table for two...

Foolishly we ordered 2 main courses, and what arrived was the biggest steak I´ve ever seen and a chicken kebab for GB that was enough for two. Both were served on wooden boards with a selection of small sides all included in the price. The knives were enormous!! You´ll see photos soon, but in the meantime the steak itself (´ojo be bife´ (rib eye), cooked ´ugoso´ (rare)) was enough for 3 at Sunday lunch back home - only here it cost 8 pounds - yes really. GB ordered the wine and to my delight selected one at twice the price of those I was considering.

I ate the whole damn steak - it was sensational and easily the best I´ve ever had - so flavoursome and tender. GB was defeated by the last third of the kebab. It was a brilliant experience though - terribly greedy, but hey I might never come back here, so my conscience (spelling?) is clear. We waddled back to Cypress In, stuffed and whacked, but very very satisfied. Sleep was a naive pipe dream though, this was Saturday night in Palermo Soho, and if it wasn´t the American girls next door throwing up on the shared bathroom bathmat (GB lucky thing slept through that part thanks to her ear plugs), then it was the incessant partying, chatting and general revelry outside the window. It lasted until 5am. Suddenly I am aware of my advancing years, and envious of the young bucks.

Sunday began with a run, a long run - route determined by GB - which in fairness is always a lottery as she has admitted directions are not her strong point! In truth her route planning on this occasion was spot on - I suspect the length was for my benefit after consuming a significant percentage of cow the previous evening!!

Looking ahead to our stay in Mendoza, we´ve secured a couple of free nights at the red wine hotel having stayed so long at Cypress In. Problem is, hours before leaving BA for Santiago I noticed the red wine hotel is in the department of Mendoza, not the city. Still, 150 miles in a cab shouldn´t break the bank eh? Some panic surfing of identified Hostel Lao in Mendoza city at 10 pounds a night each so I quickly made a reservation as our taxi arrived to take us to Ezeize Airport for the flight to our next destination Santiago in Chile.....
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