Southern Belles

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

As it had been a while since I made any plans of my own, I decided to take the afternoon and form some. So I walked the short distance to Nueve de Julio (multi lane carriage way, street) and sat on a bench in the shade. I diligently went through my travel guide for some time.

Having arrived in Buenos Aires my only plan was to be in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on the 28th of February. Between those times my intention was to go through Bolivia and up to Peru before reaching the south of Brazil on route to Rio. Salar de Uyuni (Salt Flats) and Machu Picchu (Big Mountain) were the big stops whilst the furthest point would be Lima. I figured that should work out in two months. I used today as time to research the route and where else I should stop. Flights were a tad expensive so my only option would be buses. 

A spanner in the works would that I gravely miscalculated the time going from one city to another. Mistakenly using England as an example, I figured journeys would be short, in the four to eight hour range. When I read overnight buses are a regularity and on average a journey would take twelve or more hours, I was shocked. In hindsight I should not have been but somehow the fact that Argentina 'dwarfs' England escaped me. With the fact that I would have to sacrifice a full day in mind at a time, suddenly the route looked difficult to manage. Added to that, with the idea of undertaking Machu Picchu from the middle of January to the start of February; that during the latter it is closed. I therefore thought of going to Cusco first by a flight. Again I became dismayed at flight costs. I then calculated time on buses which would be many, many days. The mere thought of being on a bus for that time, sends shudders down my spine! On a last note, I researched going city to city via buses through Argentina, Bolivia and finally Lima, Peru. It would not work out as I probably would not make it to Cusco before February. In addition, I would need to get a flight from Lima into Brazil and that was not in the budget. After a while, disheartened, I merely looked at a nearby fountain and watched traffic. Nothing definitive would be worked out today. (If you saw me staring intensely at a map mounted on a wall in Estoril around this time, this is why).

In the evening time, with William and Robert (Australian), we lazily drifted next door to Continental for dinner. We were getting 'take out' empanadas and pizza to consume on the terrace. After placing my order I spotted the English chick from Milhouse at a table with her friends. Undeterred I went over and casually asked her out for a coffee with or without her pals. A lukewarm response was received, so I talked a tad more and in time bided her goodbye. (That was the last I would see oh her and due to the next few days a few things made me totally forget about her. Added to that, I had a better time with other people and do not rue a thing).

As we returned to the terrace, we passed through the living room. Heidi, Amanda (the Southern Belles as I called them) and Marcos (Argentinian) were there. They invited me out with them and I thought why not? Of course, never one to stop consumption of hot and tasty food, I stated “in time”. Later as the girls were getting ready I chatted to Marcos. It was at this point I thought of doing the same but did not. When they were ready, I regretted my decision. They were looking pretty good in dresses, (don’t ask me what type, I do not know). In relation to their appearance, my contrast would have been a shirt, trousers and shoes. None of those items were with me. Thankfully Marcos had reassembled my dress sense and we were set.

For a while we stayed in the living room but I am unable to recall what we talked about. All I can ‘picture’ is flashing the ‘Ronaldinho hand sign’ and holding a bottle of coke. I am unable to say more because of sleep deprivation. Late, late into the evening the way was made to Plaza Serrano, Palermo. The first bar we headed to was really nice as it overlooked the square and had an open view, (no windows). Tired of beer I asked Heidi to surprise me with any drink. I received my first ever Mojito; not bad.

Amanda was adamant to grab pictures of us all. Always happy to pose, this was not a problem for me. Giving her camera to a nearby waiter, he captured the moment and asked in Spanish if it was ok. Amanda said it was good but just out of earshot she told us it was not. He heard this and was not amused! Therefore we each took it in turns to snap a few pictures until we asked another staff member for a group shot. This time it was a good picture.

We moved onwards to a nightclub that was nearby. The girls would not let me get them a drink. By my count they had bought me three up to then. Nice gesture but one I was uncomfortable with. Amanda was accosted by a few admirers until Marcos stepped in. Speaking Spanish was an advantage here and given the fact most guys could tango, I was on the back foot. Still as there were only a few women around, who cares? (This was at a time I could dance but not on a great scale. Nowadays Reggaeton is more my thing but I can still move in other overtures).

It did not strike me until Marcos and Amanda were dancing together; was this a double date? I had no idea so I danced with all and drank some more. Strangely again as we all wandered outside for a break to cool down, I smoked again. Why was I not declining the offer of a cigarette? Was this more of a social thing? I guess it was and proof I was not in total control. For a little while longer we danced and being a tad ‘tipsy’ I hit ‘The Situation’ (Jersey Shore) pose. This was lifting my shirt to showcase my abdominals. It would become a trademark of my ‘Spring Break’ ways.

Quite late we headed to a nearby park at possibly Costa Rica and Armenia. A lot of larking around followed I think and a few pictures were captured. As it was 5AM we headed back and I reassumed my late afternoon activity of laying in a hammock. As the sun rose I was careful not to stay too long as I fell asleep earlier. Added to that Heidi had left and I was not sure if Marcos was ‘chatting up’ Amanda. Not to step on anyone’s toes, I wished them good night at nearly 7AM.
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