Steaks, Red Wine and Tango!

Trip Start Oct 01, 2012
Trip End Oct 01, 2015

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Sunday, February 17, 2013

We left Salta and headed in a typically late taxi to our bus, we were nervous as wed booked it through a lady in a corridor rather than going to an actual shop. As the taxi drove around numerous residential streets that were no where near the bus station we thought wed definitely been had. Then to our surprise we arrived outside a tiny little office which had a sign for our bus company. We showed our tickets and were told we weren't on this bus, there was another one coming. The time for our departure got closer and after the 3rd time of asking them to check the list they finally did and our names were there so we jumped on and within 5 minutes we were off. The journey took 20 or so hours but weŽd managed to grab the best two seats which were right at the front so it didn't seem all that bad. We arrived in Buenos Aires about lunchtime the following day and in typical fashion dumped our bags and headed straight out to explore making it as far a little cafe 2 doors up which claimed that in 1806 they invented the turkey sandwich! 
Not sure how true this could be but Tai was sold. WeŽd booked a hostel outside of the tourist area and so the restaurant had nothing in english, nor could they speak english and as weŽve discovered numerous times we couldn't communicate in our god awful spanish, so we gambled, picked something on the menu which said it was for 2 people and hoped for the best. The Cafe was everything you'd imagine an Argentinian cafe to be like, checkered tiled floors, trinkets of all sorts decorated the walls and shelves and it was bustling with couples, groups and families speaking loudly and fast in that typical passionate way.
Our food arrived and it was a platter of cured meats, cheeses, breads and other nibbles, we took one look and decided a glass of wine would be the perfect accompaniment to our lunch. We sat there for the next hour or so eating slowly, drinking beautiful red wine, watching the world go by and deciding what to do with your few days in this fabulous city.
WeŽd found out that there was a big market on a little way away and so headed there. A little way was actually how the hostel described it - it actually took us about an hour and a half to get there (and it wasn't a nice walk to get there - it seems dogs are actually trained to go to the toilet on the pavement here!)
San Telmo market however made it all worth it, a huge undercover treasure cove, it was full of vintage clothes and goods including old telephones and the biggest gramophones we've ever seen!
It made a nice change to the usual llama patterned everything they have normally on sale and we spent a while there exploring all the little stalls. Maybe feeling a little giddy from the wine at lunch i thought it would be a brilliant idea to buy a big winter coat, complete with fur collar - its about 30 degrees here at the moment!
 By the time weŽd looked around it was time to head back to drop ff some stuff before jumping on a bus and heading to the river plate ground. There was a match on tonight so we thought wed check it out and get tickets when we got there. It was only when we got back to the hostel that we (Tai) realised it was a final to a big tournament- there was no way weŽd get a ticket. 
So we sat for a while trying to figure out Plan B, we thought wed sussed it when we found a cool little live music venue which was situated in the back of a record store a few blocks away. We headed downstairs and out into the street where we saw numerous stalls selling foam in a spray can, the street was all fenced off and a stage had been erected. It was Carnaval in Buenos Aires that night and it was happening on our street. Our plans soon changed and we decided to hang around and see what was going on. We had a couple of drinks and then decided tonight was a good night to try and get some good Argentinian steak - wed heard stories of it being so tender you cut it with a spoon and wanted to try it for ourselves - vegetarianism has for this week gone out the window as I'm sure you are well aware by now.
Tai found a restaurant with great reviews and we headed there ordered there best cut of steak and a bottle of malbec and waited with anticipation to see what it was like. 
Beautiful, that's what it was, not quite able to cut it with a spoon but it was tender none the less. Tai has said he wont eat anything but fillet Mignon whenever he is hungry now.
We then headed back towards the carnaval , people were covered in this foam which they were all spraying all over each other and a huge procession of dancers and musicians dressed in brightly coloured sequined outfits made its way down the road in front of us.
It was such a great thing to see and so lucky it just happened to pass our hostel.
The following day we were up bright and early - book a rail card with 10 journeys each for our day of exploring and then headed out, we had 3 things to do, find a tango show, go to the record store we were meant to go to last night and see if they had any shows on tonight and book a bus. Then the day was our to spend sightseeing. 
It took us ALL day to find each of these things and by the time we were done we had enough time left for a quick drink before heading to a tango show. WeŽd done no sightseeing except walking down the main avenue that runs through the city where we saw the obelisk - a huge column that is lit up at nighttime - we only managed to see it in the day.
The Tango show was great. WeŽd gone in a theater in a shopping centre, there were 8 dancers and a 4 piece band - a violinist, a double base, a piano and an accordionist - tai now wants an Accordian!
The show was great and the music was just quiet enough so you could hear the dancers as they moved across the wooden floor and we watched them in awe. 
We had managed to book another show for that night and as the curtain fell on the tango show we raced out the theatre and 10 blocks up the road to the record store.
We found our table - number one - which was right in front of the stage, so close it felt a little awkward at first. However as soon as the music started it didn't , we were watching a Brazilian band three girls alternated singing and 2 guitarists and a drummer played in the background. It was great fun and completely different to anything weŽve done so far. There was also no other backpackers anywhere weŽd been the last few days which felt nice, we obviously looked completely out of place in the record store as someone actually came up to us and asked us where we were from at the end of the night!
We headed back to the hostel tired and headed to bed. The next day we checked out, had breakfast (pasta! - we were both a little hungover!) and headed out in the pouring rain to the highlight of Buenos Aires - the painted house of La Boca.
Having only used one of our train journeys we picked the nearest station and decided to walk there (probably not the best idea - we later met someone who'd been robbed having done just the same). After an hour an a half we were soaked and still hadn't found it. The area was really scummy but luckily we found a beautiful cafe, not to dissimilar from cafe margot and headed in to warm up. Tai ordered a coffee, it came out as an espresso with a glass of sparking water and a small slice of cake. We was convinced hed seen people mix the water with the coffee and so after having drunk a little did the same - he said it was disgusting! Surprisingly!
After realising we were just 2 blocks away we headed off again and eventually came to this cool hippy style community where all the building were painted a multitude of different colours, people tangoed in the streets and after not seeing any there were tourists everywhere!!
We spent the next hour wandering aimlessly at the beautiful neighbourhood, on the way back we got lost again and by the time we made it back to our hostel it was time to go to the bus station, wed been prepared and made some sandwiches as wed booked an overnight bus which didn't provide food. We realised when we got to the bus station that weŽd forgotten them! Classic!
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