09.02.2017 - 14.02.2017 24 °C
With the realisation that the ride was over the focus was on Buenos Aries, never been before and if you believe the puff then it is going to be a blast. We all had a couple of extra nights in this big city to explore and experience one of South America’s iconic city’s.
The three-and-a-half-hour flight passed in no time and it was off to the hotel in the “Microcentre”. I am not sure what I was expecting but as we whisked through the boulevards and multitude of narrow one way streets I began to feel it was all an anti-climax. Here was a city of yesteryear, of what was and what could have been. Shabby and tired around the edges, in need of love and attention but as if no one was going to step up and start the process. One must be aware of first impressions and so I buried those feelings for the time being in the hope the city would open and reveal her true self in the coming days.
Alpha had done his homework so over a lazy lunch we handed the evening’s events over to him to arrange. Hence it was off to an Irish pub in Palermo Hollywood and then a subdued pub crawl around the area. There was certainly plenty going on but without the local knowledge I’m guessing we called it a night far too early by Buenos Aries standards. Meanwhile Roomie advised that he had stuffed his flights up and he only had that one night with us in BA. Disappointing as we had planned a dinner the following night at one of BA’s top restaurants.
The next day was filled with the on-off bus tour around BA which is not a bad way to get your bearings and understand your surroundings in a short time. The afternoon was capped off with a visit to “El Anteneo Grand Splendid” BA’s grandest bookstore and rated as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. In a city that has more bookstores per person than anywhere else in the world this store expresses the passion the Argentinians have for a good book. It’s only been 24 hours and that feeling I had when arrived is slowly changing as this city slowly starts disclose her inner self.
I desperately wanted to catch a tango show whilst in the home of this mesmerising dance and so it was that I’d found one nearby and was going that night. Rand was keen to come and Alpha begrudgingly agreed to follow. In true BA style the show did not start until 10.15pm and we were not disappointed, Alpha being one of the most enthusiastic. Truly amazing! Hard to believe, beautiful, passionate, romantic and sexy; performed with such skill and passion that you could read the story in every dance.
After the buzz of the show Alpha was keen to head on out and well I agreed I’d join him for a couple. We wandered the backstreets of the city centre and came across a small and happening little bar that was spilling out onto the streets. Long story short it was run by a couple of Russians who we immediately befriended and shared some great conversation. Come closing my thoughts were on heading home but Alpha true to form had other ideas and on the advice of our new friends we were instructed to head to Floreria Atlántico, a couple of blocks away, and just walk into the flower shop……..? As we walked down the street we noticed a few people milling around a store front in what would otherwise have been a deserted street. They could tell we were new to town, lost and looking. “Are you looking for the bar?” we were asked. “Si” just go straight in and open the fridge door…..and when you do, the beats and hum of a happening crowd smack you in the face. Could not but go down and in, topped off a great night.
Now that everybody was leaving Alpha and I had decided to move to Palermo, BA’s fashionable area but this time Alpha had a friend who had moved to BA 10 years previously and he was keen to catch up, dinner, drinks and show us BA from the inside out. Argentinians go out late, it is nothing to see families and small children arriving for dinner to restaurants at 10pm! So, in true local style we met Trevor at 9pm for a few drinks then headed off for dinner which was served around 11.30pm. Trevor guided us through the menu and wine list and I was in my element. So far so good. Now it was time to move on and on and on! I was feeling the strain of the previous evening and announced at 2.30 that I was bailing. I was advised that this is where it all starts happening and people decide where to go to finish off the evening where it is totally acceptable to head off home anywhere between 5 & 8am! It was a 15-minute cab ride back to the hotel and I understood what Trevor had meant; lines and lines of people where entering countless venues that just seemed to appear out of nowhere. I hope they have a great night.
Alpha fronted very late the next morning declaring a podium! I knew his day would be spent horizontal. That was ok as it was a wet and rainy day and so it was great to have a me day reading and planning.
Monday morning and I had convinced Alpha to do a day trip to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay. It was raining again and he was not keen as we headed to the port to catch the ferry. Just about to clear immigration and we were advised that the crossing was too dangerous due to the weather and the accompanying storms, so it was back to the hotel where Alpha dived between the sheets and I spent the day exploring. We had dinner together and said our farewells as Alpha was leaving to head back to Canberra and me, well the start of the next adventure…….Uruguay!
Btw, I'm glad I buried those first impressions. Despite the copious graffiti, the cracked and broken footpaths I love BA!!