That’s how we’ve been addressed in the last days. No matter how old the people who start talking to us are, for all of them we’re just two boys. It’s one of the local customs we have been getting used to lately.
First off, we should apologize for not updating more often. Over 1000 people have taken a look at our blog over the last week, which is really incredible and we should be able to provide you with content more often. However, our life in Buenos Aires has been very hectic. Furthermore, we didn’t want you to think we we’re missing you guys too much.
What have we been doing in Buenos Aires (from here on BsAs)? At night we slept in hostels, which we kind of regretted because it made it made it harder to break through the superficial touristic layer. Luckily enough we found a solution for that later on.
During the day we were walking through the different barrios of BsAs. The public transport system of BsAs has two main pillars. One is the metro, locally named Subte, which has fives lines that spread out from the city centre like a fork. The system runs really fast and tickets cost 1,10 ARS (Argentinian Pesos, from here on $) now matter how may tickets you buy, there is no volume discount. Downside of this system is that distances sometimes tend to get long. The other main way of transport is the bus, however there are over 200 different bus connections than run all night long. For a foreigner coming in, you have to take a half day course of advanced mathematics to figure out the system. Combing these two main ways of transport results in us walking a lot. The good thing is that BsAs is a very nice city to walk around in, very nice long lanes are combined with big green parks.
We tried to cover most of the barrios close to the city centre. Bear in mind BsAs is a city of 12 million people, seeing all of it in 5 days would be impossible. First day we walked around the Avenida de Mayo, which is one of the main axes of the centre and contains some of its most famous buildings like the Casa Rosa. We also strolled along the quay in Puerto Madero, which is one of the richer areas that was renovated just before the Argentinian crisis. Next day we got into Palermo, which is to the north of the centre, known for its artistic vibe and abundance of restaurants and bars. Friday we went to the West of Palermo, considered going in to the Zoo but settled for the Japanese gardens. From there on we had made a quick visit to the Museum of Belles Artes, before heading to the cementerio of Recoleta where we were meeting up with Valerie. Valerie is a Belgian girl who’s been living in BsAs for a couple of months while working on her thesis, she’s also a friend of a friend of a friend who we contacted through Facebook and was willing to help us out discovering the city. She arrived together with Michiel, another Belgian in BsAs, and Renata, a Swiss girl on the end of her three month trip through S-Am. We got along really well with Valerie and Michiel, as a consequence we spent part of the following three days with them. This allowed us to get of the beaten track and get in to the real BsAs. Later that night we joined them with some friends to a Milonga, a traditional Argentinian tango house where the locals come and show off their skills.
On Saturday we went to Belgrano, got to see the polo fields, the racing track and the China town, before heading to Saavedra. We were meeting up with Valerie an Michiel again here for a Samba party. Getting there a bit earlier, we were introduced to a new sport named “Tejos”, which can be easily described as a variant on “Petanque” by replacing the iron balls with stone disks. The following Samba party was just outright amazing, a great atmosphere, incredible good cocktails and our first attempts to dance on some South American rhythms. On our last day in BsAs we wanted to go to the Superclassico, the traditional game between between Boca Juniors and River Plate. We managed to make it to the stadium in a bus full of crazy supporters who were almost tearing down the bus. Getting ourselves some tickets for the game turned out to be more difficult than expected and due to the heavy rains we decided to head back to the hostel. It turned out to be a fortunate decision, since 10 minutes in to the game it was suspended because it the field was more suited for a game of water polo. Later that night we joined Valerie and Michiel once more for dinner and gladly made use of their hospitable offer to sleep a couple of hours at their place before taking our early flight towards Ushuaia.
Some further remarks.
– A typical meal in Argentina consists out of an excellent piece of meat, some fried pieces of potato and some very well hidden pieces of vegetables.
– As for alcohol, there are always two very fine options when it comes to (price/)quality. Argentinian wines are just amazing and in some local restaurants you can find a bottle of house wine for 2 euros. Our favourite variety for the moment is the Malbec grape, which has some very rich wines with a hint of pepper. The local beers, Quilmes seems to be the most famous brand, are also of a high quality, which means a lot coming from a Belgian guy. As a consequence, we haven’t spend a day here without at least having had some alcoholic drinks.
– Pictures, we’re very happy to have brought along our big camera. Not withstanding the size, weight and fear for theft, it allows us to take some pretty awesome pictures. Next to the typical tourist pictures, we’ve been focusing on two particular themes:
Over a thousand words by now, seems like you enjoy our writing if you’ve made it this far.
Tom y David