Eight days in Buenos Aires, in a lovely hostel, but very compact dorm, and was very excited.
First day was Sunday, and Sunday holds the antiques market at San Telmo (the tango mecca), just down the road from where we were staying in Tango City. The cobbled streets were lined with stalls with colonial mansions rising either side. Stalls sold everything from paintings and jewellery to cheap nique-naques. Entertainers danced in the street and the whole atmosphere reminded me of Paris. I went on to meet up with Tom Rogers, who has been working in Mexico for the last 18 months and was coming to Bariloche to work having recovered from his broken leg. With his new work colleagues and extra friends we experienced our first encounter of mate, a tea-like drink whereby a special cup is filled with mate leaves and hot water constantly added. It is drunk through a silver straw and intended to be shared between friends. Apparently you get used to the taste and eventually actually like it - I didn't obviously drink enough!
Next was the football. We had hoped to be watching Boca Juniors play, but as they won their game earlier that week and were through to the semis of the Championship League they weren't playing...so we watch River vs Racing at Racing. Having bought an all-inclusive ticket whereby they pick you up and deliver you home too we didn't experience the stadium tour for some unexplained reason. The ground was probably only quarter full but the atmosphere was incredible and the noise so loud. Apparently these games are renowned for not being very friendly and while a corner was being taken by the away team the home team supporters were throwing bottles over the moat and barbed wire fence at him! The away team were escorted from the stadium on completion before anyone else were allowed out their seats!!
A day of sight-seeing or two followed: Evita's grave, Casa Rosada (where Evita addressed the crowd), Congress buildings ( modeled on Washington's with the steps representing the Andes), Puerto Madero (newly modernized docks) and La Boca (vivid, working-class district situated along the old port and at the mouth of Rio Riachucho which was built by Italian immigrants from Genoa. Caminito is the colourful, short pedestrian walk lined with corrugated metal buildings and containing local artists displays and a vibrant atmosphere).
And a little bit of shopping was had, even that being too much for me, so popped into the hairdressers for a 1-2 inch trim, and came out with about 8 inches off and a totally new style!! Suppose my Spanish hasn't improved as much as I hoped!
Final day, and because we were in Buenos Aires, Lynne and I headed to Palermo in the hope of being able to buy tickets on the gate for the final of the Argentinean Polo Open. After little success we bumped into Annabelle, who was previously on our truck, and finally managed to buy our way in!! The match was between Ellerstina va La Dolfina which Ellerstein won 20-19, having to play into extra time as they were drawing at the end of the 8th chucker. The stadium was entirely packed and apparently it was the best game to watch in ages. Also so many beautiful people everywhere there was more than just horses to watch!!!
Nightlife in BA was also pretty hot, with bars staying open all night, which suited me beautifully as I only got dragged into a club once! At less than £3 a bottle of wine, who can argue it's bad to go out?
And had to say a very sad farewell to Caz, who had to fly back to UK for her brother's funeral - hopefully she will be with us for New Year's Eve and sharing a dorm with me the following week.