Buenos Aires, Argentina
One thing that we had forgotten to do when booking our tickets was to check that all of the flights were at reasonable hour, so we were greeted with a stupid o’clock flight to Argentina last week. Not to worry we managed to get ourselves to our hostel in San Telmo in the early hours and then up again the next morning for Elle’s visa appointment at the Brazilian consulate in Buenos Aires. Win.
Buenos Aires is very classy, French architecture, cobblestone streets, expensive food (but cheap wine) and entertainment, and all with a distinctively Italian influence (and accent) due to the population being largely of Italian decent. The people are a bit mental, particularly the traffic, but lovely, helpful and much easier to understand than Chileans!
We were a bit slow to get going after we’d sorted the visa but eventually got ourselves on a free walking tour with some Argentinean guides that had met in NZ and started the company. (The tour is free because you “tip” the guide at the end of the tour whatever you feel the tour was worth, or can afford.) They showed us all the main historic sites like Plaza de Mayo and all the unknown “biggest” and “best” things in the world that Buenos Aires is home to. We ended near our hostel for empanadas, which we would have eaten had we had cash. Instead, we went on a search for an ATM and lost the tour group but found Javier, who after finding us at an empty ATM offered to drive us to another. It was either an express kidnapping or just someone being nice, thankfully it was the latter. Cash in hand we stumbled across the Buenos Aires answer to the Canberra multicultural festival, some delicious food was had and then nap time!
We liked the first walking tour so much we also did their other tour to the upscale suburbs, embassies and cemetery-it’s the main attraction in Buenos Aires. We saw the grave of Eva Peron, whose body went on quite the journey before arriving there. We also learnt some fun stories about couples being buried together despite hating each other and a family vendetta involving the construction of the then tallest building in South America to block out a mother’s view of a beloved church. Buenos Aires has attitude!
We also learnt the hard way that museums aren’t open on Mondays and spent some time hanging out with the dog walkers in the fancy parks. We also found some craft beer halls, a delicious steak cooked on the parrilla (grill) and vegetarian stir fry, collected a Brazilian visa and got yelled at on the packed subway…not necessarily in that order. Six nights went by quickly and we found ourselves on the ferry to Uruguay, but with a plan to return to Buenos Aires before flying to Iguazu.