Buenos Aires – January 2011

Better late than never, right? We had a few days either side of Denise & Patrick’s wedding to have a quick look around Argentina – although it’s a huge country and we barely scratched the surface. First stop was Buenos Aires for four days…

It was hot. Ok, hot’s not entirely right – it was only about mid-20s, but it was MUGGY… and different. And a great way to start 2011. We left Auckland at 3pm on New Years’ Eve and arrived in Buenos Aires at lunchtime the same day… thanks International Dateline for making sure we didn’t miss the celebrations! Despite being a bit tired we wandered down to Puerto Madero to watch the fireworks.

New Years’ Day saw most things closed (handy for a guilt-free jetlagged sleep-in) but also marked the ceremonial start to the Dakar Rally (it’s WAY too dangerous to hold it anywhere near Senegal anymore, so they moved it to South America a few years back) which saw Kent in his element. Even more so because it was free!

Next day we walked to La Boca, home of Boca Juniors football club and a hotbed of tourist muggings, according to the Lonely Planet, so after a bit of consultation with our hotel concierge (who was super-helpful and lovely, as well as easy on the eye! If you’re BA-bound, check out Hotel Babel in San Telmo) we stuck to certain streets, although we did still attract a lot of stares… I always appreciate Kent’s height and general ‘don’t mug me’ aura, but today I was especially grateful! Diego Maradonna played for Boca Jrs, so did Carlos Tevez (the only players on the long list that I’ve actually heard of… pretty sure there are other famous ones) but we were too cheap to fork out for the tour, so these were our views of the stadium:

From there we walked back to San Telmo for the Defensa market – it stretches the whole length of one of the major streets and has all sorts of gems, so we wandered and looked and ate and looked and ate… it was hot and busy and wonderful and went till quite late.

We also made it to La Recoleta cemetary, final resting place of Eva Peron (Evita)… it was a proper mausoleum-style cemetary, huge, but very peaceful- despite being still being in the city.

Kent finally gave in to me and we answered the call of one of the foods Argentina is famous for – ice cream. It didn’t last long… and was INcredible. Best ever, even.

Our final morning saw a quick dash to grab photos of the colourful La Camanito:

The city is many things: colourful; busy – even during the holidays; loud; full of European looking architecture; like most major cities, home to a variety of new and not always nice smells; old; new. Beautiful.

E xx

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