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zest&bare Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine. Ralph Waldo Emerson

adios Buenos Aires!

ARGENTINA | Sunday, 2 August 2009 | Views [626]

What an interesting place Buenos Aires is, not in an entirely positive way but not negative either. I´m not too sure whether my experience is due to me being on my own, and female, or whether I was focussed on getting to Cusco, or because the people I came across weren´t entirely friendly or helpful. And I am one of those people that will talk to most people, especially in my situation. I even tried doing it in my pidgin Spanish (which, incidentally is an interesting mixture of Dora the Explorer and the smallest bit of Italian that I learnt 12 years ago...perhaps therein lies the problem! At least I was trying!).

But I did get to see quite a lot of the city and particularly enjoyed Avs. de Mayo, Santa Fe, and Alvear, with their gorgeous architecture and treating myself to a ´coffee´ at Alvear Palace Hotel. Not sure how much coffee was in my coffee but the alcohol was exactly what I needed to walk myself home in the cold after wandering around Cemetaria de Recoleta for ages. The cemetary is quite amazing (similar to Pere Lachaise in Paris, yet not so old and less green) and it turns out I am quite a necrophile (not in the creepy sexual sense, just the intrigue!). I literally spent hours looking at all the names and dates and was fascinated with each ´monument´. Each one seemed to be grander than the last and I took approximately a million photos. Not sure what I´ll ever do with them but I was clearly a bit obsessed! Sadly there were also the ones that were completely desecrated, as though the entire family line had died out at some point leaving noone to look after the grave. And creepily, there were some which were just kind of ópen´ like you could squeeze in to the tomb and take a peep in the coffin (if you were that way inclined...).

I treated myself to a few steaks and one in particular really stood up to Argentina´s steak reputation. I took about an hour to eat it. The poor waiters probably thought I was (am?) abnormal. I also tucked into some Malbec... hello, where has that red wine been all my life? I quite enjoyed it! I also did the horrifically touristy thing and went to a tango show / dinner. Again, if I was not alone, I would have avoided this like the plague but alas, I am alone so off I went. Thank god I ordered an entire bottle of my new found friend because after an epic dinner and show of 3 1/2 hours of seriously disinterested tango performers I wanted to run out of there and never look back. After I write this I will try to wipe it from my memory. The only worse ´tourist´thing that I´ve ever done is a classical concert in Prague where I actually fell asleep, like dribbling on my shoulder, asleep. That experience alone should teach me not to be sucked in to doing the tourist things you ´should´do!

Happily La Boca was great fun and I even bought some art directly from the artist. This was definitely my highlight!

So after a 5am wake up call on and a rush to the ATM (as the hotel informed me at 6am they don´t take Visa!) I was off to the airport for the next leg of my trip, Cusco, Peru!

So until then...xx

PS I will add photos of Buenos Aires soon (I promise I won´t put ALL the cemetary photos up!).


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