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Turning 30 South American Style With the dreaded 30th birthday looming, I ran away to South America to celebrate the landmark birthday in style.

Feliz Navidad Buenos Aires

ARGENTINA | Saturday, 29 December 2007 | Views [1931]

Christmas in Buenos Aires is a white knuckle ride of a celebration requiring stamina, determination, commitment and nerves of steel. This is cheifly because the parties start late and end with everyone throwing cheap chinese fireworks around the streets.

"When in Rome" has never been my motto, but we decided to try out celebrating the season of goodwill in both traditional Argentine and British style as this jeans we can legitamately party for two days on the trot.

The Argentinians celebrate Navidad on Christmas Eve, with a family fiesta at home followed by by every man, woman and boy in the house stumbling out onto the streets alter midnight with a beer in one hand and a box of fireworks in the other.

Thoroughly briefed and prepared for the spectacle, Steve and I ate a nice dinner with pan dulce for pudding washed down with lashings of chamoagne and then headed out after 12 to find three beautiful little girls running down our street in party dresses carrying sparklers. Then we looked up to see their dad set off a rocket into the sky from his own bare hands. Kids every where had piles of gun powder dust which they lit in their hands beofre throwing it to the floor where it went off with a bang.

A drink was called for!

Most bars had cover charges and set menues but we found one by the port that didn´t. Only trouble was they doubled the price of the already very expensive wine list for the evening. Duly warned off ordering, we were heading back to the house all despondant when we struck gold. The bars around the cobbled square in San Telmo were open and operating off a normal price list and just five minutes after we arrived (around 2am) people pulled up in cars from nowhere to start their night out. It was a lovely atmosphere, lit by a full moon, with couples, groups of friends, tourists and local families all drinking under the lamplights. A beggar was wandering around with a broken guitar and in the season of good will, people were treating him to beer and a couple of pesos and little street urchins started setting off fire crackers. It was lovely. But being British we just couldn´t keep awake until sun rise and we had a whole extra day of christmas partying to do so we called it a night and headed home for around 3.30am.

We woke early on Chritsmas day, ripped open our wee presents (lovely new tops and smelly stuff for me, lovely new top and rubix cube for Steve) then went back to sleep. We got up properly around 3pm had a champagne breakfast and went for a walk around the port befote heading out to dinner around 8pm.

To add to the decadence of the day, we ordered some truly expensive mojitos at a port side bar, waited around half an hour for them to arrive and then sent them back because they were so truly awful and bore no resemblance what ever to the lovely refreshing drink we love so.

Anyhow, it ended well with a beautiful dinner, even nicer wine and an evening drinking yet more champagne and dancing around our flat to silly tunes on the ipod into the wee small hours.

Next stop New Year´s Eve.


Tags: argentina, bars, buenos aires, champagne, christmas, latin america, puerto madero, restaurants, san telmo, south america

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