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Nick and Laina's Adventures

Queramos Apprender Español

ARGENTINA | Tuesday, 6 January 2009 | Views [1282] | Comments [11]

Dakar Rally race, Avenida de Mayo, Buenos Aires

Dakar Rally race, Avenida de Mayo, Buenos Aires

OK... For those of you who think all we are doing is eating/drinking/sleeping/sightseeing, you a very much mistaken. It just seems that those are the easiest things to write about, and even though I mention other things, I fail to go into large detail on them as I did with the peice of meat I ate at new years, which I describe for 1/2 of a paragraph in "Feliz Año Nuevo". I will now focus on the other things, besides the food, drinks, and sleep of Buenos Aires.

We spent the majority of the day after and, the day after new years(Jan 2nd) studying spanish at an awesome bookstore in Buenos Aires. El Ateneo Liberia, is the grandest bookstore in BA, with a humble doorfront on Santa Fe St. in downtown BA. When you walk in , It seems small, however, the back of the first room opens up into a large room with an open middle on an the sides, there are five floors. All the floors are balcony style so you can see the main floor in the middle, and all the bannister are adorned with gold colored plating. Most of the books are in spanish, and all of the Argentina guides are from argentina, meaning, no lonely planet, no rough guides, no guide books that are a) in english, b) international ones from international companies. Right now, we still don´t have a guide book, but we need one for our trip down to patagonia.

After walking through the bookstore a few times, we headed to the back, to a Stage-like floor, that was the café. We sat on a couch arcross the table from a french proffessor, that lived here in buenos aires. We talked with him for some time, He has taught english to people from BA, and now he is teaching french (there is less compitition) and leading tours around the city in french. We started our 4 hour study session, with flash cards, lessons from laina, where I take notes. During our studying a man from BA sat down and we chatted with him for a few moments, he gave us some helpful advice on where to travel to while we were in patagonia! Very helpful. Traveling sure does help you meet many people from around the world.

After our long study session, we headed towards the Obilisk, and saw that there were many people crowding the main avenue. We headed towards the street, and then we realized, after some time, that the international Car Rally Race, "Dakar Rally" which originally took place from Paris, France and went to Dakar, Senegal, was changed to be in south america now, because of political instability in Africa. So we walked back to stef and Caros house, with a stop to study some more flash cards, my spanish is getting better!

As it turned out, the Rally race was going right down Ave de Mayo the street our hosts live on! We were on the other side of the street, so we went to the grocery store, got materials for dinner( we are cooking for our hosts, tonight: loco moco!), and then found a small space to jump across the road, and head to their house. Up on the 7th  floor in their apartment, we started to hear horn of the rally cars that are headed into town, they were so loud! and they continued until almost 12, midnight!

The next day we contacted our new host for the next week, Ceclia! She does not speak much english, so our time with her will also be a language exchange! We are staying at her apartment in Palermo Soho, an eastern neighborhood in Buenos Aires. Once we settled in, and exchanged ideas on knitting(she knits too!) We went out see Palermo. This district is very nice, it has lots of trees, old building, parks and statues.

I am starting to realize that my contacts may not be the type you can keep in your eyes for two weeks straight. For the thrid time, about three days after I put my contacts in, my right contact gets blurry. Hmm.

Later that night we head to the bar that Cecilia works at, Maximo. It is a high end bar with high prices. We spent alot of time there with many other couchsurfers we met during our last week here in BA, A jewler from England, a traveler from Austrailia, three porteño (from BA) girls. We have alot of fun, and I am trying to speak spanish as much as possible. I am able to put together full sentances, with proper conjurgation, like, we, you and I, for simple sentances. I get really excited, when I saw a sentance, and they can actually understand what I am saying a few more weeks of this and maybe I can have a conversation!

We got back to the Apartment at 9 in the morning for a quick nap, and then back outside again for lessons on how to make handicrafts, in a park in Recoletta, another district, in BA. When we got to the Park/plaza, we met up with many couch surfers, and we made bracelets, and chatted about our travels. Meeting these people is better then reading a guidebook! Between the whole crowd, we have 2/3 of the world covered, with some good knowledge on most places! We got lots of advice as to getting our divemaster liscence for teaching SCUBA in Honduras, getting a well paying job in England, Teaching school in austrailia, traveling cheaply in southeast asia, and the list goes on! Our couchsurfing friends are very fun, interesting people to talk to and are always positive, with many ideas!

After a few hours we head back to the apartment for a late dinner, and some much needed sleep.

Our plans: We will study spanish until jan 7th when cory gets here. Then we will spend 3 days touring BA, until we catch a bus to La Grutas, Patagonia. Then somehow we will make our way to Ushuaia, by train, bus, or car.

Y por favor; I am interested in who is reading the blog! I see that like 40 people or so are reading them on a regular basis, so If you could just leave a comment with your name, that would be awesome, and you could write what you are up to if you wish, but not nessesary.



Hola cousin and cousin to be -- Not only am I reading your postings but I'm living vicariously through them as we have about 7 hours of daylight and snow (again) in Seattle. You guys sound like you're having a great time, good thing you're not vegans. Isn't Argentina the best place in the world for steak? I expect a full day post on steak. Love you both, Susie

  Susie Perry Jan 6, 2009 6:49 AM


This is your mudder! I think you already know that. Nick, tell me more about your contacts. That's what caught my eye (excuse the pun). That happens to me too. It's usually because I should drink more water. So, drink more water! I loved this post because it sounds like you are really picking up the language. Write one post in Spanish, even if it is only a sentence or two! That might be fun for you (this, coming from a teacher!). Send me your Skype info so I can add $ to your account. Does your dad write to you? Winter is here and we might have an ice storm tomorrow! Can you say, "Snow Day"? Hi Laina! Be good :-)

  Mommy Jan 6, 2009 12:47 PM


I haven't missed a beat in keeping up to date on your wonderful writings..like all others I can "feel" like I am there with you...by the way don't get too concerned when a little teasing is said about your eating, drinking, partying , lifestyle..you are both very responsible young adults and I am personally not concerned at all...keep everything in perspective and in balance and life is pretty good...not to worry you at all but your grandma isn't doing too well right now ..would it be better if I communicated with you on your old email addresses? I might be a little confused if this blog is best or not..let me know..I love you!

  jim dunn Jan 6, 2009 2:26 PM


Of course I am one of the daily blog checkers. Its almost as good as traveling myself! I guess someone however is not great at picking up her messages :) so now they will go to nick. I ope you did check yours laina. There were a few. Thanks for your stories, I get to hear from you more often than Jimmy!Keep it all coming kids,
love, mom

  mom lucy Jan 7, 2009 8:46 AM


Hi Nick and Laina,
I am glad to hear you are starting to learn Spanish. I wish it were that easy for me! You sound like you are having a good time, meeting lots of people, and experiencing the world. That is great. We are home today as it is very icy out, but the kitchen is being ripped apart and the man working has a conservative talk radio show on loud and I don't know how we will survive the noise.
Be safe, take care.
Love, Holly

  Holly Jan 8, 2009 2:09 AM


Must be exciting to have Cory join you. As I understand it you're heading south, I imagine that civilization drops off dramatically, so before you depart maybe you could give us a preliminary 'flight'-plan. Just a thought -- Those are some real long distance travels ahead. Stay safe. Dad

  Daddy Peter Jan 8, 2009 3:00 AM


I love reading your tales, wish I was there, am learning to knit (again after 30 years) also and want Cory to bring me some wonderful wool...or get the addresses of places to order it! Cory gave me a map, but I too would like to know the schedule before you head to the wilderness.....Love all of you, Julie

  Pirate Ninja Mom, Julie Jan 8, 2009 10:29 AM


Hi, Im diego, from Mar del Plata, I was googling for some info on argentine cow meats and ended here by accident. Im glad you are having good times in my country and enjoying our goodies (meat and womens, in no particular order)

Just dropping a few lines.
(make sure they are well cooked because the pork meat can punch your stomach when half cooked)


  Diego Jan 9, 2009 12:25 PM


Hi Travellers, I just recently caught up with the last few posts. Hey, I was watching the Dakar race a few days ago. At that time they were screaming through an evil looking desert. Sounds like you guys are having a blast.
It's 19 degrees up here in Hull, Ma. My feet are freezing. (What's up with the meat and women's?) Did I miss something, hahaha. sorry, maybe that's not so funny.
Google is "impresionante". It's good you have a smart woman with you to teach you spanish. Love you both

  Tio Donaldo Jan 13, 2009 1:40 PM



I'm the community manager for WorldNomads.com and am scouting around for feature articles to promote. One of your Brazilian posts is in our Most popular list at the moment: http://adventures.worldnomads.com/

Happy travels

  crustyadventures Jan 13, 2009 3:40 PM


Wow! Maybe you guys have a future as "Celebrity Couchsurfers"! You could get your own show! Cool!

  Cindy Brooker Jan 14, 2009 10:50 PM

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