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No Worries 'Mas o Menos' 2 years on the road, travelling South East Asia, China, South & Central America and who knows where after that... Photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dojo77/collections/

Don't cry for us, we're in Argentina!

ARGENTINA | Monday, 22 February 2010 | Views [1874]

                You've been Tango'd

You've been Tango'd

We caught a 17 hour bus to our next destination and as destinations go this was one we had been particularly looking forward to. Translating as Good Air or Fair Winds, Buenos Aires had always been high on our list of must visits. Our long journey started out well on the top deck of probably the most luxurious bus we’ve been on. However, unlike in Asia the bus didn’t stop to get lunch and so we were very hungry by the time it stopped to pick up passengers after 6 hours. Having made sure we had enough food for the rest of the trip, 3 hours later dinner was served on the bus. In a country famed for its beef and ice cream, I ended up with chicken and cold custard!

We arrived in B.A on Valentines Day. What would you do for your loved one on this most “special” of days? At least a box of chocolates, right? Well I decided to go another route and not only did I go to a football game, on my own, I went to a stadium known as the chocolate box, Shanks would be proud!

Seeing a soccer game in South America was an absolute must and having missed the opportunity to go to the Maracana in Rio, I seized the opportunity to go to the Bombonera. Other than pure football, one of the reasons for wanting to go to a match on this continent is due to the passion of the fans, and Boca Juniors fans are among the most intense.

Thankfully the crowd with their terrace songs and chants were very entertaining as St. Valentine or maybe karma won the day and the game was a damp squibb, the first 0-0 draw between the 2 teams in 22 years!

The next day we set about exploring some of the cities more conventional attractions, the most famous of which is probably the Casa Rosada.

From its rear balconies leaders have preached to their adoring public in the Plaza de Mayo.

The Plaza de Mayo is also the location for the public to protest against injustices, and it is here that women protest every Thursday for their husbands and sons lost in the country's ’Dirty War’. It was here that we learnt that our respite from hearing about the bad British was limited to one country, as there is a permanent demonstration about the Falklands.

Ever since the re-establishment of British rule in 1833, Argentina has claimed sovereignty for the Islas Malvinas, a claim that is rejected by the islanders. In 1982 this led to an unofficial war between the 2 countries and the Belgrano affair. Today it is a hot topic again due to British plans to drill for oil off the archipelago. It's safe to say that we're not the most popular visitors, to the point where one taxi driver felt the need to tell us "no like" when we responded to his question of where we were from.

Perhaps the most famous speeches made from the Casa Rosada, were by Juan and Eva Peron. The Peron’s are perhaps Argentina’s most iconic non sports personalities, loved and despised in equal measures. The Evita (meaning little Eva) museum is full of memorabilia from her relatively short life, including the dresses that she wore during formal occasions.

We also visited her final resting place in the wonderful Recoleta Cemetery. It's strange that a cemetary would be a major attraction but on arrival in was easy to see why.

Despite not having heard of any of the other inhabitants, the architecture and designs of the individual crypts was stunning and elaborate.

Buenos Aires has lots of museums and other attractions, but the most interesting is walking around all the different barrios (districts) that make up the capital, but be sure to avoid the mess made by these fellows.

From the cobbled streets of San Telmo, where you can catch a free tango show in the Plaza Dorrego

To the colourful streets of Caminito in La Boca, a visually stunning area of the capital.

Walking off the beaten path in La Boca isn't advisable due to its publicised crime rate, however sometimes you stumble across a gem like this, displaying the passion of the area.

Although walking wasn’t always possible in Palermo due to the weather. During our week long stay the city was subject to 2 flash floods. One evening we had to wade through a foot of water to get back to our hostel after a 30 minute downpour. According to the locals the capital used to suffer from flash flooding but the issue had been resolved. That was until the new mayor appointed his brother’s company to clean the drains in the city at which point flash floods started to occur again.

Having missed out on beef and ice cream on the bus, we set about rectifing the situation. The national parilla dish (BBQ meat) was a little over cooked for my liking but the ice cream lived up to the hype, although I think we may have to learn how to ask for smaller portions in future!

It seems it's a case of another capital, another song, with this time Jo breaking out into Lloyd Webbers 'Don’t Cry for me Argentina' every 5 minutes, for my ears only so as not to offend anyone. I'm hoping I will be safe in our next stop, Montevideo.

Until next time

Ryan & Jo

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dojo77/sets/72157623482342516/

Tags: bombonera, buenos aires, casa rosada, evita, la boca, recoleta, tango

 

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