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it's a long way from whitley bay... Hi everyone and welcome to our journal where you can see and read what we've been up to and where we're going next. We hope you enjoy it, and would love you to keep in touch with your news, and send us your comments! Lots of love, Sarah and Phil x ;)

Mendoza and Buenos Aires

ARGENTINA | Monday, 9 June 2008 | Views [3053] | Comments [2]

Hi everyone,

Well, we have made it to the other side of South America! We first caught a bus across the Andes to Mendoza, where we spent a couple of nights before carrying on to Buenos Aires, where we´ve been for the past five days.

After spending 20 hours on a bus from San Pedro back to Santiago, we´d been less than excited about getting straight on another bus for 8 hours more - but 8 hours is beginning to feel like a short hop around here, and it was actually a pretty enjoyable journey. We wound our way right up through the snowy Andes through winding roads and tunnels (some of which had ski pistes running over the top of them!), and then after stopping to be sniffed at by the border control huskies, curled back down the other side through central Argentina´s wine country.

 

Sarah - not demonstrating the reclining seats very well

The scenery here seemed suddenly very different to the vast deserts of northern Chile, snowy river gorges and red canyons, plus vineyards, ranches and horses everywhere. We didn´t spot any condors - though we´re guessing from the fact that every road side cafe, shop, hairdressers... was called El Condor, that this is where they live!

Views from the Santiago-Mendoza bus

Mendoza is a really nice town of big boulevards, Spanish-style buildings and squares, and street-side cafes. But the main attraction is definitely the vino, some of which we reckon we may just have sampled before from El Bodega de Morrisons, but it does seem more enjoyable with a big juicy steak to go with it...

The mendoza tram

A couple of days of this and we were feeling rejuventaed and ready for another bus jaunt, and booked ourselves on the overnighter to Buenos Aires. This was another awesome affair, with leather reclining seats, DVDs, and a steak and wine dinner! If Harry Potter hadn´t been the film of the day, we would have been convinced that we´d stumbled onto P Diddy´s tour bus by mistake! Oh, and did we mention you also get a game of Bingo on Argentinian buses? We tried to keep up with the rapid-fire Spanish number caller, but sadly have no idea whether we won or not :(

We arrived in Buenos Aires on Thursday, and LOVE it. It is really attractive, with grand old colonial buildings, and great big boulevards, and there is just loads to see and do.

Sarah, in the middle of the world´s biggest boulevard

We are staying in San Telmo, which is one of the oldest working class districts in the city, and the home of Tango dancing. There are actually some Tango students staying at our hostel which means free shows in the afternoon as they sashay around the living room...which is all very good for atmosphere, but not when the French Open finals and Euro 2008 are on the telly. Grr!

Street entertainment, B.A. style

San Telmo is also the location of some brilliant art and antiques markets - and we found ourselves buying some Uruguayan wood block prints to bring home yesterday, as well as some high heels for Sarah... well, we have to be prepared just in case we get dragged into any more street performances  don´t we?! 

Gramaphones, match boxes, soda bottles and records in San Telmo - if only we had bigger backpacks!

Predictably, we´ve also been eating several Aberdeen Steak Houses-worth of steak, chastising ourselves for eating too much steak, and then drifting into yet another steak restaurant for dinner...

Our favourite restaurant so far, ´Gran Parilla Del Plata´

It really is the best we have ever eaten, and at bargain prices too, so we´ve got to eat out in some lovely places, most of which are just a quick stumble down a cobbled street or two from our hotel.  Sarah even has steak and wine tasting notes these days!

Don´t worry, there is still enough steak left in B.A. after our visit for Burger King to carry on offering these delights...

Argentinians are apparently the biggest users of plastic surgery in the world, and we can see why - it would be quite a tempting quick fix with all this steak to eat and the beach lurking just around the corner!  With our dreadful Spanish though we could end up looking like the Bride (and Groom!) of Frankenstein, so we´ll spare you that drama and stick to tucking our own tummies in instead.

We´ve also done a fair bit of walking our dinners off, and have got as far as the trendy shopping and residential areas of Palermo and Recoleta. 

A trendy Palermo resident

Recoleta is the wealthiest part of the city, and has the poshest cemetry ever. It is where Eva Peron is buried, and is like a small city of plush-looking tombs. Some really look quite cosy! There are also lots of cats, who seem to like curling up in cobwebby nooks, and freaking out passing tourists!

We´ll be back in B.A. a couple more times yet, and can´t wait. But before that, we are hopping across the water to Uruguay for a few days. Hopefully they have vegetables there...

Hope you´re all well and enjoying the sunny weather we´ve heard about at home. Lots of love, and stay in touch,

Sarah and Phil x x

 

Comments

1

Just read your Mendoza and Buenos Aires blog - excellent. Coincidentally received a bottle of Argentinian red in the latest wine club batch - looking forward to that. Also ate our first home-grown broad beans tonight - wahey! Hope the weather picks up for you in Uruguay. You're right it's been smashing here for the last two days. Off to the Middsx v Essex Twenty20 game at Lord's on Thursday - fingers crossed for a sunny day then. Buenos Aires sounds really nice - did you spot any Gen Galtieri statues?

  Dad Barton Jun 10, 2008 8:10 AM

2

All looks very colourful - love all the stalls - I've got some of those matchbox tops! Let's hope that you're not called upon to perform in your high heels as in the photo Sarah!
Lots of love
Mum xxx

  Mum B Jun 11, 2008 11:51 PM

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