Wandering in America del Sur

Argentina-Travelogue  |  Travel time: July 2005 - March 2006  |  by Allison Webb

We came, we saw, we sweated!

Back in one my favourite cities in the world, Buenos Aires (BA) our weather luck had run out before and after our trip to Uruguay and continued on its losing streak. Days of oppressive 40C heat and thunder storms that turned the streets to rivers were our life. Chucked the budget accommodations and went a little upscale to a hotel with air conditioner.

But out in the streets all we could do was pretend that it wasn´t hot. Touring Kurt around all my favourite places, La Boca, Retiro, Monserrat, the market at Recoleta and its incredible cemetery even more so in the atmospheric rain, we pounded the pavement, threatening to wear out out shoes. Hours spent on the pedestrian mall of Florida, dodging people, and watching life in the big city, full of street performers, the tourists with their cameras snapping shots and the locals just enjoying life in BA.

And what else to do in the sauna like heat, but to soak up the cool, dark atmosphere of old style cafes like the Cafe Tortoni, the oldest cafe in BA, constructed in 1898 and still legendary. If only its walls could talk! Half of its trade now is probably tourists trying to walk back in time, but locals still frequent its huge room, full of Tiffany lamps, marble tables, antique cash register, the waiters dressed from decades ago in their white shirts and bow ties.

And we feasted in Puerto Madero with Ina and Gunnar and sadly sent them back to Germany in style after sharing stories of tales of rain and sun, them in Bariloche and Puerto Madryn and us in the south.

And what else is a girl to do after some tough hiking and hot weather, but to take advantage of all the city has to offer and head straight for a pedicure. Supposed to be such a treat, but as soon as the woman took out the scapel I started to get scared. Never seen that at home! And after a thorough scraping during which I winced in pain, the bottoms of my feet felt smoother than ever! Must be the Argentinian way!!!!!

And speaking of taking advantage of what the city has to offer, not only was there shopping for more leather goods, but in order to hide from the rain, there were trips to the Art Gallery to see Salvador Dali´s sketches - fabulous - and the Museum of Modern Latin American Art. And to round things out, we signed up on a tour of the Colon Theatre with all of the masses to see the majesty of the place, designed by 4 architects and one of the best attended performance halls in the world.

We overdosed on gorgeous architecture by wandering the streets from the centre to the small European feeling streets of San Telmo, Recoleta and Palermo. Somehow everyday started off with a plan for a short 2 hour walk that morphed into 8 hours later, but we felt that we were beginning to learn the city and find our way in its endless source of energy.

And even after 4 times there, I know that there is so much more to discover from its outskirts in Tigre, to its fabulous international cuisine in Palermo, to the neighbourhoods just off the tourist circuit like Barrio Norte. But in a city so large as a visitor you can only just scratch the surface because it is always reinventing itself. And so we left and I wondered when I´d ever return again and hoped that I would. Headed to the northwest to Mendoza to see another part of this vast and incredible country of Argentina.

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Note:

Mate - loose tea favoured by Argentinians and Uruguayians usually in a small, hollowed out gourd and through a metal straw. It is thick so water is constantly added hence the combination of mate cup, mate and thermos of hot water

Parrilla - grilled meat of any type from chicken, pork, beef to blood sausages, intestines etc

Not too many photos with this story since I have already written about BA before. The photos are also taking over 1 hour to load with the slow internet service here too!

The farewell dinner with Ina and Gunnar, Puerto Madero

The farewell dinner with Ina and Gunnar, Puerto Madero

In the Galleries Pacific Shopping Mall with Santa - yes, Kurt made me take this picture although I wasn´t the only one cuz Santa was extremely popular!

In the Galleries Pacific Shopping Mall with Santa - yes, Kurt made me take this picture although I wasn´t the only one cuz Santa was extremely popular!

Just before the really evil scaping! Not sure which was harder on my feet - hiking in Torres del Paine with a full pack or this pedicure!

Just before the really evil scaping! Not sure which was harder on my feet - hiking in Torres del Paine with a full pack or this pedicure!

Casa Rosada - the pink government house - from the balcony at top, Evita used to come out to see the people

Casa Rosada - the pink government house - from the balcony at top, Evita used to come out to see the people

Typical delivery service in BA - empanadas and pizza by bike!

Typical delivery service in BA - empanadas and pizza by bike!

The brightly coloured mate cups for tourists complete with straws! Just had to have one for a mere $6!

The brightly coloured mate cups for tourists complete with straws! Just had to have one for a mere $6!

© Allison Webb, 2005
You are here : Overview The Americas Argentina Argentina-Travelogue
The trip
 
Description:
My trip through Peru before heading to Chile to work for 6 months and then travels afterward in South America
Details:
Start of journey: Jul 05, 2005
Duration: 8 months
End of journey: Mar 02, 2006
Travelled countries: Peru
Chile
Argentina
Uruguay
Ecuador
The Author
 
Allison Webb is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 14 years.