Cordoba to Buenos Aires, a farewell to Argentina.. or so we thought !!!
Buenos Aires Travel Blog› entry 22 of 31 › view all entries
Hi all, been a while but there is no internet on a slow boat on the amazon so I have not had much of a chance to catch up.. so here goes !
So, we had left Mendoza and were on our way to BA, but en route we thought we would break up the journey with a stop over in Cordoba, the main reason for which was that we had heard you can get a tango show and dinner for MUCH cheaper than BA, so we thought it was worth a craick ( apologies for the crap Irish spelling).
WE arrived about 10 am and it was hot.. damn hot.. so being the intelligent people we are , we set off on foot , during rush hour, for about 40 minutes , with our packs, to find the hostel.. great plan morons !! but we got there in the end ! the "blindbook" is not too complimentary about cordoba, but I dont know why ! we were in a cool "student" distirct with loads of nice bars and restaurants and some excellent ice cream parlors ! Cordoba is an industrial city , and to be honest reminded me a lot of certain parts of Birmingham, but we did not feel at all threatened there ( despite what the guide was warning !) anyway, we did all the Touristy stuff in the old town ( that of it that was open and not under renovation) and I purchased a pair of new sunglassed to replace those lost in Patagonia. That was fun, they were cheap knock offs and as I was about to pay, the guy snached the glasses out of my hands, grabbed his three, meter square polystyrene boards of glasses and ran off down the street !! WHAT THE FUDGE??.. well it turned out the cops were coming and his stall was not exactly legal, but he came and found me after i walked off and we did the deal in a shop doorway.. oh messing with the seedier side of argentina.. oooh get me.. toughguy !
Anyhoo, after such excitement we came back to our cubbyhole in the hostel ( which was nice but a bit harry potteresque, as in a broom cupboard under the stairs !) and shared a bottle of wine as we chatted to the other residents. That evening the hostel was offering a parilla ( big ass barbeque) but we declined as we had reserved a table at a tango show for 10pm ! . The Tango show was great, 2 singers ( one male, one female) two old duffers on guitar and that fench instrument with the bellows and the keyboard that always annoys you at restaurnats when you eat outside.. i cant recall the name, but he was a whizz on it.....) and a couple tangoing in different costumes. It was all very good and punctuated by more wine and an excellent dinner ( lamb and beef as I recall , and truley wonderful) we had a great time. After this I drunkenly checked my mails back at the hostel and got some bad news about big Bro ( but you will be happy to know he is alright now) but at the time it did send me a bit off the rails and I rallied to the nearest watering hole for more liquid psychiatry !......which helped :-)
Interestingly enough, we were sat in a "doorway" bar watching a very popular bar called " the good bar" over the road, however we did not think it was so good, as there were only 3 people in it and the stupid bouncer was making about 20 people queue up outside.. not very good at all !!!
Woke op the next day with a hangover, no suprise there.. wine before beer.. oh dear ! did some chores ( like calling big bro to make sure all was ok.. which it was.. phew !) and then hid from the sun at an excellent museum (museo Caraffa) with a photovisual exhibition ( the photos were great, but some arse´s attempt at making a film was utter shit - prob only called it art as would never be allowed in a real cinema ! I could do better, and Im really crap !!) anyway.. I digress..... and then off ot the bus station for the 10 hr ride to BA !
BA was an eye opener ( to say the least) .. 2 minutes off the bus and I had been bitten by mosqitos about 5 times !! well it is a sub tropical climate !! Via the metro we found the hostel ok, but our room was not ready ( this happens a lot when you take night buses and arrive at stupid o clock ) so we bummed around for a bit then wanderd off into town. Luckily we were in walking distance of san telmo, the artisanan part of BA so we could easily find a nice cafe to have brunch , in amongst the cobbeled streets and colurful houses. That day we set off ( after checking in properly) for a walking tour of BA, we saw the plaza ( where they wee having an anti UK demo about the falklands... "English... no no we are australian dear boy.. I mean .. cobber "!)the HUGE bookshops , some beautiful parks and the "buddy bears" from Berlin ( see the photos).
Evening came and we had the first of many Steak dinners in BA, I know its a cliche that they are the best steaks in the world, but the cliche is true, they really were excellent !! This twinned with "free daquri night" at the hostle made for an excellent introduction to BA. The next day was a Sunday, the day famous for the antiques market in SAn telmo !hosah, just down the road !! so we spent most of the day wandering the streets looking at the artisan crap and the antiques that no one in their right mind would buy and stopping occasionally to watch the tango shows that were on every street corner ! When the market was exhaused, we jumped in a cab to the area of BA called BOCA ( some will know it from Boca Juniors football team), a colourful area of town with more tango shows and restaurants than you could shake a stick at ! More excellent fun ! Boca was playing and we were offered tickets for 90 peso ( hostel was charging 250 for the same privaledge) but we did not have enough cash to buy them, so had to decline ( which was prob a good thing as it turns out. We met an australian couple who went, the vistors stand was directly above the "tourist" area, so they spent most of the match sheltering in rain coats from spit, piss, you name it , that the away fans were throwing down at them !).
Day 3 in Ba can be summarised by two words ( and I apologise in advance for anyone with a sensitive disposition).. F*CKING AIRLINES !!!!!
Regular readers may recall our problems in Santiago with changing our flight to Brazil, well, the big day was coming and as instructed we went to the head office of the airline to pay our 200 dollars and confirm we had flights. We got there and it was a ticket system to get served.. we took a ticket and waited... almost two hours!! eventually we saw someone, and their manager when we complainerd, as they had no idea of what was going on, and wanted to send us across town to a totally different airline ( TAM) to get the ticket re-issued !! This went beyond the pale, we were not going to waste any more time on this , and so made the executive decision to sack off the flight and go to the igazu falls by bus instead. This would totally screw our plans for Brazil, but what the heck, I was not about to loose any more time on this stupid airline !!
So with the decision made, and a huge weight lifted, we set off to see the famous recoletsa cemetary ! where amonght others, Evita Peron is interred. In one of those strange coincidences, as we wanderd around the tombs, we heard someone call out for Harriet and turned to find a friend of hers , Rachel, from Seville, also wandering around (small world), so we spent the rest of the afternoon with her looking around the Exclucive Recoleta district.
Evening came and we had arranged to meet up with Chris and Natalie from our Patagonia trek who were also in town. They had found a hostal ( recommended) in the centre of san telmo, just off the square, for a third of the price we were paying.. so we immediatly reserved a room and decided to move in the next day ( best decision EVER !) .
We then jumped a train to the "little soho" of BA, called Palmero, where we had a very dissappointing parilla (cold) and watched the fun as several people also complained about there meals at our restaurant !! ( so its not always brilliant !!).
Moving into the new hostal ( Hotel Carly) we were given a room upstairs ..WITH A BALCONY !!! overlooking the square.. how good was that.. we could stay in, cook for ourselves at a fraction of the cost and still be in the middle of everything !! excellent !! Chris and Natalie moved into the room next door to us ( also with a balcony) and we all enjoyed the raised view of the square.. to be honest thats pretty much all we then did for the next 5 days !! We managed some shopping, mostly for food, mostly steak etc that we all took turns cooking and eating on the exceptional balcony while BA got on with things beneath us. We tried to get into town for St Patricks day, but it was mental busy, no possibility of even getting a beer on the street ( the price inflation was incredible) and so came back to our lovely balcony with some late night beers. Days began with excellent empanadas ( chicken and beef) and ended with fine food and wine ( extending to 7 bottles one night between the 4 of us ) on the balcony. Occasionally for a change we found a bar.. but not for long as the balcony would always becon !
The party lasted until Chris and Natalie left ( to allow their livers to revcover , no doubt). The new neighbor was not as much fun, and so we realised it was time to move on ourselves, but not before One last party with Harriets friend Rachel. She had recently been robbed and had to replenish her earrring collection, so we helped with that ( back to the market) and she also took us to a fantastic restaurant in Palmero that made up for the crappy parilla we had the last time we were there ! The last night we had in BA was spent watching the post market Milongue ( like a free for all tango session) drinking chilled while wine as the sun set... ahh perfect...
we had decided that tomorrow we would break with our plans totally and go to URUGUAY !! whoda thunk it.. but as we were now free as birds with no responsibilites except to get to Manaus in Brazil by mid April, then the world was our oyster !!
more next time !