Quick intro: so a while ago Doireann wrote a post about her week in Buenos Aires before the rest of us arrived in South America, and this is the Part II of that post. The link to Part I is here if you want to recap on her solo shenanigans! Over to Doireann…
So to pick up where I left off, I woke up early the morning that Holly was due to arrive as I wanted to make sure I could message her back if she had any problems in the airport. I gave her the address of the hostel I was staying in so we could meet there and walk over to our new hostel and check in. She arrived tired and slightly delirious but nonetheless I checked out and dragged her over to the new hostel where we left off our big rucksacks and made to walk down to the area called La Boca.
I had seen pictures of these amazingly coloured houses in La Boca but I think I thought that was what the whole area would look like.
We walking through San Telmo where we came across a small art festival happening in a small park at the end of the San Telmo. It was geared towards children because their winter holidays had just begin, but as Holly always says, we are children. We got to do a little art with ink and learnt a little about optical illusions.
When we got to La Boca, to my surprise it was not the coloured houses I was expecting. We made it as far as Boca Juniors stadium (a pretty big deal for any of you football fans) and we were getting slightly desperate. We kept pointing at any house that had even a bit of coloured to it, wondering if we had been tricked a little by photos filled with filters and photoshops. Thankfully we had a tourist map with us that had a star in an area in La Boca called El Caminito so we figured it couldn’t hurt to walk a little further and see if that was what we are looking for. The cool thing about the walk from the stadium to El Caminito is that you can follow the train tracks down these walled streets that are covered in some of the most beautiful graffiti/murals I’ve ever seen. Agazzi is celebrating, an old woman has wings and it don’t even really know how to put into words some of the others.
Eventually Holly and I spotted a brightly coloured square and we were very relieved to see that we had in fact reached our destination. If you have ever seen picture of El Caminito, I can tell you know, its exactly how you imagine it. I don’t know how or why it happened but I really do enjoy it. The shops are just little toursits shops, nothing of real note but if you are walking along the streets and look up, you can see the puppets staring down at you from their balconies, both entertaining and creepy. We ate our lunch there, sitting outside a bright yellow restaurant, eating the biggest bruschetta I’ve ever seen and enjoying the winter sunshine.
We picked up an ice cream on our way back to our hostel, where we were shown our room and Holly KOd in about three seconds for a pre tango snooze. That night (when Holly finally rose from the DED) we went to a free tango class our hostel offered. We figured liquid courage was a good idea so we went down to the hostel bar to order two glasses of wine. We saw the price and figured €3 for a glass of nice red wine was not to bad at all. When we ordered two glasses of Colon red wine, the barman was a little confused. Ladies and gents, it was not €3 per glass but rather €3 per bottle. We figured one bottle between two was a far better idea than a bottle each (tango would require a lot of coordination.)
Tango was very fun and Holly and I are pretty much pros. I won’t say too much except that one of us could have been a lot better with a more coordinated partner and the other fell in love. We were starving by the time it was over so we went to find an authentic Argentinian restaurant. Neither of us wanted steak which I think may have been our biggest mistake. A spanish omelette in that place was genuinely chipper chips (french fries) cooked into a cake with egg. We were not too impressed.
The following day, we were almost at full strength, with the arrival of Aisling and Aoife. We took them down to Recoleta cemetary which was the last place I had heard of that I wanted to see. It’s both creepy and beautiful. The whole place is a maze of ornate and massive tombs and graves. We did manage to find our way to one of the most important graves; that of Evita Peron. The graveyard was not for everyone (Holly) but I really enjoyed it.
Afterwards we went to the Mueseum of Fine Art again and to the tapas place in San Telmo but not before a photoshoot in front Plaza Naciones Unidas, in front of that big tulip looking thing.
We had a quick bop that night in the hostel party where Holly and I danced so vigourously that we found ourselves sourrounded by Brazilians telling us that we were the best dancers they had ever seen. One boy even told me that I could be the Queen of Sao Paolo if I went there. Since that night, Holly and I have agreed that one day, we WILL got to Sao Paolo to visit our people.
The following day we walked dow to the nature reserve which was nice but as we are in the middle of winter, I don’t think it was the best time to see it again. I showed them the beautiful Plaza de Mayo and was able to tell them what I remembered from my walking tour.
The most important part of the day though was when we went back to La Boca and in the square we saw what we all agree is the future star of Argentinian soccer. A small boy who couldn’t have been older than three playing soccer with his dad had the jersey, the skills, the haircut and most importantly the celebration of a player who no doubt will go far. Safe to say we all wanted to bring him home with us because he may have been one of the cutest children I’ve ever seen.
In case anyone was worried, we did manage to eat steak in Buenos Aires too. Aisling and I are vegetarians so we stuck with gnocchi but Holly and Aoife both got a steak the size of my face, well deserved after the gruelling tango lesson we had just taken. We all went to bed that night will happy tummies and ready for the long day of flying to Lima!