We are coming to the end of our time in Buenos Aires. I’m ready to move on, but at the same time, wish I could stay longer in this beautiful city. The time we’ve spent here has been productive in that we have used the non-touristy time to get systems in place to help us travel better. I have been working on financial admin to make sure we have a close eye on how much we are spending and how much we have left to see us through the year. Brett has been focussing on the systems he’ll need to work remotely and getting his laptop configured for the new things he’ll be doing.
As for the city, there are certain things will stay with me as we travel. I had quite an interesting day when I got up early to spend time in the Recoleta Cemetery. On my way there I witnessed a taxi run a red light and broadside a car which was crossing in front of it. (No-one was severely injured and I left my details as a witness.) After spending time photographing the monuments of the cemetery, I came across a funeral and observed the interment. (Not as dignified as you’d expect; the coffin essentially gets manhandled feet-first through a manhole cover in the floor of the tomb.)
On my way home by Subte, a guy was standing somewhat closer than the crowd density in the carriage required. I wasn’t sure at first if I was just being overly sensitive (Argentinians are quite casually tactile), but then I thought I felt my wallet move. I wasn’t sure, so couldn’t say anything, but I moved around so that he couldn’t access that pocket any longer. As we were coming into the station though, I spotted him reaching into the backpack of the girl lined up in front of him and warned the girl that she needed to zip up her pockets. He gave me a shrug and disappeared into the crowd.
Having made it back to Palermo, I met up with Brett for lunch. He’d been checking out places on FourSquare/Swarm, looking for good coffee and wi-fi. We also used it to find the best spot for lunch – but failed to pay attention to the pricing chart and so paid for our inattention by ordering an £80 lunch without really noticing.
The other memorable day was the one we spent on the Estancia Los Dos Hermanos, an hour northwest of the city. It was a day of riding on a horse ranch. We had ideal weather for it and, apart from the buzz of a go-kart track near the highway intruding on the sounds of nature, it was an idyllic location of rolling green fields, small copses and creeks filled with birds and butterflies.
In the end, the horse-riding was the only bit I didn’t enjoy. I had gone along looking for good photographs – and there were plenty to be had – but I couldn’t make my horse stand still. I would rein him in and he would stop but, as soon as I put down the reins to adjust my camera, he would start walking again, anxious to catch up with the horse in front. I checked with the lead rider several times and it seemed I was doing things right – in fact she ended up holding the reins of my horse a couple of times so I could take shot. Usually by the time that happened though, we had already walked past the picture I wanted to capture…
The lunch provided was delicious though; salad and lots of barbequed meat (asado), washed down with beer and wine. After lunch and before the second ride, there were hammocks to relax in that we took full advantage of. I also went for a walk around the ranch buildings and got my best photographs of the horses from the day.
A bonus was we got to share a car with two other English-speaking travellers, Michelle and Simon, she from Vancouver and he from Northampton, who were just at the end of their time in Argentina. They gave us several good tips for things to do and see both here and over in Chile.
We have spent quite a while just wandering the streets too. There’s so much lovely green space and lots of public sculpture and art around to enjoy.
On our final day we took a tour of the famous Teatro Colon, which proved just as beautiful inside as out. We got an opportunity to hear the acclaimed acoustic (inasmuch as we could clearly hear the on-stage conversations of the ballet company that were rigging that day…) Next time we visit we’ll make sure to come during a period when something is actually playing in the auditorium!
For our final night, we paid a much-delayed visit to a milonga to watch the locals tango. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but still fascinating to watch. I’ll relate our evening at Milonga Salon Canning in another post.