(Phone died so I lost some key photos 😦 )
I figured it made sense to check out the Hostel the two guys I had been travelling with had booked. It seemed ok so I checked myself in as well and we headed out to find some food as we were pretty starved after 24 hours in the bus living of snacks (plus the foot long subway I have got into the habit of buying for long trips). We found a nice looking place that advertised steak for 240 pesos, about £10. For another pound you could get one with salad, drink and pudding less the fries. Given my carb heavy snacking recently this sounded perfect and I have to say it was delicious! The wine was a generous cupful and turned out to be the best I had in this stint of Buenos Aires but apparently the tortilla was disappointing.
We then wondered around the city a bit and saw the Obelisk and a few key buildings around the main square which was beautiful. That night I cooked for first time in my entire trip as we made some chicken and pesto pasta for a fraction of what we would otherwise have spent. We also each selected a bottle merlot from the extensive selection in the supermarket and made a competition out of who could pick the best one, and this night started with the cheapest that was ok but not great as we got to know a few of the other guests from the hostal, mainly Sebastian from Chile and Mathias from Argentina.
Cemetery and mall
A fairly relaxed start to a lovely sunny day day saw us at cemetery. It was ominous and impressive in equal measure. Each mini mausoleum was an intricately made unique structure precisely located in rows of others. This place is also the final resting place of Eva Perón (Evita!).
Next it was to the nice air conditioned mall for a browse of the fancy shops and some amazing Argentinian empanadas, which had letters “stamped” on each indicating the filling… Of specific note here is the spinach and cheese one which was out of this world. Two of us went back for a second which was freshly cooked and the contents like lava but we powered through as it was so good.
The power adaptor that had served me so well in Brazil was now redundant and I got ripped off for an Argentinian one but at least it does the job… the real kick in the teeth is that most sockets actually accept European ones… D’oh!
More wine that night, this time a portillo Malbec from 2015 which was my choice and narrowly the favourite overall, before heading out for a taste of the Buenos Aires nightlife. The Fernet cocktail apparently a specialty here, via the Italian influence. Similar to my experience in Madrid, it was pretty quiet until 1am with people having their dinner al fresco and in the various eateries in the main area of Palermo soho where we were hanging out. We passed the last of the time before club at a craft beer place where we each ordered a recommended tipple. One was rubbish but the other two were ok!
There Is an interesting rule with the clubs here in that the age restrictions for entry 19 girls 21 guys. I guess that something similar happens in the UK as well but it certainly isn’t written down and stated officially! Either way we put me at the front and pretended that the guys behind me couldn’t speak Spanish (despite Sebastian being Chilean and Tristan having lived 10 years in Spain!!). Either way I had a nice chat with a surprisingly pleasant bouncer and no IDs were requested. It took until about 2am to get full but was good fun by the end of it and met a few locals, ahead of a delicious hot dog (or two) and a cab home.
Pizza and san Telmo
The next day to remove the last of the hangover we headed to a place called Pizza guerrin where you could buy delicious pizza by the slice. I got an extra piece racking up 3 big slices and was really full for not much cash. We then headed to the San Telmo area and saw a bit of live music, checked out antique shops and stopped by a few friendly people with dogs who were eager to speak with foreigners. There are also loads and loads of goths here… didn’t know that about Buenos Aires but it seems to be the case!
That night we cooked carbonara for all five of us. This got off to a false start as we realised the pasta we bought had weevils or some form of grimes bugs in eurgh… but ultimately with some back up pasta we managed it and it was incredible, I ate so much. Then I headed out with Sebastian and Mathias to visit the museum of beautiful arts (el museo de bellas artes). I wasn’t expecting/ up for another night of partying so found bit disappointing that most of the museum was shut and really it was just a place to drink. There was at least live music and I met a couple of their friends so had an ok couple of hours ahead of making it to a very welcoming bed (so far as a hostel bed goes…).
The next day I met up with Max and we started in San Telmo again before walking over to La boca which was beautiful and has a load of the stereotypical buildings you would associate with Buenos Aires. El caminito is a cute walkway flanked by nice little cafes serving food and drink most of which had some tango dancers to watch during your refreshment. By a twist of fate I heard a shout of my name, looked over and found Roshan, a friend of mine from work who by chance had ended up in the same spot as me during his 3 week trip here.
We wandered around the streets here and eventually settled at a place with some hot chocolate and churros whilst watching some tango dancers. I managed to throw most of my hot chocolate down myself pretty early on when it was still really hot resulting in crushing disappointment for the tragic waste of good chocolate + owww! The former at least was remedied as the waiter kindly brought me another free, but afforded himself a sly chuckle at my expense. Fair enough, it was pretty stupid…. I put it down to lack of sleep!
We went back around the hostel later on to have a nice milanesa at “el club de milanesa”… I wish I’d taken a picture of it, it was massive and tasty… as well as a beer deal before heading home to hear about the other guy’s day, as he had met up at the park with a girl from the club two days ago.
Colonia de Sacramento
The next day was a painfully early start to make our ferry for a day trip to colonia sacramento passing over to Uruguay, which happily was totally worth it. I did the Old town tour in Spanish (guide was not that sympathetic as the other 30 people were native speakers…) and did my best to regale the info back to the others afterwards as we walked around again in slow time. Lunch we were recommended an all you can eat “san jardín”, the quality of which was not good but it came with a carafe of wine each and so we had a pleasant enough couple of hours, mostly talking about physics as it happened…
That afternoon we rented a bike and cycled “la rambla” (effectively the beach run) and stopped halfway to enjoy the beach itself. It was a nice place and we chilled with a beer later on until the sunset and the two guys I was travelling with headed back on the late ferry back to Buenos Aires and I to my hostel for a quiet night at a pleasant hostel called bit hostel, with decoration of the old style video games.