Current Location: Posada (Arg)
Last Song: Age of the Understatement - Last of the Shadow Puppets
thank you for your infinite patience, after much hype and media attention over the blog, the moment i got to Buenos Aires the last thing i seemed able to do was write for it!
all that is now changing along with the fact after one amazing month in the city never sleeps (at night anyway) i have moved north to Posada in NE Argentina on way way to Puerto Iguazu and the Iguazu Falls.
but im getting ahead of myself...back to where i left off after the last post (hold onto your hats, this could be a long one)
after being dropped off at the airport i went through security and dont mind admitting that it was then the somewhat enormity of my trip began to hit me, T5 is a dominating and slightly clinical place to spend a few hours and by the time i stewed around for a bit and done the mandatory WH Smith trip for a newspaper and magazine i was either itching to get on the plane or back to swindon! at the time i couldnt tell which one. afer a short delay the flight took off and so my 16 hr journey to BsAs began.
i arrived at Ezeiza airport with nerves still fueling my legs to find my friend Lilian had indeed come to meet me at the airport as promised, but rather than just helping my onto the right bus and into the city she had brought her mum. ah. well torn between not getting into a car with strangers and a free ride i took that free ride all the way to the door of my hostel (proudly saving myself a $100 peso cab fare in the process). this travelling lark didnt seem to hard after all!
the first couple of days i was taken on marches around the city, taking in as many sites as possible, with Lilian insisting on showing me that BsAs could compete with the European counterparts she had visited a few months ago. needless to say however trying to do BsAs on a euro city break timescale is exhausting. the city itself is parisian/madrid esque in style but feels alot more sprawling and intimidating in size. tall buildings, long blocks and a sense of orderly design meant at least navigating my way around the city became easy enough, walking and a simple Subte (underground) meant that most places were in easy reach.
i wont go over all the sites of BsAs but top highlights for me were:
1. Puerto Madero - in some respects the ex-pat central of BsAs but its grand man made canals lined with great restaurants and cafes to while away the afternoon/early evening in and watch the sun go down were awesome and will provide one of my long lasting memories of the city. It´s also home to the good ship Sarmiento which is a retired argentinian ship with lots of canons and ship like stuff on (including the dead stuffed dog - see facebook photos) and also to the nature reserve that goes alongside the Ria del Plata providing a great escape the bustle of the city.
2. Recoleta - an older part of town home to a great craft market on saturdays where i picked up a leather case for my written journal at a bargain 4pound and home of the cemetery which almost feels like a city unto itself, a sprawling mass of mausaleums and tombs including the final resting place of one Eva Peron. Recoleta also had a really relaxing park with some giant metallic flower in it, the flower itself is pretty well giant and metallic. but we´ll throw in architectualy stunning to sound more like lonely planet.
3. Palermo - home to some awesome bars, parks and musuems but a little overly populated with americans (northern ones), holds some good memories for nights out and lazy days spent in the japanese, botanical and rose gardens respectively.
a book store set in a theatre
the real highlights of my stay in BsAs came in the form of my hostel and language school. after originally booking to spend 3 nights at the Reina Madre, 28 later i finally left after being treated like one of the family and sad as it is but sitting watching 2 and a half men and eating El Conde empanadas will be hard to beat on this trip because of the fantastic people i shared it with. a couple of whom i shall hopefully see again on my travels. it was a sad day yesterday having to say goodbye but its a bloody big continent and 1 month is really longer than i should have stayed for anyway!!
part of the reason for staying so long was to learn some survial spanish - ¿Donde esta la bibliotecha?! but apart from the library essentially being able to book a bus ticket and actually end up where i was aiming for and not 12 hrs in the wrong direction. mostly i learnt that learning a language is hard and tiring work but also immensely rewarding. one of my friends from the Reina Madre was a guy from Santiago called Daniel, when i first got there he spoke no english and by the time I left i could speak spanish and he had learnt english from watching numerous episodes of Friends and 2 and a half men!! Vamos Spanish Academy were awesome and my very patient teacher put up with all my questions - including that i thought her map of argentina wasn´t entirely accurate when it came to a certain set of islands of the south east atlantic coast of argentina (she was a spanish native luckily).
anyway i have now travelled north to Posada with some Kiwi´s called Roz and Nic after a chilled day here we´re heading to Iguazu tomorrow for what should be some spectacular scenery over the next few days so im off to charge both my camera batteries as ive rambled on for far too long.
anyway, there it is. blog done. grammatical and spelling errors.... check. poor writing style....check...
hopefully you wont have to wait so long for the next entry.
check facebook for photos, when i get a decent internet connection i will upload more.