Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Life is Buenos Back in Buenos Aires we rented an apartment for our last 2 weeks. We had again gone from an 18th century stone room in Bogotá to our swanks-ville 2 bedroom apartment with every modern convenience Argentina can offer for a bargain price – it didn’t take us long to get used to BA’s legendry price to quality ratio which has to be the one of the best in the world. We chose a suburb called Palermo to stay in which reminds me of Chelsea and Kings Road area of London: trendy Mum’s draped in designer fashions collided their state-of-the-art push-chairs whilst on their way to urban-chic pavement cafes. Every weekend the plaza had a trendy Artisan market and buzzed with atmosphere as the street cafes filled up with young people. Garage clothes sales sprung up everywhere and it was a shoppers dream. So there we are surrounded by cool bars, shops, restaurants, markets etc and what do you think Jason spent the first afternoon doing? Well baking a cake and making a jelly of course! (yes travelling really has turned him a bit loopy…) For the next 2 weeks we swanned around BA’s best shops, restaurants, bars and clubs feeling like the rich elite of London, occasionally stopping to point out to each other we were about to wake up from this dream very soon. Jungle Reunion Hannah (of Peru and Bolivia fame) arrived with her latest beau, a Dutchman named Rik who spoke better English than any of us! Whilst Hannah and I competed in the shopper of the year awards, Rik and Jason sampled a few more bars. We had plenty of time to kill as there was no need to go out until 11pm, peak time in restaurants is 12am and clubs don’t get going until around 3am! It was a strange couple of weeks as we became near nocturnal, arriving home several times at 5 or 6am. I am too old for this! Trendy Tango My passion for tango hasn’t waned and the first thing I did was to buy some tango shoes. We took Rik and Hannah along to a Tango show but unfortunately there were more ageing tango singers than dancers and Jason amused us all by falling asleep! A few days later Jason mysteriously disappeared at the exact time we had all planned to go to a tango lesson. Not to worry, Hannah and I enjoyed being swished around the dance floor by some rugged looking Argy blokes! (And Hannah looked quite the part in her hiking boots!) After the lesson people started to arrive in their droves for the “Milonga”, which is where the band starts up and the real dancing begins. We were amazed, firstly by the fact that most of the people who turned up were under 30, and secondly by the gusto with which the band, made up of about 10 young blokes, performed: this wasn’t tango for tourists or old people, this was tango for trendies! Birthday Commiserations There isn’t much more a girl could wish for than to have a birthday in the Spring of Buenos Aires. The day was spent lounging in the park in the sunshine, browsing at the markets and having extra cheap beauty treatments. The evening started early by Argentine standards at 9pm with a tango lesson and Milonga. As usual we stepped through the door of a beautiful old dance hall and into a time warp with people of all ages sliding effortlessly around the floor. Jason and I shuffled awkwardly around the dance floor occasionally treading on each other’s toes. Not only did he manage to attend the class but he also showed signs of enjoyment during the dancing. Determined we would get the steps right, true to form, he began calculations of exactly how many beats and multiples of beats each set of steps should take! At 11.30pm after fully exhausting our tango potential we headed to a seriously classy restaurant housed inside a huge French colonial mansion (Milion). It doubled as an art gallery and each room had laser geometric patterns projected onto the walls. With funky music and lighting it was definitely the place where BA’s young, hip and wealthy hangout. This was the type of place I would never even be able to set foot in in London, and for £15 each we gorged on a 3 course meal and a bottle of champers! We ended the night in what is certainly the most breathtaking club I have ever been to. I know I have spoken about Opera Bay in the other BA entry, but just in case you have forgotten I feel the need to tell you again. Its dome shaped with the sails of the Sydney Opera House forming the main roof which is partly open. It sits right by the water and the front is all glass giving fab views across the water to the BA skyline. In the middle of the main room is an infinity pool which stretches right back into the 5 other rooms behind it, each playing different music. We found the 80’s room and danced until 5am before falling into bed completely exhausted from the night’s excitement. Those Argentine moments Having just come from Colombia we had forgotten that Argentina too has its share of Latino energy and culture. It took us a few days to get used to the men greeting each other with quite passionate kisses and hugs as well as the macho, slimey behaviour of the Argentine men towards women. One night Hannah and I left a club on our own and found ourselves literally surrounded by long haired Latinos shouting highly original lines at us such as “I have only just seen you but I love you!” Maybe this kind of stuff works on the Argentine girls, who knows, but when we drove away in a taxi they were still battering on the windows asking if they could get in with us! The last Adios And so, after what could only be described as a shopping, eating and drinking bonanza, we boarded the plane with our hearts in our shoes (and one massive suitcase more than we arrived with) to come home. Oh South America and all your wonderful energy, how I am going to miss you……. (Large sobs can be heard….)


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