At this point of our trip, as one would expect, we are pretty much over buses. In just under two weeks since leaving Santiago we have spent around 105 hours sitting on a bus. We always knew it was going to be a long journey to get south and back in such a short time period - but perhaps we were not quite prepared for such distances. We felt as though our time was spent constantly on buses as opposed to seeing and enjoying the places. Now having done Patagonia we think that it should be a trip in itself. But this is all part of the travel experience and every bus journey has certainly been unique. Whether it is the changing scenery, numerous border patrol checks or like our last journey from Puerto Madryn where the bus had lost its front suspension, there is always something different to help keep us entertained. Every time the bus drove over the most minute bump in the road we were tossed around in our seats and several times during the night we were woken to find ourselves jolted out of our seats. Funny for the first five minutes but very uncomfortable for 20 hours.
Needless to say we were very excited to arrive into the mighty city of Buenos Aires. It was a scorching hot afternoon as we took a taxi through the city to our hostel. Our hostel left a lot to be desired, it could be fantastic with its’ grungy decor but instead it was very filthy and we were put into a room we had not booked. After some complaining we were moved to a better room which made the stay more acceptable.
Our first day was spent wandering the city’s centre admiring the 19th century European architecture and enjoying the abundance of large leafy trees which provided respite from the intense Autumn heat. Stopping for a sit in the shade in one of the many Plaza’s we were amused to see some professional dog walkers which this city is renowned for. Very cute and very entertaining.
We thoroughly explored the downtown area which provided a huge array of shopping opportunities from chain stores, to leather shops and many exclusive Polo stores. We were very excited to see such variety and fantasised about replacing our very dreary and rundown backpack-wardrobes. As this was slightly out of our price range the next day we headed to Palermo to check out the gorgeous street market and designer boutiques that sold goods at surprisingly reasonable prices. We had lunch at one of the many up-market cafes and enjoyed people-watching in this very affluent suburb of the city.
Our third day, Sunday, was spent catching up on admin as well as visiting the San Telmo markets which were crammed full of locals and tourists shopping up a storm. We cooked from home for both lunch and dinner as we had been very spoilt during our stay here and indulged in eating out for both lunch and dinner at the many fabulous cafes and restaurants. Through a diligent and thorough research process we have discovered our new love; the delicious Malbec wine. This densely coloured drop with soft tannins and hints of blackberry originated in France but is now primarily produced in Argentina - with 70% of the world’s production. We will certainly be looking up this variety when we return home as it is also produced in NZ. Delicious.
We have just loved our four night stay in BA, this city is beautiful and has a lot to offer. We will return for a couple of nights before we fly to Auckland in 3 weeks time. Monday morning we pack our bags and jump on a plane for a pleasant 2 hour journey to the north of Argentina to see the mighty Iguazu Falls.
(The observant readers will notice we have changed the blog photo. Slightly more appropriate compared to the house we previously lived - almost 10 months on this feels like a distant memory to us both)