Friday, January 10, 2014

The Joys of Buenos Aires

It is January and it is hot in Buenos Aires,90 degrees today, and that is exactly why we came. This year we had an uneventful flight via Wenatchee; Seattle; Los Angeles; Lima, Peru; to Buenos Aires, Argentina. it is a long trip but it is summer in BA with long days of daylight and sunshine. The biggest challenge we have at the moment is desynchronosis or traveler's fatique, better known as JET LAG! We are trying to get in the swing of dining at 9 or 10 pm which is always a challenge. Some people tell us the 
city is empty as locals take vacation if they can afford it, but as there are still ten million people here it seems pretty crowded to us. We learned that lesson the hard way last night. Our favorite taxi driver named Hector recommended a restaurant in a barrio (neighborhood) called La Boca where we would not dare to go alone at night. He promised to drop us and pick us up so we decided it would be a chance to dine with the locals and be a fun excursion.  It is a popular restaurant called "El Obrero" or "The Worker" (on Trip Advisor it ranked 85/1865 restaurants in this metropolis). We arrived after a 30 minute drive through BA past the docklands to a dark deserted building with a sign that said "pasar las vacaciones". This family owned restaurant could afford vacation and they were closed for business. After slowing his cab to read the sign, Hector began to mutter to himself and we soon realized he could not get his car out of first gear. We limped along until we were in a slightly better neighborhood and one of Hector's driver friends picked us up and drove us home. What an adventure for our first night on the town. Dale and I both decided there are plenty of nice restaurants in safer neighborhoods in the city that we could walk to.

Today we made travel arrangements with "Say Hueque" travel agency to fly north to Iguazu Falls and Salta. We had to carry a boatload of cash and were relieved to complete this money transfer.  Tonight we attended a tango show at the "Esquina Homero Manzi" that did not even begin until 10 pm. All these late evenings are forcing us to get on local time which is a good thing. We are happy to be here walking shaded city streets, reading our Kindles and dining on the best beef one could ever hope to eat.  Yes, jet lag is a pain but ahhhh the sunshine is so very nice!

  And one additional vignette:  on the way to the travel agency Dale wanted to walk over to the Church of the Espiritu Santo to see the huge banner of the new Pope Francisco.  He took some photos and then took a wrong turn at a roundabout.  Twenty blocks later, clearly we were lost.  A middle aged man sitting on a bench was waiting for the bus.  Dale asked him:  Donde esta calle Thames?  Buscando la esquina Thames y Cabrera?
The man turned and smiled, "do you speak English?"   He told us clearly, in perfect English, how to walk ten blocks down Cordoba and turn left and then right... As he concluded the directions his bus arrived.  Dale thanked him and complimented him on his perfect English.  He grinned a huge grin, and only then did we realize he had a cane, he was blind and it brought him real joy to be giving perfect directions in a foreign language to a total stranger.  His directions were spot on.

Our travel agent Nicolas at Say Hueque, counting out the pile of $100 peso bills.

"Don Julio" Parrilla in Palermo Soho located near Say Hueque travel agency.

Curtain call at Esquina Homero Manzi. Great show for $22 US dollars apiece.

Great musicians. Live band was made up of a piano, guitar, bass, violin and accordian.

Full house 

This banner at the church of the Espiritu Santo, proclaims, The good Christian does not lament  and is always happy. The new Pope is from here and the world welcomes his positive spirit.

A street vendor at the Plaza Francia Art and Crafts Fair in Recoleta

A young mom takes a break next to her booth at the Art fair.

The Recoleta cemetery is made up of 14 hectares of land and is said to be one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. This was our 4th visit but it keeps drawing us back for one more quick look. 

 The cemetery is laid out in sections like city blocks, with walk ways lined with mausoleums.

Some families can not afford to maintain their mausoleums and they have fallen into disrepair. 
Most of the cemetery is gorgeous and well kept. Each family pays to maintain their family plot.

The Basilica Nuestra SeƱora del Pilar in Recoleta Buenos Aires

Gail poses in front of a huge palm tree enjoying the sunshine!

It is not all about the beef! It is summer and the salads are delicious.
Cervi fruit company whom we visited in Neuquen, Argentina two years ago.


Tanya Lawson said...

Are those palmettos (palm hearts) on that salad!! I love those. I bought some this Christmas. The pics are wonderful! Salta seems very pretty, and of course Iguazu is one of the many wonders of the world. I went there twice! La Boca has sweet memories for me. I was in a little boat on a canel with my boyfriend Jaime, and he asked me if we could get engaged. I said yes! I called my mom the next day, and she said "NO!" (which might have brought her to Buenos Aires the very next month! :-) I love the recoleta. My friends mom lives very close to that. It looks like you are having a ball. I think being a natural night owl in my youth helped me cope very nicely with their "scheduling" of dining, dancing, and entertainment. You both look great! I wanted to let you know that my art will be at the museum through February. Many pieces in the small arts exhibit, and three in the non juried art show. My new piece. "Wiowl Wiowld West made it in to the juried art show! Valentines Day cards are in ready to be picked up at the printer. Safe travels!! Love you!

Tanya Lawson said...

Que El Senor les bendiga!!