Friday, June 17, 2011

Buenos Aires, Argentina (cuatro)

It's been raining and pouring the last few days in BA and there's been some pretty impressive thunderstorms with actual thunderclaps rather than the bassy rumbles we get in the UK and purple lightning filling the sky and flickering constantly.
Today though the weather was much more inviting; yes, it was breezy and there was a nip in the air but the sun was shining and it was a perfect day for walking, so I walked: down Scalabrini Ortiz the wrong way so then I jumped on a bus to Del Libertador (which is where I planned to go in the first place) and walked up to Plaza Bolivia, where I sat enjoying the sun on my face and freshly-made empanadas (espinaca and queso y cebolla) and watched the pigeons and the parrots fighting over crumbs. Afterward I kept walking up Del Libertador and reached Parque Tres de Febrero where I wandered the paths of the rose garden and avoided skateboarders, cyclists and rollerbladers on the main strip. A lovely day.

I've been doing a lot of walking this weekend actually: I spent Saturday walking up and down Santa Fe in pursuit of the perfect pair of boots, and had lunch on the stage of a converted theatre, now a bookshop called El Ateneo Grand Splendid, a very beautiful setting but with a quite appalling selection of English-language books (they all have names like Forbidden Love, The Viking that Conquered my Heart, etc).

Then yesterday I went to the market in San Telmo for the second time with a couple of friends, where I bought a ring for an absolute bargain at 8 pesos and we whiled away a couple of hours sitting in a café, sipping café con leche and watching the world go by.

I've recently been informed that the organisation I'll be working with in Colombia will not be based in Bogotà, instead I'll be about three hours down the Central Cordillera in Ibagué. I'm a little disappointed but it seems like a nice little city and from my experiences in BA I think I'll learn Spanish a lot faster in a smaller place. Also Ibagué is only 1,285m above sea level wheras Bogotà is 2,625m so it should be much warmer! The only negative is that it rains a lot, but I'm a Mancunian, I can cope with that. Plus we get to spend our first couple of weeks in Colombia in Bogotà anyway so I'll have a chance to look around and it's not far, so I can visit on weekends.

So, my current itinerary is:
Jun/Jul - Buenos Aires (and Iguazu Falls hopefully)
Jul - northern Argentina/Bolivia
Aug - Bogotà, Colombia
Sep/Feb - Ibagué, Colombia

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