Sunday, July 24, 2011

Buenos Aires, Argentina (ocho)

My last two and a half weeks in Buenos Aires featured mostly beer, wine and late nights, plus some tequila and vodka thrown in there for good measure. I'd forgotten what hostel-living involved and thus was slightly unprepared at first, going to bed at a reasonable hour, getting up in time for breakfast and silly things like that. After a couple of days though I embraced the hostel life and had an awesome time, I met a really good group of people and together we explored the various highs and lows of night-life in Buenos Aires.

The worst experience by far was the "special" (read: rip-off) bar crawl for Bastille day, which involved walking around Palermo with a group of over a hundred drunk people to several different bars where we were given watered-down shots and encouraged to scream our thanks to the bartender. Luckily I was with some fun people and we managed to find the humour in the situation, and I spent most of the night laughing and bemused at the horrific spectacle I'd decided to take part in. However in the third bar when a young man with sick down his jumper was quickly hustled past us and outside by his friends to stagger about and throw up some more I decided it was time to leave before I lost my sense of humour.

Some of the best nights we had were just hanging out at the hostel, drinking and staying up late, but I really, really enjoyed our night at La Catedral, a large warehouse style building hung with multi-coloured fairy lights and various pieces of art, where we saw an amazing guitarist and a pretty good accordion player too. The food and drink there was also very tasty and very cheap (always a great combination) and I wish I'd hung out there more.

Another place I'd like to have visited more than once was El Bomba de Tiempo, a percussion show in another warehouse-type venue with graffiti-covered walls and EXCELLENT music.

Living near San Telmo really grew on me and I think if (when!) I go back to BA I will live there, it's my new favourite barrio! Apart from the main market street of Defensa, which is rammed every Sunday, there are other roads parallel and crossing it which seem much more interesting, filled with cafes, little galleries, bars and antique shops. It's a little grittier than Palermo but it has much more beautiful buildings with some great architectural styles all mixed up together.

My last full day in Buenos Aires I spent in true tourist-style sat on an open-top double decker bus seeing all the sights. It was bloody freezing but it was interesting to see how the different barrios are connected and how small the central part of the city is, and I got to visit the teeny-tiny Chinatown and enjoy some non-Argentinean food. I never thought I'd say this but I'm getting a little bored of steak! Not the good stuff, (we went to El Desnivel on Defensa during my last week and it was excellent,) but the bog-standard stuff they serve in every restuarant which I end up ordering because the chicken and pork here are not worth mentioning and most places rarely have fish on the menu. It's steak, pizza or pasta basically and I'm getting a little tired of all three!

El Obelisco, which was about five blocks away from my hostel, and an empty Av. 9 de Julio (very unusual and only because it was closed off for some sort of cycling event):

1 comment:

Gary Motteram said...

All sounds 'awesome', as I think your generation say ;-)