BA was our final stop on the Dragoman tour. We said goodbye in Argentinian style with all 23 of us piling into a restaurant for a 5 course, all-you-can-drink dinner. Predictably this turned into a rather messy night with tears (not ours) fighting (not us) and a lot of shots in a bad club.
In a moment of hungover wisdom Stef and I joined a free walking tour the following morning. I don’t think we really comprehended how much walking this would involve and 3 hours later we’d covered a huge area of Buenos Aires but hadn’t taken in much of what our chirpy guide had said. I do remember that the government building (with its balcony that has served s a platform for Ava Peron and Madonna) gets it’s pink colour from the cow dung that was used to paint it and now has permanent riot barriers in place as there are protests almost daily.
First impressions of BA are that it is a city past it’s best. Hints of grandeur are there still but likely to be covered in graffiti and falling down, with a “Cambio” man lurking outside. There is no ‘wow’ factor, landmark buildings or bustling central city, instead the individual neighbourhoods have their own identities and nightlife.
We moved out of the centre and into San Telmo, having found ourselves a lovely place to stay on airbnb – a couple have a 14 bed mansion that they are gradually renovating and starting to rent out rooms. Our suite had a huge bathroom with double jacuzzi bath and cost less than a budget hotel room. Jane and Tom were really friendly and their place is very grand with a huge ballroom. We love using airbnb to find different places to stay, we tend to end up in more interesting neighbourhoods and get a bit of local insight from our hosts.
That night we went to an awful Tango show at Cafe Tortina ; it was so tacky and didn’t feel traditional at all.
San Telmo has narrow streets, antiques markets and cool little shops and cafes that we spent some time pottering about before heading up to Recolleta, the huge cemetery which is more like a small town of mausoleums.
We were looking forward moving out of the city and back into the country side with our next stop, Mendoza.