Tango Buenos Aires style - in NEW shoes!!

Trip Start Jan 28, 2005
1
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Trip End Aug 2005


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Flag of Argentina  ,
Friday, July 22, 2005

The birds were still asleep and not even a taxi driver hungry for business was to be found on the streets of La Paz when me and my 29 kilos of luggage (shopping is great) quietly stumbled out of the hostel to catch the flight to Buenos Aires. Across the room from my dorm bed Sjoerd was happily snoring away in his beauty sleep so I decided not to wake him up to say goodbye. We've planned to hook up in Rio in a few weeks so we'll do the goodbyes there before we both set off home. (You have no idea how quickly the 'going home thing' has come around!! YIKES!!) When you have been travelling with someone for a while it is always a strange feeling to get back on a plane and suddenly be on your own again. Somehow you always meet new and wonderful people, but that fear of the unknown is always there. Sjoerd has been most excellent travel company since we met on top of the train in Ecuador, we've laughed, talked and shared a fair share of beers, secrets and Cuba Libres. It's been brilliant.

Feeling ever so slightly melancholic I blew the beautiful Andes a kiss from seat number 11A as they vanished in the distance. I've spent 9 weeks in these amazing mountains. The Andes. I always thought the name sounded so magical when I was a kid. The magic in my young head comes nowhere near the magic up close and personal. I had myself a wee snooze and woke up to find myself in a totally different world. It felt as though I had left South America and arrived back in southern Europe, it all looked so, well, European.

Buenos Aires well there's another name with association for you - it practically smells of tango and smokey bars. I knew I would like it (although the whole smokey bar thing is a bit too, well, smokey. For a non-smoker there's nothing worse than waking up the morning after the night before with your hair stinking of cigarettes, so hooray for non smoking laws in bars!) But ah, the tango, the Argentinan wine, the football. And I had heard rumors about Argentina being the home to the most gorgeous men in South America.. Needless to say I was looking forward to this!

I was due to meet Bryan in BA a couple of days after I got there, but in the meantime I decided I should at least attempt to do a little writing. So I got myself a quiet hotel in the middle of town, walking distance to Cafe Tortoni for tango classes and masses and masses of shoe shops ! Bliss. The hotel was nice, but it seemed I was the only non-business man in the entire building.. Hm, perhaps not my cup of tea?

Before hooking up with Bryan again I did a tango class and a little bit of sightseeing (that'll be sitting in cafes, listening to other people's conversations and looking at interesting people. (and yes I dare confess to the occasional jawdropping ogle at gorgeous Argentinian men) The Argentinians have style. I keep getting funny looks by the elegant ladies of Buenos Aires for wearing sandals (Alright, so it's mid winter here.. Mind you, it could also be my disgusting black toenail that is raising eyebrows. It's still hanging on! So my Peruvian doctor friend, (no I never did called him, but still have the number, obviously kept it for medical emergencies in Cusco only), said if I was lucky it would hang on till the next one was ready underneath. Looks like the doctor knew what he was talking about.)

So seeing I was getting funny looks and I was going to do tango classes, well I needed some shoes. A lady does not tango in sandals or smelly trainers. So I end up getting myself a pair of cheap black high heels. HEAVEN, BLISS, OH LA LA !!! WOOOOONDERFUL to be wearing high heels again. Last time I wore some were (rather unsuccessfully tottering around) in Brisbane when Cilla lent me some of her. How I will fit this black pair (and any that may follow them..) in my expanding backpack and bag I dunno, but it had to be done.

Now I am born under a lucky star. In BA I hook up with Nick who's mates with Lou and Scott from Sydney. We have met once before, but if I tell you our words to each other were 'ah, so that's what you look like' when we met here, well that may indicate the level of alcohol consumed last time around.. He's relocated himself to BA for a while and is sharing a gorgeous flat with a funny Irish lass called Susannah. Did my liver some damage going out with those two, but got some good exercise laughing. They are absolutely brilliant, once Bryan arrived they showed us their Buenos Aires and we met some of their friends at some wicked parties. Just brilliant, although shocking to see how blue my teeth were in some of the resulting pictures.. (Now there's one for the Patent Office, a stainless red wine..) I'll just do some censoring first, then I'll put some party pics up on here.. Promise!

After soing very little writing and being asked out for a 'coffee and a chat' by a persistent Italian at the hotel I decided it was time to get out of there to somewhere else. Bryan's hostel had stuffed up his booking, so we both moved to a hostel that Sandra had recommended. Excellent move. Lively, in Palermo, a great part of town and at breakfast our first day there we meet Alison, a Midland lass who's a journalist. She talks as much as me, so we hit it off straight away. I do think Bryan was craving beer-swiggling and burping male company that didn't mention the word 'handbag', 'shoe' or 'nailpolish' when we walked through Recoleta Cemetery and La Boca. By the time we shared a few bottles of Argentina's finest in Cafe Tortoni I think he was glad he was heading up to Iguazu ahead of the girlies.

Drank way too much cheap vino but met some great people at the hostel. Ellie and Rupert who just arrived on their one year adventure teaching in Paraguay were some of the sweetest people I've ever met. We had some great laughs. And Melanie from London who has virtually the same collection of charms as me around her neck, well we only had one option didn't we? Hit it off from the word go! Buenos Aires has been just grand..

Off to Iguazu next, one of the most beautiful places on earth apparently. Hooking up with Bryan again to celebrate his birthday. From there the plan was to head to Rio.... But... erm.. hm.. a bit undecided here, but there may be a slight change of plans....
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Comments

annieras
annieras on

hola mette
Hello, great to read your entry- Am a traveller myself and recently got back from south america and BA. Loved BA. Would like to go back there. Now in Brisbane trying to get into the tango. anna

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