The home of Evita
Trip Start Jun 26, 2006
119Trip End Feb 28, 2007
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around lunchtime. We checked into the hotel.....an HI, but really really nice. Im starting to change my opinions of HI now....they are actually quite good. We have a lovely double room, which forms part of a little three bedroom apartment....with bathroom and kitchen. The building is amazing....its old and all marble with huge old iron lifts....not at all what you would expect for a hostal!
We headed out to find food and didnt have very far to look! The street we are staying on is a very busy one, full of theatres, shops and places to eat. We ended up in a pizza cafe...and shared a yummy pizza and a beer. We were amazed at how hot it was.....much hotter thans its been in a long time....38 degrees C apparantly! So we headed back to hostal to try and cool off a little before we headed out again! We had lovely refreshing showers....then headed out to explore what was on offer.
We wandered round many of the pedestrian streets....all very busy....full of shops and restaurants and cafes and bars! Most of the shops seemed to be selling leather and cashmere....and most of the people on the streets were trying to get us into their shops or restaurants. Eventually we gave in and had a beer on a street corner, which would have been nice except for the huge bins on the end of the streets and the beggars rooting through them! Still it was entertainment i suppose!
After refreshment, we wandered some more...looked in a few shops, cause i need something to wear, my trousers being in tatters as they are! Found nothing though....all seems to be cashmere and leather jackets! Not exactly what you need in this boiling weather.
We gave up shopping and checked out all the restaurants....of course Neil wanted to go for steak...so that narrowed our options quite a bit...as most places are either a Parilla....serving barbequed meat or a pizza place. We chose a funky looking little place....and neil opted for the usual huge piece of steak and chips and i went for something a little different....chicken in a spicy sauce...was very good....oh and another good bottle of wine of course! Even treated oursleves to a pudding, then it was back to the hostal where we enjoyed a couple of beers and a game of cards.
Day 2.....we decided we like BS AS so much we were gonna stay another 4 nights....make it a nice long week long stop. So we sorted our extra nights.... and then set off to explore the old bit of the city. But first we decided to try and download our photos...as the camera was full of pics! We found somwhere no prob, but had to have it downloaded to DVD as there were so many pics. This didnt seem a prob, until we tried to view them, mainly to check they were fine before hitting the delete button. Nowhere had the facility to read DVDs, and after about an hour of trying....we had to head back to the place we got them put on CD and ask the bloke to show us they were ok, so we could put Neils mind at rest, and hit the delete button....and finally get on with seeing some of the city!
We headed down to the main plaza, stopping for coffee on the way at a very pncy looking cafe called Richmonds...full of old men and women, a cool experience tho and good coffee, and the Casa Rosada. Passed a protest on the way....very noisy....but looked fairly peacefull.....think the police were expecting otherwise however, cause when we got closer to the casa rosada, there were huge gates across...which you could get through, but ready for any action. There were buses of cops everywhere and even a water cannon! We sneaked inside the barriers, i wanted to see the casa rosada, but unfortunately it was all in vain anyway, as it was covered in scaffolding! A little disappointed, we headed back to find something to cheer me up. Found a cafe called London City.....had the usual argentinian fayre of cheese and ham with everything. We opted for sandwhiches....steak and chicken...and some wierd palm stuff, which were good but a little odd cause you get two halves of bread, overflowing with stuff....not a sandwhich as we know it, but tasty none the less. Then we decided to head back to the hostal as it was so damn hot. We spent a little time in the internet cafe trying to cool off and then enjoyed a cup of tea in the hostal. Had showers and feeling refreshed again, we headed out to do more exploring. We wandered down to find the supposed lookalike Big Ben. It somehow didnt quite look like Big ben, but it sure did have an english feel to it. We also found the Falklands monument, which has a constant vigil in front of it, military in fancy uniforms. It is of course the maldive monument to the Argentinians however, the falklands not being a word they understand. Just missed the changing of the guards or equivalent...who were just arriving as we had climbed the steps....and i wasnt gonna climb em again! Walked back along the shops....looking at the all the strange stalls selling posters and maps....unique argentinian maps.....with the maldives....an argentinian country??
Decided we werent too hungry after our big lunch, plus i was full of a cold, so headed to one of the cheap cafes on our road, for a cheap dinner....had pasta....wasnt the best and i left most of it....Neil managed to eat his and ice cream! Decided to head back to the hostal for a few beers and a game of cards....only problem was they had lost the key for the bar...so had to settle for one of the few minging heinekens in the fridge at reception! Oh well everything cant go according to plan. Had a an early night...hoping that i would feel better in the morning.
Next day there was actually no one in the queue for the tourist info, so we set about booking the rest of the stuff for the rest of the week through the hostal....yes we are very lazy these days....but after being on the road for over 8 months....can you really blame us? We booked our ticket to leave....asked about a hostal at Iguazu, found out where to book the boat for tomorrow to go to Uraguay, and even booked tickets for the football game on sunday. That all sorted we decided to head off and try and do some shopping. Problem was we couldnt seem to find any of the sort of shops we wanted. BS AS is a little strange when it comes to shops and even restaurants....all the shops in an area sell exactly the same stuff...we went in a shopping arcade where every shop was selling computer equipment....and i mean every shop. So in the end, we headed to a cafe, for coffee and hot chocolate, with a view of the bins in the street again. Then we decided to jump on the tube and go see the building which looked like the Capital building in washington....i guess it does....just not so white and a smaller dome....very impressive tho...as are a lot of the buildings here in Bs As. We headed back...to try find lunch....i had my heart set on Burger King....but neil wanted beer so we went to a pub instead and had burgers and beer to keep us both happy. Interesting burgers again....with so much stuff on em, you had to disect them! Our bellies stuffed we headed back to the hostal....decided to walk cause we thought we needed the exercise....was still hot though!
Back on town, we decided to check our mail....and Neil decided to check the info about the Rio hostal only to discover that we were supposed to be there a day earlier than we thought! Which meant everything we had just booked including the bus out of Bs As was all on the wrong day. We have no idea where we got the idea that we were supposed to be in Rio on the 16th, when it is infact the 15th, but we did!! It meant we would have to go back to the hostal and hopefully change everything...but that we probably woudnt be able to go to the football game!
Next stop was the huge cemetery....where Evita is buried....one of those things you just gotta do! Got the tube, still damn hot down there....then found the cemetary....the place is wierd. Its like a village of the dead! They dont have graves they have huge monuments....which are big enough to hold like 10 coffins at least....and a small chapel and have numerous statues on the outside. Its like nothing i have ever seen before! It was kinda freaky walking round....seeing all the coffins. Was a shame that some of the buildings had been left to rot....a few of them fenced off they were in such disrepair....but most of them were shiny and new! We headed off to find Evitas grave....the guidebook said to follow the crowds, but there seemed to be a severe lack of people, so we wandered until we saw a small group all with their cameras out....and lo and behold that was just what we were looking for! Was quite modest....the Duarte family grave....took my pictures and then decided it was time to leave....had spent enough time wandering amongst the dead!!! We had to be let out....looks like we had timed our visit just right!!!!
Back at the hostal, the girl who had sorted our stuff out ealier...wasnt there, but we were assured we would be able to change the bus and cancel the football, but we would have to wait till tomorrow....oh well at least it aint gonna cost us too much money....need all we can get for partying in Rio.
Back at the hostal enjoyed a couple of beers, now that they had found the key again!! Then we went to a restaurant called Le Estancia....it was a usual barbeque place, but was really cool as they were cooking the meat in the window....huge spitroasted lambs and monstrous beef ribs...and another guy grilling steaks on a huge smoking grill. Had to try it...was a little more expensive than some places, but looked worth it. The meat turned out to be amazing....but the service was pretty poor. It was an old-school place, full of old men, in bowties and waistcoats....and they werent half slow...and then they had the cheek to charge us a fortune for the service, still it was worth it for the meat....i enjoyed a huge plate full of pork chops and neil had huge slabs of suckling pig! Was very enjoyable. Then it was time to head for bed....