The 100 year drought is over!

Trip Start Mar 01, 2009
1
8
19
Trip End Mar 31, 2009


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Flag of Argentina  ,
Wednesday, March 4, 2009

And you thought Portland was rainy! The room we are staying in here at Casa Palermitano has exceptionally high ceilings, why I think the doors to our room are well over 10 feet. The are beautiful old wooden doors that are double and quite skinny in width. I can't squeeze my suitcase in by wheeling it in. But all night long on the skylight we could hear it raining. So this am when we awoke (at 10am, we really must be on vacation) we were delighted to see no rain. Still warm and humid and puddles, but no rain. We had a nice breakfast, but before that our proprietess tells us that she will have to pay the cabbie she called for us yesterday when we went to find the tour guide in the green shirt, 10 pesos because we did not use him. He was waiting for us at the curb, but that I had instead flagged down the "wrong" cabbie instead. She went on to explain other cab companies listen to the dispatch and "jump the call". She is quite talkative and very friendly, but I felt like I was being repremanded, esp when she said it 3 times. Today we decided to "hoof" it.

Our destination today was Museo Eva as in Eva Peron, the wife and "mother" of Argentina. We took the long way there, past the Historical & Zoological Gardens. The Historical Garden was interesting because like all things in BA, it was beautiful but rundown. And did I mention the cats? This garden is blocks long surrounded by a tall ornate wrought iron fence, and when we first hit the corner, we saw wild and not so wild cats, which we proceeded to count. We lost track at 100. When we entered the garden, it was quite eerie, the cats sitting, laying, cleaning, and walking everywhere combined with the ornate statuary and buildings that are peeling and the greenhouse that is leaking and the stiffling heat brought on by the canopy of the trees. Needless to say, we didn't stay long.

Kevin wanted to go into the Zoololgical Gardens, but I was worried that with BA's decrepit beauty it would be sad to see the animals in inadequate (and that is strictly a guess) cages. So he was fine just walking by. The zoo didn't have the same fence as the Historical garden, just live bamboo plants that you could see though periodically. Kevin was like a child when I spotted what he says was a wallabee just wandering cageless. Upon further inspection, (yes, we had our noses peeking through the bamboo) lots of wallabees and several peacocks. The zoo is equal in size to the historical garden so when we were halfway down the block, the rains came.
Luckily we were only a couple of blocks from Eva's museum but by the time we got there we were drenched! It's a beautifullly well put together museum that is located in Eva's old residence. Pictures on the wall, her dresses and belongings on display plus old film footage set to beautiful tango music. Kev's one gripe was that since most of the vistiors seemed to speak English (at least while we were there) why weren't more of the exhibits in English? They have a classy cafe set in the residence and we had a nice, light lunch of chicken (for him) and fish (for her) with wine, mineral water (from Mendoza) and an espresso for $26.

The walk home was even wetter and tho we are accustomed to rain, the runoff in the streets and the overhangs from the balconies made you even wetter (is that possible?). So we decided to cut our day short and instead stopped at the supermercado and bought 3 liters of beer, a mid shelf bottle of Mendozian Malbec & a container of chimichurri spice mix (an Argentine condiment served with beef). All this for 43 pesos or $12 (US). That's Kevin's biggest excitement all day.

We do go out for dinner around 10pm, and after scouring the NW side of town this morn, we think we know where to concentrate our efforts, however it isn't so easy. Pizza joints, and cafes a plenty. And several bright restaurants that serve all of the above...we do however stumble upon a dimly lit restaurant with quite a bit of ambiance so we decide to call it dinner. Las Cortaderas on Charcas was our most expensive dinner yet. It was probably the most closely similar to US dining with attentive waters and really great candles all over.We had the lovelliest salad with aruglua, ripe tomatoes, rustic croutons and the yellowest corn kernels I've ever seen, they were allmost orange. Argentines don't really use dressing, mostly oil & vinegar. But tonight it was oil and lemon. Delicious! Kev had lomo cooked jugosa (beef tenderloin, medium rare) and I had chicken with white wine sauce, spinach and mushrooms. 6th most expensive wine a Malbec, bottled mineral water, and coffee.It all came to 166pesos/$46.00.

Tonight we are taking the overnight bus to Mendoza, so will talk after our 1st full day there.
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Comments

irish1
irish1 on

Thanks!
The update was fun and in depth. Did you bring raingear? Sounds like the food and booze is quite reasonable. What is the custom for tipping? Look forward to your next stop in Mendoza and more tales of adventure. Love Dad & Connie

mwfkf
mwfkf on

hello
hey sis sounds like you are having quite the adventure i like reading your blogs feels like i am there with u both. the cat story sounds like a stephen king novel (pet cementary)have fun will comment soon

stends
stends on

Update
Hello all-just to answers some questions.
Tipping is just 10% for meals and drinks. You round up to the nearest $ for cabbies.
Argentina has a long history of Italians and Germans. Over 80% of the population has Italian roots and porteños (BA locals) think their pizza is the best.
We did bring rain jackets, but it´s really too warm for it. Most everyone used umbrellas.

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