My last few days on this world trip
Trip Start Aug 06, 2008
28Trip End Dec 04, 2008
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I arrived back in Buenos Aires from Iguazu last Thursday to find the city in the middle of a meltdown: it was 40+ degrees Celsius, the hottest November day in more than fifty years! It certainly was sweltering. A heavy downpour that evening cooled things somewhat. The heat returned the next day. I didn't do much accept walk around San Telmo, exploring the many antique shops. In the evening, I went out for dinner with a few people who were staying at the same B&B. We chose a quaint-looking restaurant on Defensa St. called Sr. Telmo. The company was great but the food was pretty miserable. To top it off, the wine we'd ordered (the only white they had left on the list) turned out to be more of a dessert wine - it was that sweet! To make up for that experience, we headed to the main square after dinner and sipped on some pretty strong cocktails while enjoying the magical rhythms of the tango.
The weather changed drastically on Saturday. It rained continuously throughout the day, stopping briefly around lunch time and dinner time (very convenient!) while the temperature dropped to around 18 degrees - that's more than 20 degrees lower than two days earlier! Later that evening, the lights went out. When I woke up the next day, there was still no electricity.... and there was no water too! The B&B staff were very apologetic but there was not much they could do - large parts of BA had been plunged into darkness the previous evening (including Palermo and San Telmo) and localised flooding had affected the water supply. I was checking out of the B&B that day and the owner of the B&B asked me where I was heading off to. I said Recoleta (where I was spending my last three nights) ... and he replied that there should be no problem there. "There's never a problem in Recoleta". I got a taxi and 15 hair-raising minutes later (taxi drivers here are a scary bunch - they all seem to think they're Formula One drivers), I was at my new address: a swanky-looking apartment-hotel on Avenida Callao in Recoleta. I was given a spacious studio apartment complete with kitchenette and dining table for six (!!) with a view of the pool. The owner of the B&B was right. There was electricity and water. I went for a short walk around the neighbourhood and the contrast with the old-world charm of San Telmo couldn't have been bigger. Recoleta is sophisticated and very polished. The brass door entrances to the posh apartment buildings (that are manned by guards in suits) gleam while the sidewalks look pristine. The trees and shrubs in the parks are as manicured as the nails of the many men and ladies I watched sipping coffee at one of the trendy cafes!
I felt slightly better the following afternoon and decided to go for a walk.
This morning, I woke up and the sun was shining! I had some breakfast, then went for a walk through Recoleta to Retiro, the adjacent neighbourhood, and visited the gorgeous train station at Plaza San Martin.
I'm wondering where I'm going to have dinner tonight - my last night out on this world trip. Anyway, I leave BA tomorrow afternoon on a 17-hour journey via Sao Paulo and London. That should be fun! It'll be another new experience too as I'm booked on a seat that faces backwards - I wonder if anyone has ever fallen out of their seat as the plane takes off..... Probably not.
Take care and look out for my final blog from home!