Buenos Aires for the New Year
Trip Start Dec 22, 2012
7Trip End Aug 01, 2013
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Where I stayed
We got off the plane from Lima to go to our boutique hotel. Each room has a theme. Mine and Jared's was La Liberator and held art, busts, and other things relating to San Martin, the liberator of Argentina and Peru. My parents' was Che Guevara themed and Luc's was an Argentine writer. We quickly changed and rushed off to New Years dinner at an Italian restaurant. Our table was right beside the band - two long hair spanish style guitar players and two italian style opera singers. One was a big bearded belter, the other was a mix between Steve Buscemi, Peewee (of playhouse fame), Peter Lorre, and Rick Moranis - he was a weird looking dude but they could play. Their range went from Sinatra's My Way, to the Godfather theme, to Donna E Mobile, and some faintly recognizable opera. The wine flowed and by midnight we were all pretty buzzed. Then came the champagne and fireworks that would last well into the daylight hours - more on that later
This is about when things started to get interesting. Jim fell walking out of the club, we laughed, he got up and seemed fine. We walked back to the hotel to regroup. Jim and Jaimie went to bed. Natasha passed out in the lobby and was carried over the concierge's shoulder up the stairs to bed, to a very confused brother who decided it was better not to ask questions. Luc said he was going to the square and ended up drinking champagne with the locals and watching fireworks. When he tried to find his way home he got lost. His phone was out of batteries and he was in a city that he arrived in only hours before. He began walking through the now sunny streets of Buenos Aires looking for a hotel he didn't even know the name of in a totally unfamiliar city. Luckily he was spotted by a couple of working girls who thought they might be lucky enough to get one more trick in before they called it a morning. Unfortunately for them Luc was not interested in sex, just directions. They pulled out a laptop and tried to figure out where the hell he was staying. Now how he got back is unclear but he ran into Raymond, Natasha's father in the hotel lobby at around 10 am
Then there's me and Jared's story. After leaving the bar we were hungry and set out sights on the 24/7 McDonalds that was somewhere in the neighbourhood. I should also tell you that Jared was carrying a full 26 of Jameson that he had got from the bartender. So off we went asking everyone we saw on the streets where McDonalds was, getting pointed in all sorts of directions. At one point we saw a group of guys just leaving a bar, this was probably around 6 am. They didn't know where McDonalds was but they shared some of our Jameson on the sidewalk before we continued our search. After over an hour of searching we finally got there. The golden gates. The big mac. Chicken nuggets. Chairs. Air conditioning. Smiles. But it was empty, an odd sign for any McDonalds regardless of the hour. The doors were locked, the lights were off, and our hopes for eating our weight in deliciousness were crushed. In an act of total desperation we walked through the drive through, yelled into the box, and knocked on the window. 24/7 my ass. Now we had to find our way home. Finding a cab at 6 am New Years morning is no easy task and our luck got no better. Unlike Luc we knew the name of the hotel but no one else had heard of it. So the bullet was bit for the roaming charges and I mapped our way home. At around 7 am we finally burst through the hotel doors. Frank told us that Luc came back then left and no one knew where he was right as I collapsed in the elevator up to the room
Today we touristed it up. We subwayed over to the Plaza de Mayo where we saw the pink house which is the government building, the cathedral with the grave of San Martin who liberated Argentina and Peru. From there we cabbed over to the Boca region where every building, store, restaurant, and house is painted vibrant colours. We ate at a place made of tents and tin roofs. They had huge barbecues and grills with every type of meat. They also had a live musician doing his thing on a little stage. From there we went to the Proa Museum that had an exhibit of Alberto Giacometti. He's the guy who sculpted the 'Walking Man' statue. Its a really lanky walking guy but some people obviously saw some merit in it as it recently sold for over $100 million
My stomach sorted itself out which gave me about a day to explore a city dubbed by many as the Paris of South America. To sum it up quickly, we went to a market and walked some streets around there. After that we went to the Mumba, a modern art museum well past its day. From there we went to the Malba, a modern art museum at its best. Its a very interesting building that holds famous works of artists passed and new works of up and comers. There's some very cool stuff in there and even if museum aren't your thing you'll enjoy this one. We only had about an hour to see it though so we rushed through, got to the airport and flew on home. I took as many pictures as I could and the video of the bench is pretty amazing. It actually connected to another, or rather the same bench on the next floor up - you'll see what I mean.