We are really enjoying Buenos Aires. It is a nice city and feels similar to home both in climate and conveniences. It is a bit cold and it feels like autumn with all the leaves falling off the trees. We are staying in a really great guesthouse in the Palermo district. We have a beautiful, comfortable suite and are the only guests staying here at the moment. One of our big highlights was visiting the San Telmo Sunday market. People were out selling their antiques, street performers were everywhere and the whole neighbourhood was filled with people enjoying their day. The difficult part of that visit was when we encountered a mother in unbearable hysteria on the street. We weren’t sure when or how it happened but she had lost her 4 year old son. She could barely stand and was crying so hard she almost wasn’t breathing. She was shaking and collapsing and trying to show a photo of her boy on her camera. For a block away everyone in the street started a slow clap (we aren’t sure if it was a known notification method of someone missing) and people were yelling out the boy’s name. As the news spread, you could see mothers putting their hands to their hearts, thinking of the unimaginable. We are very hopeful she found her child.
We spent most of our first full day walking around this massive city. We likely walked 20km. On Monday we spent the morning with a friendly taxi driver who patiently took us all over town to visit the many highlights including the touristy Boca district with its brightly painted buildings. A city highlight is visiting the impressive Recoleta cemetery with its enormous crypts, statues and marble sarcophagi. It is also the resting place of Eva Peron (Evita). We did some shopping in the afternoon to replace some clothing we intend to leave behind and to visit an impressive bookstore housed in a restored theatre. We had a great dinner at La Cabrera and met some nice people outside including the owner of a popular French restaurant. Most of the restaurants here don’t open until 8:30PM and most people here don’t go for dinner until after 11PM, which makes us wonder what time people go to work in the morning.
Today we did a day trip to a small town in Uruguay called Colonia del Sacramento. It only takes an hour to get there by boat from Buenos Aries. It is very quiet place this time of year. While there we passed by a café and saw people sitting outside with meats barbecuing table side. When we saw a complete barbecue for two on the menu we decided to order it assuming it would be chicken, beef, sausage, etc. What arrived was a disgusting inedible tray of all the parts of an animal that would never be served back home including brain, kidneys and we don’t want to know what else. We picked at it a bit and I tried a few things and we left hungry and disgusted. Just the thought of it makes me gag. In the evening, back in Buenos Aires, we went for some great Indian food to try to make up for the miserable lunch.
Tomorrow we are going to take it easy, do a few errands, and relax before we end our South American odyssey when we fly out in the evening.
Photos from Buenos Aires and Colonia are in the following photo album: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=103094&id=673382190&l=eb4c90dcca