12.11.2008 - 28.11.2008
So here we were waiting for the lady from whom we are renting the apartment from outside the apt when we see her from a distance. She has long blond hair and looks really young. We get the shock of our lives when she gets close up as she is about 70 years old and riddled with plastic surgery. She would not look out of place in one of those Hollywood documentaries of plastic surgery gone wrong. It will turn out that so many women of all ages have plastic surgery done in BA and during our time we get to study a lot of cases gone wrong close up. Anyway, the lady is so lovely despite her looks and chats away in Spanish to her although we struggle to understand anything but that does not stop her. Apt is really cute but small and we are delighted with it and best of all the location will turn out to be perfect. It is in Palermo and so close to bars, restaurants and shops. Although a bit run down it looks just like Soho or tribecca in New york and at night the whole place comes to life.
That pm we hook up with Mr. Small for the first day and we share a bottle of champagne- pop as it is called by Mr. Small. It is so cheap here- something like 15 quid for a yummy bottle. This is not good fro K as she loves champagne and this does not tally with the backpacking budget despite its cheapness. That evening we have our first Argentinean steak. It really is as good as people say- even better. We cant get over the size of them and the price.
Next few days are spent looking around BA. There is so much to see and do and we just love it by night. Also we discover the shopping areas around Palermo Viejo which is unfortunate for our budget. We end up having to send home two packages of clothes home before we leave BA- again not good for the budget. the shops there are just fantastic and soooooo cheap. Here are shops that have the interior and exterior look of the likes of Gucci shops at home complete with bells to get in and security guards yet they are priced like Zara. In fact Zara in more expensive in BA. And it is full of local designers with clothes that are really cool and different. Heaven on earth. If it was up to K she would have spent the entire budget there. Good thing Martin is –slightly- more reasonable.
First weekend is spent doing a lot of shopping, eating and partying. In fact this is what we will spend pretyy much all of our time doing in BA. A lot of fun. Mr. Small and Rupert shows us the best of everything and act as the perfect hosts. We struggle a bit with the nightlife as Argentinians party to all hours in the morning and we are just not used to it and have great difficulties to get up the next day. One of the food highlights- apart from all the steaks of course-is when we go to a Sushi place and order 110 pieces of Sushi between 4 people on top of starters. It was delicious but were in shock to see how much the lads can put away.
Monday morning our Spanish lessons begin. Our teacher is a lovely girl and shows a lot of patience with us. She is also good at falttering us as she tells us she is very impressed by our Spanish. Not sure what we thought but after 10 hours of Spanish we really did think we would have laods of Spanish. reality kicks in though and after a week of Spanish we lñearn how to count and say the colours and that is about it...We both really enjoy learning it and fingers crossed we will be ok at the end of the trip.
We hook up with Mr Small, Rupert and Anthony on the Friday night and do a bit of a pubcrawl in BA. As we leave to go home around 4 in the morning K & M get the bright idea to find a club and aks the taxi driver to bring us somewhere. End up in a club where we are the only gingos and have a great laugh and get home very late or shall we say early.
K has a lovely bday despite feeling very rough and gets lovely presents and bday messages from home. We go for a lovely dinner that evening but take it quite easy as we have a big day planned on the Sunday. Mr. Small has sold us the famous brunch at the Alvear Palace Hotel which is the most famous hotel in BA. We meet Eoin and his pilot friend who has just flown in from London that morning. We are welcomed by a fab sight. the buffet food is absoultely amazing...all you can eat seafood, caviar, beatiful meats, deserts and best of all an unlimited supply of champagne. Irish as we are- K can be counted Irish on this front- we drink a lot of champagne. In fact we estimate we have over two bottles each. Staff are lovely and are very happy to top us up. All of this for about 50 euros each. We decide that the day is young and opt to go to a polo game which Argentina is very famous for to mix with the rich and famous. Polo game is interesting but we have had too much of good stuff to really appreciate it and Mr. Pilot falls asleep in the sun. After the game we have bottle after bottle of champagne- as we have not had enough. It becomes a bit too much for some however...We end up having toasted sandwiches that evening in an Irish bar. Despite her love for chamagne even K has had enough as we wake up the next day not feeling too good. However it was so much fun and worth every penny.
One of the days are spent going to the famous San telmo market. It is a beautiful area in the city and Sundays are full of antique stalls añll over. We watch a brilliant tango show in the middle of the market and head over to the famous La Bocca stadium where we buy tickets and get to go into the grounds. We both really enjoy it but Martin absolutely loves it. Pity we won´t make a game as we would both have absolutley loved to. Outside we bump into Deirdre Fahy and her friend which is so bizzare. the worls is so small. We end up going to the La bBocca market with all the famous coloured houses with the girls and its is really nice. We say goodbye and hope to meet somewhere around the world again on our travels.
to be continued.....