Using our skill sets in Buenos Aires

27 Nov

As outlined in the ‘About Us’ section of this blog, trip planning is meant to be my forte, MC navigation.  However, after a series of interesting events during our stay in BA, not quite sure I’d be awarded an A+  so far.

On the flight from Madrid to Buenos Aires, I was thinking I’d been quite lucky when I narrowly missed being thrown up on by an Argentine bloke (clearly he’d had more to drink in Madrid than I had), but then my gluten-free brekkie came – 2 rice crackers and 3 pieces of dry jamon.  Continued to question my luck when upon landing, the plane began clapping with such vigour that we had to wonder if this was our first sign of the infamous Argentine passion or if perhaps we should have checked the safety records of Air Europa before booking.

Just so you know, Australians need to pay US$100 to enter Argentina.  Somehow I missed that part in the guidebook.  Excellent trip planning example 1.

However, did manage to barter the taxi driver down from $160 pesos to $95 with a casual ‘could you turn the meter on, por favour’. He then proceeded to navigate the streets without a seatbelt, talking on his mobile, whilst reading the Lonely Planet Guide upside down.

A trip to the National History Museum in La Boca brought us to a run-down old government building with a grand total of 3 exhibits and everything in Spanish. Only. Consulting our LPG told us…”Exhibits are a bit sparse, but security is great…”.  Well obviously security is going to be great if you have a 10:1 security guard to exhibit ratio. A light-hearted suggestion to explore down a neighbouring street rather than back up the main, brought us to a group of fighting teens and frightened elderly.  LPG says near this is bordering ‘Areas considered unsafe for tourists’.  Strike 2 to me for planning skills.

On Day 3 I have really started to shine with a trip out to Tigre (about 100km north of BA).  By 10.13am we were already up, fed, stopped at a supermercado, stopped for a café solo, caught the subway to Retiro and was on the train to Tigre. Had both clearly read the guide book when we went to the mate museum – Matt thought he was going to learn about chocolate, and I about liquor.  Turns out mate (pronounced mar-tay), the national drink, is something similar to green tea drunk in fancy cups with fancy filtering straws. Our English sub-titled video informed us ‘mid-specialized workers make the bagagging easier, before it is grunded’.  And you should drink mate ‘because it improves our nature and status’. Google translate 101.

Bought our water taxi tickets to cruise Tigre’s delta and stop off for a walk in the Tres Boca neighbourhood (only accessible by boat), only to learn we should have asked what time it left, ending up with an extra hour to kill in Tigre and only enough time for a short stroll up the river and a cheeky drink in Tres Boca.

Also meant when docking back at our origin, we had to embark on a 500m sprint that would have made Flo-Jo proud.  Our efforts paid off when we spotted the ‘picturesque views’ promised by the LPG. Must admit the graffiti walls and a broken down old train really took my breath away.

Got off in San Isidro but with everything closed, no tourist office as promised by LPG and not another train for an hr we decided to use our (read: MC’s) cunning navigation skills to get to a pretty beach recommended to MC by a guy in our hostel. Peru Beach while lacking the pearly white sand I’d been hoping for was the best place to watch the sun go down over a cerveza grande. Good work by MC.

So that’s 1 to MC for his navigation skills, -2 to me for planning. I like to think I’m keeping things interesting.

x kel

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