Friday, February 17, 2006

Buenos Aires .. "one more time we gotta celebrate!"

Feb 17th. (Happy birthday Siobhan! (my big sis!)) A tad groggy due to the early morning bus ride to El Calafate....and, lets be honest, the over-indulgence of alcohol the night before! Whiled away the day in internet cafes, trying to organize our hostel in Buenos Aires! Settled on Lime Tree - this apparantly funky hip place in the centre of town (more on how un-funky it really was a little later!). Who do we meet as we are dutifully updating the darn blogs - our good friend Bec, who we originally met in Santiago, Chile! Great news as we were all heading to BA tonight so we would be able to party in yet another town together !!! Ahh the traveling life!

So the Lime Tree - lets just say lotsa wierd guys with no shirts on, lotsa pierced nipples, sitting around smoking and drinking! Hey, that's totally fine but they didn't seem to move once over a 24 hour period... kinda wierd dont you think in BA where there is so much more to see and do than just the four walls of your hostel! Oh well, to each his own! The place was really manky (Scottish description for absolutely disgusting!) so we knew we were hightailing it out of there next day (only stayed that night cos we got in really late!).

Feb 18th. Found the BEST hostel ever - no, seriously, think this beats out all my other faves.. Hostel Ostinatto in the heart of San Telmo, the arty part of the city...! So modern with hip, white decor... and the people - Giselle, Pablo, Frederico and the boss lady whose name i never quite caught.. all so lovely!! Met up with Bec... and another fellow girlie traveler, Kelly from Wisconsin who was studying in BA for a year (lucky thing!) so we headed off to Recoleta Cemetary - on the bus - and i proudly did my tour guide thing as this was a replica of my first time in BA ... Of course it goes without saying that we had to visit Plaza Francia again for the craft fair...then Dominique and i popped over to Palermo where we indulged ourselves.... A mani-pedi for me (for you uneducated folks out there - you know who you are Jo and Helene!!! that would be a manicure-pedicure combo!!), and a fab new haircut for Dominique! Back to the hostel and then we all went out to Plaza Dorrega up the street for dinner, watched some fab tango in the square then headed off to El Cigale (a wierd wee pub!) for more drinkies then home around 4am.. a typical example of an early night in BA!!!

Feb 19th. A gorgeous, hot day in BA with beautiful blue skies! We got some visitors today - yes, you guessed it..Barak and Nir arrived (not a complete surprise tho' as we knew they were coming to BA ...) they had a mishap with their hostel, so they moved into our fab place that day!!! Jennifer was still in El Chalten for a few more day so we were def. missing a key member of the gang but Bec made a fantastic addition of course....Went to the antique fair in Plaza Dorrega: also tried to organize tickets for a Boca Juniors football game (a key highlight of any trip to BA!) but sadly, it was sold out a few days ago - darn it, sooooo bummed! So as I pottered in the square, I bumped into Julia and Alain, our Swiss friends from Punto Arenas, and also Snowball from Pucon! See, told you it was a small world! It was soooo hot today . .must be in the high 90's, so when the others decided to go for a snooze or go do some more shopping, Dom and I decided it was time for a civilized lunch - which of course included my new found fave beverage - Paulina cerveza!! Thouroughly enjoyable and followed by some post-cerveza shopping of our own - what more could you ask for!!

Feb 20th. We had BIG plans for today! We all met up, with the addition of Stefan from Germany, a new friend, in tow from Bec's hostel! Today was museum day...hmmn but of course we are such good travelers that we forgot museums are closed on Mondays! We are all officially pathetic!!! So what do you do when the museums are closed? Go shopping again, of course! We headed off to Palermo, shopping mecca of BA! Us girls hightailed it to the incredible designer boutiques in Palermo Viaje - oh - my - gawwwwwwwwd!!! There are SO many amazing places to shop....we all got a little giddy and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, esp. Dominique who got more than a tad carried away, let me say!!!

Back to the ranch to get ready for - you guessed it! Dinner at Des Nivel, this very famous "parrilla" restaurant that we all separately had wanted to go to so it made sense that we all went together! As i popped out of the shower who do i bump into but Barbara - of Barbara and Grimm fame from the W trek!!!! Yah! They too were now at Ostinatto..told you it was the best hostel in BA! So we all went for dinner and had a fab time as usual...lots of the famous Argentinian beef was ordered with a healthy does of vino tinto to boot! We decided to try and find a club afterwards (for some reason BA's clubs are a bit out of the way and not always open - as we found out a few times!) so we ended up back at El Cigale for some deeelicious daiquiries... Had to rush to get Bec home for 4am as she had a plane to catch outta BA to Brazil...where would we meet again I wonder?

Feb 21st - just a pottering day...Feb 22nd. Barbara, Grimm, Barak and I decided to take a bike tour of BA with "La Bicicleta Naranja". Our guide, Ana, was fantastic and gave us tons of interesting historical perspective on the city (don't worry I can't remember most of it so I won't be putting it in here!). Needless to say we visited almost all of the city from San Telmo to La Boca and Caminata (a very poor part of BA with incredibly brightly coloured streets and buildings where in the past, the local, working class people would use left over paints from the ports to cheer up their buildings!), Puerto Madryn, Plaza de Mayo (where the pink palace is and the mothers of the disappeared victims still march to this day!).... then back to San Telmo! Really interesting trip!

Ended the night - and the trip for Barbara, Grimm and Barak who were flying home the next day - with a great dinner at Porteno, in the Puerto Madryn area of town.. As usual, we had a brilliant time and ended up dancing the night away at a club called "WaWa"..or something like that... You gotta love Buenos Aires! I know I do!


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