29.02.2008 - 09.03.2008 23 °C
I haven't updated for ages and am dead behind. So much has happened that I'm worried I will not remember all the details of the last part of the trip...plus it's not the same because I don't have my trusty travel companion. Things just arnt as funny on your own. I MISS MMMMMMMM.
So left off with me taking the bus, and M flying to BA from Iguazu falls in Argentina. It's a practice separation for us, and it goes fine. I set off a day before M because of the time the bus will take, over night. It's my first go on an Argie bus and I like it. Big comfy seats which recline nearly to horizontal, a fluffy pillow and a fleecy blanket which has a foot hood (a little hood your feet slip neatly into). Then there's the hot dinner delivered to you "in flight" fashion and a glass of bubbly to wash it all down. Most civilised and surprisingly tasty too. Almost enough to take the worry out of the dangerous and crazy driving. I'd opted to take the upstairs front seat, so had head on vision of the road and the crazy driving. Very scary. This bus driver was taking no prisoners.
I arrive in BA on Friday the morning. I have met a lovely girl on the bus who helps me get myself sorted at the bus station. I'm feeling good after the white knuckle ride, Im quite alert and decide to walk to the hostel. 20 mins later Ive checked in and am all alone in BA awaiting Ms arrival later in the afternoon. The hostel is downtown and doesn't seem to resemble its pictures on the web?! But it's clean and seems efficient. I get on the Internet and try to get in touch with Brendan, Ben's American friend whom I met at Dans wedding in Pamplona watching the bulls run, last July. I potter about and have a wander round BA. It's a grand city and reminds me very much of Barcelona or Paris. It's much more European that any Brazilian city was. It's really smelly though with dirty cars and fumes. Apparently you don't need an MOT on your car, this is obvious by the rust heaps driving around the city. Proper flat tyres and bumpers scraping the ground and lots of large American gas guzzlers. The buses are really cool though, all fifties style with lots of polished chrome. I have a great day just wandering around, drinking some good coffee and people watching. I find myself a pedicurist on a busy street and make an appointment for half an hour later. I then wander off window shopping and completely loose my bearings, I can't find the place where I made the appointment, shit. I find BA very difficult to navigate round? odd. I run round desperately trying to find where Id made the appointment, just as I'm about to give up I spot the shopping centre. Best pedicure evah! I wont go into details! Back at the hostel M has arrived, and I check the net again. Yay Brendan has got in touch and would love to take us out for dinner, for half a cow. M and I glam it up. Well as far as you can with limited supplies. I'm already bored of my wardrobe. We jump into a cab over to Palermo Chico! = dead posh area. Brendan has a top floor penthouse apartment in one of the tallest buildings in BA. The views are stunning. Brendan is a perfect host and we sip vodka tonics (sorry M has a gin and tonic) and watch a BA sunset. Brendan lives with another male, Mick the cat. Mick is our new best friend and M and I lurve him. We are spoilt rotten and taken to Las Cantitas for dinner, to a restaurant called Campo Brava. Yum Yum Yum. Big fat juicy steaks and homemade chips with garlic, parsley and sea salt. Plus lots of red wine, Argentine Malbec. A really great meal. In fact the best yet. I end up staying out rather later than expected.
Its Saturday eve and we decide PACHA is a must! We drag Brendan there too, who hasn't even ever been. We're causing trouble already. By the way typing in South America is quite hard. None of the keys have the correct symbols on them, so forgive me if there are various punctuation mistakes. Anyway back to Pacha, which is pronounced PA - CHA, ie the ch as a tscha...M is wearing the new play suite from Sao Paolo and I'm in my long skirt. Were looking hot and in the mood to party! We don't let ourselves down! We finally leave the club at around 6ish and head back to the penthouse, bliss. Mick is there waiting to entertain us and loves hiding under my skirt. Although Ive had an accident, someone has trodden on the back of it and it has two holes in it! Most distressing. We watch a magnificent sunrise through the clouds and then decide that we really are beyond our best and should head to bed.
It's Sunday and after exactly 4 hours crap sleep we emerge from the hostel to meet Ms second cousin Angie who lives in BA. M remembers meeting her when they were kids but hasn't seen her since, M remembers that the was lots of jumping around and lights being turned on and off, and being told off a lot. Were sure that nothing much will have changed. We're right, Angie meets us at the hostel and immediately were giggling and chatting. We admit our hideous hangovers and Angie is sympathetic. We go and hang out in San Thelmo. A very bohemian quarter of BA with old colonial buildings, street markets, musicians and tango all taking place on the streets. We get lost and find our way to a square with a great antiques market and a perfect spot for lunch. After a couple of beers M and I feel slightly more human and we spend a nice afternoon chatting with Angie and her boyfriend Jesse. On route home we stop off for some helado from Freddo, oh my god delicious.
Brendan has kindly offered that we can stay with him for our remaining days in BA. We jump at the offer. M and I living in a penthouse in BA, we love it. Our own room, our own bathroom, gigantic fluffy towels, lovely kitchen and apple powerbook with Internet...plus Mick the pussy cat, heaven. We go out for some super other meals and M even decides to cook a culinary masterpiece in Brendan's honour. Were very spoilt. M and I are really rather lazy in BA and apart from going to see Recoletta the beautiful cemetery, we do little sight seeing (oh yeah an art gallery too)... Ill just have to go back.
We leave BA slightly later than expected, which means that the following weekend were still there. Asia de Cuba is visited and I hate it. It's full of men and trashy girls. The ratio is about 5 to 1. I love male attention but not sure about Argentine men. We go and stay with Angie and Jesse in her sweet flat in Cabalito for the weekend, and are very kindly invited out to San Isidro (family home) for a barbeque lunch. We head there and meet Angie's brother Mati, who does a mean bbq and we stuff our faces. It so nice hanging at a big house in the burbs!
Because Marianne's birthday in the following week and we wont be together, we decide we will just have to go back to pacha again to celebrate. Brendan has his girlfriend Chris over from the States. We all meet at Bs and have some delicious sushi and drinks. We then head out, M is on fire and has decided shes blagging the guest list queue. We rock straight up to the front and in her poshest English voice she tells the door girl that we are on Jose's list from Ibiza. There is a dead pan silence, "Jose who?" - "Jose Padilla in Ibiza..." - another stoney silence, but all the while shes looking straight at us...I can feel M breaking, but she holds it together. Then we're just about to fall on our arses and give in, when the the girls smile turns into a "yeah whatever!" grin, and she lets us, well all the girls in! Ha ha! After a great night we return back to Angie's flat.
We're in a state of shock. M's flight leaves at 2pm and I have bus to get. We're splitting up! I'm in denial. I'm in a mess, but we cant stop giggling about the evening! Too funny and M is happy her birthday eve went so well, we look like we've been dug up though and this is the vision I have of M finally leaving me. I say bye and we have a last giggle both SOOOO hungover. I'm glad I don't have to navigate passport control, I do however have a 22 hour bus to get my head round. Not till 5pm though so straight to bed for me. I have strange dreams about love bites on boobs...
The Argentine guitarists, who can sing all Oasis song fluently, but speak no English?
The wrong bus to the wrong place.
Our mission at Pacha... it found us.
The taxi home listening to Guns and Roses, M's a rock chick.
Brendan's morning bar.
The man at the hostel who had a mirror obsession.
The Americans at Pacha, oh my god did we really speak with them?
Sebastian showing me the sights of seedy BA.
The man who doesn't eat or drink ever, and is still alive.
"Basically you're a cock" - Esther to Angie talking about Chinese horoscopes (I meant not a chicken).
Our plastic surgery - see photos!
Media Lunas again.
M's feet being nibbled by Mick at night.
I miss my wife! M where are you??! Oh yeah in my bed!