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More Buenos Aires

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Well we´ve been in BA for over a week now, leaving tomorrow for Iguazu falls- but we´ve had a really great time here. Its a pretty nice city, theres loads to do, and the huge mix of european, latin american, and carribean cultures makes it a really interesting place to be. Weve done so much, I think Im going to bullet point everything

1. San Telmo Antique Fair

On Sunday theres a big market in the San Telmo neighborhood of BA. They sell shedloads of antiques. Its mental, most of the stuff there is either really weird, really naff or really expensive. Often all three. But its interesting to walk around. Most of the people walking round were tourists so I didnt really get how the salesmen make any money- what tourist is gonna lug back a huge grammarphone back home? What I liked more were the streets around the market, which was chock a block full of street performers, musicians, artists and the like. There was a really good puppeteer, and some guy with two parrots in a wooden cabinet who charged money if you wanted to take a photo of them. Erm.. no thanks.

2. Tierra Santa

Translation: Holy Land. The worlds first religious theme park, a huge replica of New Testament era Jerusalem, complete with lifesize models depicting Jesus´life. Theres even a replica of Ghandi in there, not quite sure how he fits in. Theres a load of animatronic shows showing the creation story, the nativity etc, and even some live shows. I was pretty amused by this show that featured some dancers in arabic dress, dancing with canes, and pretty much moshing their heads in full circles. Then, this guy in sunglasses played a ridiculously loud and inappropriate synthesizer solo over the top of some arabic music. The place is hard to describe, but its crazy. It was really windy that day though, and we missed what is apparently a 30ft high statue of Jesus rising out of a big fake mountain, and blessing all the park visitors. Gutted.

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3. Palermo

Palermo is another neighborhood of BA, and its full of loads of huge parks and stuff. Sadie had a Spanish lesson here, and walked around the old town (which is full of expensive restuarants, boutiques and old buildings) and learned stuff about the history of the place, while I went to the zoo. Which was great- it had loads of animals that Id never seen in a zoo before, like a specacled bear, and a giant anteater, as well as a whole load of things Id never even heard of. One of which was something like a cross between a badger and an anteater, and another was a cross between a badger, a skunk, and a monkey. It was good.

4. Tango

Tango is huge in Buenos Aires, although you dont actually see much. There are loads of people in the center of town who look like theyre gonna dance, but actually just pose for photos for cash. Which is a bit annoying. I get the impression that Tango survives mainly as a tourist attraction here- the most common way to see it is to pay $200 pesos each for dinner and tickets to a show. We didnt do this, instead we spent one evening eating at a restaurant that had some dancers and a live singer in there- it was cool- it felt a little more authentic than the glitzy stuff you see in the adverts for the big shows. We had a huge Parilla (BBQ), bottle of wine, champagne, and saw this show going on all around the tables for about $150 pesos between us- which is loads cheaper than the big tourist shows. The next night we went to the theatre and saw another tango thing- that was a mix of 3 different styles of tango, and contemporary dance. Im not big on watching dance at all, but it was actually quite interesting to see the entire evolution process of an art-form in just over an hour. The dancers were really good as well- they were going crazy, doing flips and shit. The tickets were $25 pesos each- so $200 pesos in total over two nights for both of us- half the price of the tourist shows. Were such good spendthrifts. 16 quid each.

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5. Bomba del Tiempo

I missed one out- Bomba del Tiempo is like a big nightclub, only its in what feels like a multistorey carpark, and the music is played by 15 or so live drummers and a conductor playing awesome afro-spanish grooves and stuff. Theres also a guitarist who comes in and theres half an hour or so of really funky stuff, and then things get mental when a guy whacks out his trumpet and starts playing like hes on ´Bitches Brew´ or something. Its awesome- the music is sooo good, and the crowd is mental- I think a lot of them were taking these 2 peso pills that some ridiculously dodgy rasta was selling outside the club- but it was funny watching them go completely mental and completely pissing sweat out of their pores. Beer is cheap as well- about 2.50 for a litre of beer. Imagine that back in England! It was so good in fact that we booked an extra night in our hostel so we could go again tonight. Exciting.

6. Caminito

Caminito is another area of BA, in the La Boca neighborhood. The neighborhood itself is working class and a bit dodgy, but Caminito is now a pretty touristy area. Apparently the people living there were really poor, and couldnt afford paint for their houses, and so they just used whatever paint was lying around. The result is a really colourful hodgepodge of houses, and a really lively atmosphere- lots of music, tango dancing, performers and the like. Although bordering on too touristy- someone decided it would be a good idea to stick fibreglass statues of famous Argentinans such as Che Guevarra and Maradona on a load of the balconies of these houses. Still its all good, and makes a nice couple of photos.

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So thats about it. Theres so much to do here, and a lot of it is free. Our favourite city so far! Off to Puerto Iguazu (Iguazu falls) on Saturday, which Im very excited about.

Posted by St Martins 13:25 Archived in Argentina Tagged family_travel

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