5 years, 6 continents and 7 wasted minutes trying to think of something 7 related to our trip for this intro; it would all come down to one last stop. Buenos Aires, “Paris of the South” and sadly for us, End of the Line. Accordingly we teed up 2 whole weeks to make sure we hashtag nailedit.
Our base: San Telmo, one of the oldest ‘hoods in town and definitely the place to be. Cobblestone streets and crumbling colonial buildings form an atmospheric backdrop for bustling markets and open-air tango.
San T (as no-one else but me calls it) takes everything in stride. It’s touristy sure, but full of locals too. You can go cheap’n’cheerful, classy or anything in between. Old-school Argentine ‘bar notables’ comfortably co-exist with English-style expat pubs. It’s authentic, cheap and has charm to burn. In almost every way it was exactly our kinda place.
It didn’t hurt that we managed to land an Airbnb pad that was supercool; probably the best place we’ve stayed in 5 years on the road. Not a bad way to wrap things up.
Once again our Dutch travel pals Tijs and Jacq were in town, OUR TOWN, for a week – I mean, get your own travel plans guys, sheesh. Out of pity more than anything else, we invited them around to dinner one evening and together drank our entire week’s booze cache in a Fernet-fuelled Taco Tuesday.
Our Penguinito wine jug still hasn’t recovered from Tijs’ attentions.
A few days later they reciprocated with a stunningly delicious home-cooked satay (finding peanut butter in South America is no mean feat) and memorable evening at their own funky San T pad.
Life’s better shared with friends. *Nawwww*
Together we also hit up the working class suburb of Boca, just south of San Telmo. Two major attractions draw tourists into this otherwise supposed ‘no-go’ zone; La Bombonera (the football stadium of Boca Juniors) and the famously colourful Caminito street. Instagram filters need not apply.
Bottom right: scary Maradona is scary.
Having witnessed the hauntingly beautiful tango on the streets of San T, we decided to get off the sidelines and into the game. Kate’s folks kindly gifted us tango lessons at a BA dance studio. Boasting 4 left feet between the 2 of us, it was anyone’s guess how we were going to handle the smooth, seductive movements of this signature Latin American dance. Happily, the classes proved very fun and informal; T&J tagged along one day and Tijs promptly Tango’d off with my woman.
After a few lessons we managed to string together some steps not on each other’s feet. Now, this short clip of us in the studio isn’t great quality, but should give you the general idea.
I reckon we had a few good moves. Cheers grob!
Easily, and effortlessly, one of the coolest cities in the world. And we haven’t even covered the best bits! Still to come: more ramblings on (1) meat and (2) the best of the rest of BA. ¡Salud!