Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 90/91 - Buenos Aires, Argentina

RobC:  Dear family, friends and followers of this blog: Phyllis, one of our faithful followers and supporters, reminded us yesterday that we had been on the road for three months, since October 10. So we are now at the mid-point of our six-month journey and despite some setbacks we are still more or less on target, although we should soon be crossing over to South Africa.

I did arrive back in Buenos Aires from my motorcycle parts shopping event in Atlanta just before the airport got hit by snow that delayed many flights. The moment I got back to Buenos Aires, the mechanic took all the lovely parts and started to put the bike back together again, which is a slower process than taking it apart. Meanwhile we are making arrangements for shipping the bikes to South Africa by air freight, getting flight tickets for ourselves, and chasing down some visas for the African countries that require them.

The weather in Buenos Aires is hot and humid, but we are doing some sightseeing in this interesting city as time allows. Following are some of RobT's adventures down here while I was gone on my shopping trip.

RobT:  It took about 20 minutes to get to the end of the train line, from Florida Oeste to Retiro.  The train station downtown Buenos Aires was like something out of the 40s, steel columns with intricate iron work, all painted dark green.  Old iron passenger gates, platform numbers above each gate, hand painted on cream colored glass that was barely lit from behind.  Huge lights hung off the ceiling with equally ornate iron work.

My first tourist stop was the Cementerio de la Recoleta.  This is unlike any other cemetery I have seen, in that it is all vaults crammed side by side, forming a small neighborhood with narrow "streets" and shady resting areas that are more like a park.  Most people come here to see the polished black vault that is Evita's (Maria Eva Duarte de Peron) resting place.

One of the many narrow "streets"

More shots of the cemetery

Vault of Evita

 Some of the vaults were rather dilapidated, with doors and windows broken so one could literally walk into the vault.

The next stop was the obelisk on Avenida 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world, 20 lanes, 10 going in each direction.

The rest of the day was spent in La Boca, the colorful port district with its early inhabitants from Italy settling here to work in the meat packing plants.  We were told to stay on Caminito street and the neighboring pedestrian streets, as this is the poorest section of Buenos Aires and theft is a problem.

Most restaurants have a free Tango show while you enjoy your food.

We were surprised to find out they "rolled up the sidewalks" around 7:30 pm, and everything closed down.  We were also told that the best day to visit was on Sundays.

1 comment:

  1. Hi RobC:
    So you had to fly back all the way to Atlanta for spare parts. I'm glad that it all worked out well, so that you will be more or less on schedule for the African adventure. I wish you both a good flight to South Africa and a successful start there. Max