Buenos Aires did not disappoint! Well for me anyway, it did not disappoint.
This week however, we discovered that Wade is not particularly fond of discovering halfway through a days activities, that I may have left out some vital details of exactly what we were doing for the day. Our first example of this was surprisingly enough, when we visited the Evita (aka Eva Peron) Museum.
If you've seen the movie you may have some idea who she was, but in short she was the wife of the President of Argentina and while there are always two sides to every story, she is considered to be quite a hero to the people of Argentina and there are plenty of reminders of her throughout the city. One of these is the Evita Museum. Wade seems to think I told him we were going to the Museum of Latin American History, but who knows. One way or another we ended up at the Evita Museum! Wade was thrilled and clearly I didn't take in too much info either cause other than the fact that it was a beautiful old building, I can't tell you too much else!
We then did the Buenos Aires Zoo, ate Empanadas in one of the cities thousands of plazas and were ripped off by money exchangers in Florida Street so within our first two days, we felt like we really had experienced all the must-dos for any tourist in Buenos Aires! We met up with Chris Wild for a boozy night out and before long, found ourselves in a dingy Tango Bar that looked more like a school dance for people aged 40 and over. On the upside, the drinks were cheap and we were able to also tick "Tango Bar" off our list of things to do! We were powering through Buenos Aires!
Things deteriorated quickly when we were left to entertain ourselves in the Tango Bar after watching old people dance particularly close to one another became a tad boring
Tigre Delta was a really unexpected surprise. I had booked a half day tour of this region - 30 mins north of Buenos Aires - before we left Sydney as an anniversary present for Wade. I didn't really know what to expect, but I didn't want to tell him that, so I just pretended I wasn't telling him the full details to keep the day as a surprise. Meanwhile I was sweating on whether I had booked us onto a complete lemon of a tour and having flashbacks of the Evita museum!
On the upside, pre-booking turned out to be a welcome relief because it gave us the peace of mind that we had a day where we didn't need to worry about anything other than being at the meeting place on time and someone else was taking care of the rest.
The drive north of the city was really beautiful. We had formed the opinion that any outlying areas must be dodgy and needed to be avoided, but this drive changed all of that. North of the city are some really beautiful parks, lakes and some incredibly wealthy neighbourhoods. Tigre is a popular area for weekend getaways and river based water sports such as kayaking, rowing and jet skiing. When we arrived at the river, we were slightly turned off by the iced-coffee coloured water but soon got over that as we took off on a boat tour of the region. We were expecting smelly, stinky marsh areas and maybe a water bird or two, but instead we were passing through an elite, alternative way of life where people live more or less separate from the mainland of Argentina.
Just one of the many huge houses with manicured gardens on the Tigre Delta
The delta has formed a series of islands that are only accessible by water and have no roads, motorised vehicles or plumbing. While it only takes residents a short boat trip to return to Tigre for supplies such as food and fresh water, it feels like you are a world away from the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires. The residents on these islands, live right on the edge of the river in some incredible houses built on stilts while the centre of the islands is largely uninhabited due to swampy land and the risk of floods. The islands contain schools, cafes and even a few bungalow-style resort accommodation all built right on the rivers edge. Many of the houses are old colonial style leaving you to wonder how they originally got the resources to build these houses into this area some 100 years ago!
We were dropped back into the middle of Buenos Aires after our morning on the river and found ourselves right near one of the city's main attractions, Recoleta Cemetery. I wasn't too fussed about visiting the cemetery, but when we found ourselves right at the front gate, we thought we might as well take a look around. Wade was pretty pumped when we then decided that seeing we now found ourselves in there, we should probably do the obligatory search for Evita's tomb..... yeah i was asking for a fight this time!
Wade loving every minute of Recoleta Cemetery. I don't think he even knew I was taking this photo, this was just his general attitude to the experience!
We weaved our way through the huge maze of marble clad tombs and crypts without any real plan other than to look for the one with the crowd gathered around it. We found it, we took a photo, and we left, feeling nowhere near as enlightened or satisfied as some of the 20 odd people who were also there draping it with flowers and idols.
All in all, Buenos Aires has been a pretty cool city - some say it's the Paris of South America, but Paris doesn't have Evita. We had some good food, walked around pretty much every corner of the city and had some awesome opportunities to practice my super dodgy Spanish! It has been much more expensive than we were originally expecting though, so we are ready to move on..... to the upcoming World Cup. I can only imagine how nice and cheap that will be!!
Sadly, today is the day we've been dreading. ANOTHER overnight bus, this time to Puerto Iguazu. Puerto Iguazu will be our base for exploring Iguazu Falls and the point where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay all meet. While it's only our second overnight bus so far, it is times like these when you start to weigh up the cost benefit of overnight buses rather than flying. While Wade would fly every time, we would probably find ourselves back in Australia much sooner seeing as for every 2 overnight buses we take, we pretty much save enough money to fly the next major leg of our trip.
I have been looking forward to seeing the mighty Iguazu Falls for years now, however I think my old mate Mother Nature might be putting a bit of a "dampener" on things:
Puerto Iguazú, Misiones Province 7 day Weather Forecast
In any case, we are excited to such an incredible natural wonder so my fingers and toes are crossed! If you can spare a few moments please do the same!
Enthusiastic but Useless Traveler.