A Travellerspoint blog


not happening as planned

sunny 32 °C
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Well everyone has to share a BAD travel day and this was ours. From our earlier post, we were at the airport waiting for our flight. Well, after a horrendous flight – turbulence for 2 hours, we arrived in Santiago and headed to our car rental place and YEP they had our rental agreement but they did not have our request for Argentina travel permission documentation so we could take a rental vehicle to Argentina. The girl at the counter did not know about this request and indicated we had to wait 24 hours to get the documents. Darwin pulled some magic and she finally indicated they would be done by 7:00pm and we landed at 13:00. (Kim you need to check with car rental before client arrives to make sure the paperwork is waiting at airport. BIG hassle to drive downtown to office to pick it up)
We had reservations in Mendoza Argentina, a 400 km drive over the Andes Mountains so told them that we would not be able to make our reservations. Thank goodness I had bookmarked a hostel in town, so we called them and luckily they had a free room available for the night.
So we drove to the Alamo main office and waited for our papers. (it costs $300 to get the papers completed and insurance coverage). The drive to the main office was very frustrating. I managed to pick up a tourist map of Santiago at the airport but it did not have all streets labelled and we could not find a store that sold maps at the airport AND the cell provider (Movistar) did not have any cell cards left at the airport. Combine all of these together and we were frustrated.
You can just IMAGINE how many “F” words were coming from our Suzuki Vitterra (sp) as we made our way through downtown Santiago.
At the renatl main office we showed at 20 to 4 and Darwin said we were a bit early to pick up the papers promised for 5:00 pm ( 1700 hrs – playing games with the 7:00 pm ) anyway they sped up two hours and documentation in hand, we made our way across town in rush hour traffic to our hostel www.happyhousehostel.com. Once again the cursing was at a high level, but we made it safely. We were very impressed with the hostel (private room, shared bathroom/shower $59US).
Darwin decided we had to stock up on supplies after a long day on the road, so off we went AGAIN in prime traffic and finally found the mall he/kim/kev went to before our cruise. This is one interesting mall. So we loaded up on supplies (except my summer dress that was nowhere to be found in a mall due to the fall clothes starting to arrive) and headed back to the hostel. We were greeted with a welcome drink (white wine and peaches....very very yummy). We then headed downstairs to the pizzeria next door and I enjoyed one of my best spaghetti dinners in years and Darwin had pizza. It was 23:00 by the time we ordered food. We were exhausted but famished. Back to the hostel for some sleep but up early to start our adventure.
Oh yea... side note....our stocking up included Darwin loading up on every piece of technology map equipment you can imagine. New Garmin GPS system including a new map of Argentina for our trip across the Andes. I was laughing to myself that the Canada Arm Satellite is probably beeping some code because it isn’t used to seeing so much equipment in a rental vehicle in this part of the world. But after our day of hell around the City, Darwin wanted to make sure we were properly equipped like Albertans should be.
So we easily made it to the highway leading us to Mendoza. We needed gas before we crossed the Andes, so we headed into Los Andes to fill up on gas. Then into town as the GPS card we bought for Argentina did not fit the new GPS model. Darwin searched for another device to adapt, and then we went back to the car and realized it worked..... oops.
So back on the road and for some reason our GPS was telling us to go in another direction. We persevered the way we were going and YEP the GPS was right. We finally got onto the right road and then headed towards the border. We stopped at our first post and some guy gave us these papers stating we had a rental vehicle. We then drove a few kilometres and thought we were at customs. WRONG. This was just a currency exchange and washroom trailer. This is the Chile border area for returning and we continued our drive. Well what a drive. We thought we had switch backs in North America....the Logan Pass doesn’t come close to this. We believe we did 23 switch backs that climbed 3105 metres to the summit. This was an amazing drive. We will post some photos but it DOES NOT do this area justice. It is hard to describe some of the scenery but to say it’s the colour of the grand canyon, at the scale of the Rockies. It was absolutely breathtaking.
But we were not through customs yet. The next stop, we received small piece of paper with a stamp on it and the attendant told us to report 16km down the road. So down the road we went and then we had a line-up and what a line-up it was. We spent 3 hours waiting to get across the border. Obviously the locals are used to this, so they have lunches packed, soccer games going on outside while everyone waits to get cleared from customs. I was proud of myself as I managed to walk to one of the 3 food booths outside the customs building and actually ordered a hamburger and hotdog with no problems. When you approach the security booth, it is the passenger who gets out to present papers. There are two men in the booth together and the first one is CHILE police who clear you from their country. Then Argent ina immigration clears you to their country. We went through that and then had to go to another booth and they check your vehicle. We presented our rental agreement to the officers and then they took off for 20 minutes and reviewed our documentation. We finally got cleared through customs but had to present that small piece of paper stamped earlier (now stamped two more times) to another control booth 16km away.
So.....it is quite the process to clear customs here. As Darwin said “it was a cluster......” south America is one of the top gateways for drug movement in the world and all they do here is a visual inspection of the car. It was a very PAINFUL process but we endured and laughed about it.
Once we were finally cleared we enjoyed 100km of pure nature at it’s best. This is definitely one of the top 3 drives in our lives (Rocky Mountains/Moab Desert) but this one combined the two drives into one. The reds were amazing and the copper in the ranges was breathtaking. And we thought the painted desert in California was nice! NO COMPARISON.
We had booked a B&B a week ago for Mendoza and Mercedes (the owner) was glad to see us when we arrived at 21:00. She immediately said the border took longer than expected. Mercedes took the next hour booking tours and suggesting restaurants for us. She convinced us to stay in the area for 5 nights
and then head back to Chile via the same pass. She indicated we could cross back to Chile south of here, but there are not major cities in the area and not alot to do. This lady knows her stuff and we immediately trusted her. For our friends/family in Drumheller – we met Dorothy Bergos of Argentina. This lady knew everything and Darwin looked at me and said “here’s our Dorothy”. So it’s set, we are now here for 5 nights (unfortunately the plazia italia is booked so she has made arrangements for us to stay at Argentina Hotel the next 4 nights). We have 2 wine tours booked, a horseback riding day and one free day to roam the area. (Kim you MUST send clients here. She is better than our place in Seattle this summer for hospitality).
Off we went to Azafran for some food. Now this is a neat little spot. They run a wine store and also happen to have a restaurant. In their menu they indicate they would rather show their wine in the cellar than list it in a menu.... very cool. So off you go to the store area and pick your wine for dinner. We tried a Borado (grape from Spain) and it was delicious. We are looking forward to our tour tomorrow.
Need to get some sleep as we are getting picked up in 6 hours. I will try and post some photos tomorrow.

Posted by winmouse 20:05 Archived in Argentina Comments (3)


Final thoughts

sunny 31 °C
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Uruguay Final Thoughts
Well we made it to the airport safely after a few wrong turns getting through Punte Del Este this morning. What was amazing are the young kids walking the streets after a night of partying. Girls in their evening outfits/high heels stumbling and trying to hitch a ride home. Our pousado laughed when we asked if there would be traffic on the roads at 07:00. He said no one is one roads at that hour other than the party kids stumbling home. And he was right. We must have passed 200-300 kids throughout the beach districts. We even found a few bars still open and full. The traffic circles in town do not have the best markings so we took a few wrong turns. Thankfully Darwin has a great sense of direction and kept heading south west towards our final destination. We found the Centro (main plaza) area of town and then easily made our way to the highway.
The Montevideo airport is brand new (maybe 2 years old max)and very easy to navigate. We could not figure out where to drop our car, so finally decided to go to arrivals. You just park your car here and let the car rental agency know what stall you are in and away you go. So easy compared to trying to find your rental agency in a jammed parking lot. So that was super easy.
Departure taxes are $31US/person.
We have an hour to wait for our flight and then a 2 hour flight to Santiago. We talked to Kim yesterday and changed our rental vehicle for the next portion. Our little Chevrolet Corsa was small and the clutch was going on the car. So to get through the Andes Mountains we went with a Suzuki Vitterra. We will have to complete paperwork to cross the Argentina border with a Chile rental vehicle. According to websites/travel blogs it costs around $200USD. Then we have a 5 hour drive to Mendoza and we get to see one of the highest peaks in the Andes today. So this should be a fun adventure.
Once again, we thoroughly enjoyed this country. Today, we saw a beautiful sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean as our pousado host made coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice for our road trip this morning. The service was outstanding and will highly recommend this to Kim for her clients travelling to this area.
Our only regret was not getting enough time on the beaches. It rained most of yesterday, so did not get sun until 16:00 and then we were driving back to our pousado from touring the marina. So did not get to take advantage of beach time. We would have loved to walk more beaches but we cut this portion of the trip from 7 days to 4 days because we were having troubles getting rooms and the costs on-line were very expensive. Oh well, at least we got a feel for the country and loved it.
However, South America is still a very patriarch society. Everyone greets Darwin first and he is the one spoken to for directions, menu ordering, wine sampling etc. It’s a different environment, especially for me. Not sure if I could live like this fulltime.
Our favourite memories from Uruguay are:
Darwin#5 – watching Mouse converse in Spanish ( a little bit)

  1. 4 – jammin’ session on beach at Punte del Diablo (he wants to start the band with the quarto D’s. Check out photo for more details)

  2. 3 palm trees on the prairies

  3. 2 - Alberta beef in uruguay

  4. 1- watching the sunrise in a fog on the beach

Michelle#5- discovering a new wine – Tannat....very reasonable and good

  1. 4- Uruguay restaurant recommended by a cabby who did not speak English but managed to tell us that his brother worked there. The food was fantastic

  2. 3- Endless beach scenery – love the sand dunes

  3. 2- our pousado dos el pajaro (house of birds) in punte del este (la Barra beach)

  4. 1- sleeping in the car and watching sunrise (just because it was unplanned and the only option)

So....Adios to Uruguay and Hola Chile/Argentina

Posted by winmouse 19:10 Archived in Uruguay Comments (1)


Punte del Este

overcast 27 °C
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Well after no sleep at our hostel we checked out around 10:00 and decided to head back towards Punte del Este. We realized the prices were higher in this area, but needed to get our way back towards Montevideo for our flight on the 13th.
Since we drove to the area in the dark, it was hard to understand the topography. Our ride today was fantastic. We were in Alberta but with palm trees and cactus larger than Drumheller. Other than that, sheep, cattle, horses and landscape was the same. We love the drive.
We hit Ruta 10 (route 10) and drove along the beach towards Punte del Este. Darwin was in heaven because the road to the beach was a gravel road under construction so we drove a gravel road for 15 km, past vineyards and gated communities.
We arrived at Jose Ignacio, a gorgeous undeveloped beach town, with some of the most beautiful homes we have seen. This was an uncut diamond waiting to be discovered. We then arrived at La Barra, the beach town before Punte del Este (this area has several beaches which all make up Punte del Este). We started to look for accommodations in this area. We stopped at one place and the front desk had one room available but waiting to hear back from a client who was stranded in Spain due to the snow storm. So we walked up the block to a local sandwich spot (rex’s) and enjoyed a great lunch overlooking the ocean. Back to the villa but the Spainard’s flight was re-booked and he would be arriving sometime that night.
Today was a beautiful sunny day and we wanted to hit the beach but needed accommodations first. So we decided to head back towards Jose Ignacio and look for places to stay. We found Pousada de los Pajaros, a beautiful white villa located across from the beach. Room was available so we took it for 2 nights and decided to enjoy the beach.
We had a great time on the Atlantic Ocean but we had red coded flags indicating undertow, so we decided not to swim. When you look around and only see 10 people in the water, you realize it’s too rough for us. So we read our books and enjoyed the scenery. Lots more thongs (girl thongs – boys all in long trunks like home) here than Brazil.
Back to our room and the front desk recommended a restaurant 20 minutes away, so we ordered a taxi so Darwin could enjoy a bottle of wine with me for dinner. Well, the cabby (Fabio) recommended us another restaurant through translation because his brother worked at le Rueben. So we said sure, so off we went to a part of the city we weren’t familiar with. We also did not bring our pousado brochure with us, so had no idea how to get back. But Fabio ensured that he would take us back once we were done with our dinner.
We went to a typical bar-b-que spot in Uruguay. The bbq was loaded with food and Daniel was a great waiter. We had this great grilled provolone appetizer and a stuffed pork loin with peppers, cheese and palm hearts. We also had a great salad. The salads in South America seem to include lettuce, tomatoes, egg, beets, potatoes, heart of palm and carrot. They serve the salad with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt. Our waiter spread some salt on a plate and then sprayed the balsamic vinegar (yep their balsamic is in spray bottles here) on top and then added some olive oil. He carefully mixed the salt in with the other ingredients and mixed into our salads. We asked for a good local wine and he recommended Dan Pasqual Robel Tannat. Tannat is the grape of the area and we really enjoy this wine. We also had a center cut and filet mignon (3 times bigger than at home. Didn’t even recognize it as a filet) that was done to perfection. As you can imagine, we enjoyed our meal and the service was the best of the trip. All of the above and the bill was $75USD...
Back to our pousado.
We set the alarm for 06:30 to get up and watch the sun rise. Well when it went off, we checked the window and immediately said NO to the sunrise walk along the beach. The sky was dark and the rain had started. Well, we got one good thunderstorm – thunder so loud it shook our pousado. It was a great storm and another good nap set in.
We then headed into Punte del Este and took pictures of the hand on Playa Brava ( a famous landmark of the area). Then off to the Yacht Club to watch the boats. We had a great lunch overlooking the boats and then back to our Pousado.
We’ve been working on our next 10 days in Argentina/Chile and packing for our early wake up tomorrow.

Uruguay Highlights
Wow, Wow.
We originally schedule 7 days here and then switched to 4 because we couldn’t find places to stay on the internet. Well, if we could change we would spend a week here. This is definitely our favourite place so far, We would chose Uruguay over Brazil any day.
My analogy is this is the PEI of South America. For those who have travelled to PEI, you will get this. PEI does not get much attention in Canada, let alone North America. Yet, when you travel there, you immediately fall in love with the beaches and the people. The economy is small compared to everyone else, yet it is a very special place. Anyhow, that’s how I think of Uruguay. Everyone talks about Argentina, Brazil and Chile, yet Uruguay is the gem. The best beaches, the food is fantastic, the wine is great, the people are friendly.
What we loved here:

• From our rustic rural adventure in Diablo to the cosmopolitan chic area of Punte del Este, this place is great
• Taxis are all vanilla coloured with notlabels. You know what it is by the colour
• Roads are fantastic
• Wine is CHEAP and actually quite good
• Bar-b-que restaurants are yum yum good. Meats of all kind loaded onto the bar-b-que and made to perfection.
• Beaches are the best. This area is endless with fabulous sand dunes that open to wide open soft sand beaches. We drove over 200km and it was all beachfront.
• Architecture is fantastic. If you want an alternative to Mexico this is the place

Monica....thanks again for the recommendation. We will definitely return. You must tell us which beach Hamlet enjoyed the most. A great part of the world to visit

Posted by winmouse 16:30 Archived in Uruguay Comments (1)


Punta del Diablo

sunny 26 °C
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So.....today we had to say goodbye to Buenos Aires and get prepared for our trip to Uruguay. The flight to Uruguay was an easy 45 minute hop. We landed in Punte Del Este and had no reservations for the night. We knew it could be tough to find a place based on the website searches. We checked at the airport information center and he called two places and they were each $260/night for a basic Days Inn. We said NO and decided to find our own place to stay. We knew this would be an interesting adventure when our car rental (Europcar) shows up with a sign with our name Durnier on the sheet of paper. (note to Kim...they do NOT have a location at the airport but have a representative with signs waiting for you and your car is in the parking lot. So if you want to upgrade, or change vehicles you are out of luck). So here we are, in the parking lot with manual credit card machine checking out our Chevrolet Corsa. It is an ok car (clutch is gone) and back to manual driving. It’s been 5 weeks since we have driven a car, so Darwin had to actually think today.
I had the map and off we went. We decided to drive out of Punte Del Este because we knew the prices were high and minimum occupancy and thought lets get to the next town – Rocha and find a place. However, it took us over 2 hours to get out Punte del Este due to traffic and our gawking at the wonderful beach scene of this area. So we stopped at a few pousados and the prices were $300/night with no occupancy.
We finally got out of Punte del Este around 8:30 and made our way to Rocha for 9:15. Through translation at the gas station, our attendant told us there would be rooms in Rocha, so we found our way to the centro plaza (after going the wrong way on one way streets and through some very isolated streets). We found a hotel in the plaza and he told us there is no room in the Inn or in the town.
So off to Castillos, the next city. Again no place to stay. We headed to the beach town of this area and dropped upon a town festival. The main street by the beach was closed and the locals were out partying. We stopped by a small convenience booth and he pointed down the main drag (which was closed to cars), so we parked and wandered the streets until we found the hotel. The office was closed for the ngiht, so we were out of luck. However, we enjoyed this small area and the vibe of the town, all out having a cocktail on a Saturday night.
So off to Punta del Diablo (a further 60 km) down the road where we had reservations for the next night. When we arrived we headed straight for the beach area. Well, this town was hopping. Kids flooded the main drag as we tried to drive through it. This area was full of small bars/restaurants packed with kids. We finally found a parking spot and decided to walk around a bit. We picked a small pizzeria and sat down for a drink and something to eat. Darwin drove for 6 hours (it was now 00:30 am) and he needed to unwind. The roads were great, but in a strange country you are always stressed.

We were trying to chat with our waiter (Paulo) and he pointed to a colleague in the back and called Gringo. Before we knew it, we were chatting with Joseph from Wisconsin. He’s the pizza maker and has been living in the town for 2 weeks. He broke up with his girlfriend from Montevideo and went on a roadtrip and ended up here. So we had a hoot with him and the owner Miguel and Paulo. We ate a great pizza, and two bottles of wine. The bill came to $40 USD. Their local wine is called Tannat and it is actually very good.
Before we knew it, it was 04:30 in the morning and we said....lets go sleep on the beach. We asked Joseph if we could borrow a couple of blankets and he provided us with two for the night. So off we went back to our car. As we walked back, we tried to find a nice sandy place to crash, but couldn’t find a spot. So we decided on our car. Darwin immediately crashed, while I stayed awake waiting for the sun to rise. At 06:00, I woke Dar up and we watched daylight arrive. It was not a good sunrise, as the fog was apparent, but we had fun watching the local fishermen leave for the morning. They have their boats docked on the beach attached to winches. They release these in the morning and skilfully back their boats into the water using planks and rollers, and then off they go.
We watched this for a bit and then moved the car to another location and napped. Our reservation at Punta del Diablo Tranquilo indicated 11:00. So we knew we had time for some more sleep. We parked the car and within minutes a huge thunderstorm appeared. For most people, this would keep you awake, but both of us slept like babies for 2 hours. The car was even shaking at times due to the winds, but the thunder and lightning and our car was GREAT.
We returned our blankets to Joseph and headed to our hostel. They told us the reservation was wrong and our room would not be ready until 14:00 but they allowed us to shower in our room. This was definitely a basic hostel, but we had the top suite, with a shared balcony, private bath/shower and a hammock. It had a lot of character and was recommended in a 2007 Budget Travel magazine article.
After refreshing, we decided to drive to Chuy (brazil border) and check out the town and try to wait out the rain until our room was ready. Nothing major to report about this town, other than there are tons of duty free stores available as Uruguay is much cheaper than Brazil. We headed back to our town and the rain had stopped. The sun was shining, so off we went to our hostel bar on the beach.
Punte del Diablo is HIGHLY recommended on travel blogs as the place to go to get out of the large Punte Del Este. This is so true. We have a hard time describing this place as neither of us have been to one quite like it. The beaches are great...full of sand dunes, good surf, a town that is sleepy until 23:00 and then parties until 06:00. We certainly can envision Murph loving this place and Darcy/Dave Lee starting a bar here.
The beach bar was fantastic. We listened to four guys TRYING to sing Bob Marley tunes but they were so bad, they were groovy (but we also thought of our own band the Dos D’s......Darwin(lead guitar) Darcy (clarinet), Dill (murph playing drums) and Devin (Kevin playing bass guitar). We laughed so hard at one time thinking of this, we had a few watching us.
Side note for all the men reading this......there are 5-1 women over men in this place. The girls just flock this town and they are ALL wearing thongs. So if anyone is interested in meeting women, this is definitely the spot for you.
We finally made our way back to the hostel at 18:00 and they forgot to clean our room. So we waited AGAIN until it was cleaned. We thought we would take a quick nap and then head out again for the night. But when 22:00 arrived, we decided to try and get some more sleep, since it was very quiet in the area. Boy were we STUPID.... Everyone was sleeping until then. The town got louder and louder and peaked at 05:30. Even though the hostel claims there is no noise after 01:00, it does not explain the fact that voices travel forever in this area, and that the party crowd knows to stay on the street and away from the property line, so hostel management can’t shut them up....Yep you got it... no sleep again. Darwin was fine, because he just decided to snore louder than everyone. But I didn’t manage a wink.
I woke him up at 9:30 and we decided to head to our next destination..... beaches before Punte del Este.
Even though we did not sleep for 2 nights, we still enjoyed this area and would highly recommend it to anyone. If you want to get off the beaten track, come here and just enjoy yourself. To us, this is definitely what some great beach towns along California would have been like in the ‘70’s. It’s something like Tofino meets Peggy’s Cove. Check out the photos. They don’t quite capture the culture but it will give you some idea.

Posted by winmouse 16:27 Archived in Uruguay Comments (0)

Buenos Aires

Leather and Beef

sunny 26 °C
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The last few days have been very busy exploring this city. We have ranked this our top city of the trip so far. We have not spent alot of time in Europe yet, so this has a dab of Paris, Spain, North America and South America all spun together. It’s been a great city and we could easily spend a week here. We slept in the first morning (our bed reminds us of Sylvan Lake and it just sucked the life out of us) and caught up on emails, now that we can send from here. (for some reason, Brazil was blocking our emails). We found a harmony restaurant beside our hotel (not a hamburger joint like back in Waterloo) but served great salads for $5.00.
After our tummies were full, it was off to explore the city. We easily became tunnel rates and used the subway as our means of transportation. (the C line station is right beside our hotel and very handy). The first day we checked out the Palermo/Soho neighbourhood, where locals go to shop. This area was middle class and the shops were mostly liquidation centers, not what we were looking for. So we moved to Sante Fe Avenue and walked this street back to our hotel. There were some great stores along here, but we have been cautious of what we can pack with us.
Yesterday, we decided we would buy some leather and send a fed ex box back to Darcy (expect something in the next month buddy). As well, we have discovered we can actually dispose of some clothes. Even though we haven’t taken much with us, we can get away with less than earlier expected. So as I write this blog, Darwin is sorting through our clothes and packing our fedex box.
We wanted to research the leather shops before we purchased, so off to Murillo street where 15 discount leather shops are located. After this trip, we realized the leather shop our concierge recommended across the street from us (Sylvia y Mario) is excellent quality. So we went back there and Darwin has a new leather blazer and I bought a coat and belt made from Capybara. It is the world’s largest rodent and is excellent quality leather but very small hides to work with as these are much smaller animals than cows. I wanted something unique from Argentina so decided on this instead of their lovely floral leather.
We finally found Dwayne’s Starbuck mug as he requested and we also found maps of Chile/Mendoza for when we return in a week to tour the wine region.
We came back to the room and decided tonight was the night to try Argentina Beef. We have been walking around the city for over 5 hours and were starving. So the concierge recommended La Brigada. This is a local steakhouse in a small neighbourhood, not near the tourist warehouse or Florida neighbourhoods. So off we went, Darwin decked out in his new blazer and belt. La Brigada is a small restaurant with a great pianist in the main section of the bar (we had to tip him and request Don’t Cry for me Argentina like any tourist. It was worth it). The step at the bottom of the legs of the stools held up soccer balls between the four legs. These were all signed by various players and was a first for us to see. We asked the waiter to suggest a bottle of wine for us at $280 pesos ($70US) and he brought us a great Malbec that is supposedly the best with steak. When we looked at the bottle, we had to chuckle as it was an “O Fournier” vintage – a vineyard that Gord recommended we visit while in Mendozza. So it was meant to be a great meal and it was.....we ordered tenderloins with mushrooms and asked for some sliced tomatoes. At the table next to us, the group ordered a beef roast and indeed the waiter was carving the meat with a spoon – the legend of this restaurant according to our concierge. We could do this back in Alberta but what a great “bragging right”. We were famished and the meal did not disappoint. The steak was indeed delicious and definitely compares to our Alberta Beef. Our only minor disappointment was our waiter must have thought we were American, so medium rare was not really medium rare – but the meat was fantastic. We were full and fell asleep within minutes upon arriving back to our room.
Today we once again travelled via the subway and headed back to Playa de Mayo, where the pink palace is located (Presidential offices and where Eva Peron made her famous speech to Argentinians in the ‘40s). This is called the “A” line on their subway and is the only place you can ride the original cars from the early 1900’s. They were very cool and worth the trip down to the area.
We walked to the Calatrava Bridge and ventured across. This area is called Puerto Madero and is essentially their warehouse district. We laughed when we were informed this bridge was donated by the Hilton Hotel (to connect them to the main part of the city) and did not cost the taxpayers any money. After all the controversy over the same architect designing Calgary’s new Peace Bridge, why couldn’t we arrange this deal back in Calgary (oops is that my inner voice speaking).
Then off to find the Masonic Lodge which took us past the obelisk and the diamond district (Karen/Jeff not nearly as good as NYC). However Buenos Aires has the third largest number of Jews after Tel Aviv and NYC). The lodge is located in prime real estate area on General J. D. Peron Ave. But it was not open for Darwin to investigate. A few blocks away was the tango area, where you buy shoes, suits and dresses. But we could not find a women’s fedora for me to bring back. So that was a bit disappointing.
We then headed off to Ave Alvear (Beverly Hills of Buenos Aires) and checked out a few high end shops for some good shoes. However, we did not find anything we liked and were pooped, so ended up at a small cafe by Recoleta Cemetary, having an afternoon cocktail. We headed back to the hotel and enjoyed an hour by the pool relaxing and actually enjoying the books we brought along (yep Kev he actually knows the name of the book that he was going to read on the cruise before you arrived).

We have rated Buenos Aires our second favourite city after NYC. Even though we prefer rural areas, we could easily get accustomed to this city. If anyone is thinking of travelling here, the Plaza Marriott is very conveniently located in the heart of Florida Street (main shopping street) and close to the subway. But...these beds are the best and you definitely get a good night sleep after a long day.

Posted by winmouse 16:01 Archived in Argentina Comments (4)

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