After our lovely stay at El Ombu we took the transfer back to BA and were dropped off at the garden house hostel. We had booked our rooms late so over the next week we had 3 room moves to look forward to !
On the 27th we started our Spanish lessons at IBL spanish school. We found this through our hostel and it was half the price of anything we found on the net (290 pesos pp for a week). The lessons are good and we have homework to do every day.
We also had our first Tango lesson on the 28th. We decided to take some private lessons and so again found a place through our hostel. We turned up at a normal house down a side street in San Telmo (the district in BA famous for Tango). We were led to a room where there was a largish marble floor and a couple ready to teach us. It was great fun and Monica was led by Carlos while Nick tried to lead Romina, as they both taught us the different moves. They even managed to get Monica into a pair of high heel shoes so that she could 'pivot' more effectively !
At the end of the lesson we booked our next one !
On the 29th we met up with Libby and Andy and went to a restaurant called 'Siga La Vaca' (follow the cow). There was a half hour queue to get in. We paid 24 pesos ($8) each and you get as much salad and meat as you can eat as well as a dessert and either a bottle of wine or as much beer as you can drink ! We had a great time, the salad bar was amazing and the range of meats was excellent too. The place was still full when we left at about 1am ! We then went on to a bar and carried on drinking.
The following day we were walking around Buenos Aires and it was like a ticker tape parade. There were bits of paper coming down from everywhere. Apparently the custom is to throw the calendar out of the window, however in practice they seem to throw as much paper as they have out of all of the office windows. It was a really cool sight to see thousands of pieces of paper flying around and glistening in the sun (picture attached).
In the evening we had our second Tango lesson. By the end we could actually manage to dance together with Nick leading and Monica following. We then met up with Eduardo and Sally who we had met on the Navimag boat. We had a drink in the Plaza in San Telmo and then a meal near by. It was good to catch up as we had not seen them since leaving our trekking in Torres del Paine.
On New year's eve we went to Palermo with Eduardo and Sally and had a few beers to warm up for the evening ! we then said goodbye to them and went back to our hostel. The bbq started at about 9.30pm and there were free drinks as well. At midnight we watched the fireworks all around and bags with candles in lit up the sky ! All of the nightclubs were shut in Bs As because of the nighclub fire the night before so we stayed at our hostel and carried on drinking until about 3.30am. Met loads of nice people and had a great time.
New years day was a quiet day. We roamed the streets to find pizza ! and then went to see Bridget Jones diary 2 at the cinema (crap !).
On the 2nd we went to La Boca in the morning. We had a look around the main streets where all the colourful buildings were. It was a bit touristy but still nice ! and then went to the Boca Juniors stadium. We had the stadium tour and Nick got very excited when he was allowed to run on to the pitch !!
We then went to the market in San Telmo square and had a look around the arts/ crafts and 'antiques' stalls.
We returned to our hostel grabbed our bags and moved across town into the Marriott hotel for a couple of nights for free (thanks Xerox !!!). They were rather surprised as we walked in with backpacks on. However once we had handed over the 'Elite' membership card they were a bit friendlier ! We spent our time in our big air conditioned room, at the swimming pool and in the executive room eating all the free food and drinking all the free drinks !!!!
It was a bit of a shock moving into the milhouse. A nice hostel but very different from the Marriott. We looked around our room for the a/c (to no avail, only a fan !!). It is a good friendly hostel. There is a laundry room, travel agency, pool table and communal area and then the rooms are all upstairs away from the loud music (but in the heat).
In the evening we went out to Palermo to look around the shops. Ended up in a hard rock cafe during happy hour listening to excellent music.
It has been extremely hot in Buenos Aires over the last couple of days. We are hoping for some rain soon to cool the air down. Spanish lessons still continue as normal.
On Thursday 6th we went to the Cementerio de la Recoleta. This is where Eva Peron and family are buried, as well as a lot of other rich and famous argentinian people. It was an amazing place. There were rows and rows of mausaleums (?) each more grander than the last. Really good place to go and see. After we sat at the Bullers brewing company pub and Nick had a lovely honey beer that was 8% alcohol !
On the Friday we finished our last spanish lesson. The school 'IBL' was excellent and we have learnt alot of spanish. We now just need to put it into practice as much as possible.
In the evening we headed out to Palermo for something to eat and drink. We ended up in a Mexican restaurant called Xenapa. The food was good and reasonably priced. We carried on to the main square in Palermo and carried on drinking until about 3.30am. The place was still buzzing when we left, but we decided that we didn't want huge hangovers the next day as we had to check out of the hostel by 10.30am
On Saturday we took our last walk on Florida street, went to the cinema and waited for our bus to Mendoza at 7pm. Another 15 hour bus journey.