We arrived in Beunos Aries around breakfast time after another long bus journey from the falls. Being a big city we decided to organise accomodation ahead of time so as to be in the area we wanted and avoid chasing our tails for a day.
This story is evidence that as good as the guide books are they don`t always get it right. We arrived at "Lime House" after a short ride with the world's grumpiest taxi driver. The Hostel was a so described funky hostel with a great atmosphere and comfortable rooms. Well sorry but that place was an absolute dive! Apart from being concerned as to whether the staircase would actually hold our weight when the host came to show us rooms it was "oh sorry you don`t want to see that one, or this one or any of them". We quickly made an excuse about not understanding how much the charge was and got out of there.
Fortunately we had a back up plan - I had actually made two separate reservations because my Spanish wasn't good enough to say "pencil us in and I'll get back to you". An additional short taxi ride and we were at the "Hotel Maipu" and this was just what the doctor ordered. Situated in a building well over 100 years old it oozed charm - almost as much charm as our hosts. The place was run by two elderly gentlement who had a very relaxed attitude to life and made our stay very pleasant and hassle free.
Despite the long overnight bus ride we quickly felt energised by the city and hit the street to check it out. We had arrived in the middle of the Agrentinian Independence Day celebrations so the city was full of people (not just those who live in BA) with dancing, drums and ticker tape.
On foot it is only possible to see a very small portion of the city but rather then jumping in and out of taxis we decided to cover as best we could the area around our hotel. Suzie quickly became excited by the many many shops decked out with all the latest fashions while I was excited by all the bars, cafes and restaurants. We frequented our fair share of all of these and although we didn't buy very much we found it a cheap city to live in. One night out at a popular night spot (the Blue Note) cost us a total of $30 AUD and that was with giving it a bit of a nudge.
The people of BA were all extremely fashion concious and always impecably dressed. In fact after a few days we noticed how our well worn travel clothes were becoming a bit drab. That said there was quite an obvious gap between the haves and have not in this city. It felt like there were more street people and beggars here then any where else that we had been. So despite all that the city had to offer the effects of their crashed economy (now apparently recovering) was being felt by the people.
We had amazing weather the whole time we were there so our days were spent walking the streets, eating good food and generally being entertained by the people by day and night.
Truly a great city on a world scale and one we would happily return to along with the opportunity to explore more of Argentina.