(NB: click photos to enlarge)
Day One in Buenos Aires:
Alan, our friendly travel agent was at the airport to meet & greet us which was wonderful as we had literally 8 Spanish words all of which we pronounced very badly; so arriving to a friendly Kiwi in a very foreign country was a Godsend! Also there to greet us was our BA English speaking guide whose name was Edwardo Macrae!! I kid you not! Initially we thought it was a set-up, but he was for real. Those McRae’s certainly spread themselves all over the world! Edwardo was and still is the president of the Scottish Society here in BA and has been back to Scotland several times to attend various reunions held at the Eileen Doonan Castle (known locally as the McRae castle), which is in the area of Dornie in the Scottish highlands.
We were taken directly to our hotel which was great. It was billed as a 3+ Star; it had a small pool & gym area with a HUGE shopping mall right across the street… perfect really…not that I had come for the shopping! After a shower and a nap, we were picked up by our travel agents and taken to a wonderful restaurant on the river (Rio de la Plata), which is 200k wide at the mouth – unbelievable! Incredible food, wine & service – 5 course meal, 3 bottles of wine for 4 people – obviously we were dehydrated from our flight! All up, NZ$130…including tip! We were a little concerned that we were practically the only ones in the restaurant initially, until we discovered that everyone eats late here, anywhere between 9:00pm and midnight – every night. We didn’t last much longer than a few hours after the wine kicked in, so we were grateful of the early dinner and getting early to bed that night.
I had a hilarious experience whilst trying out the bidét in the hotel – a combination of jet-lag, underestimated waterpressure…and probably a little bit under the influence too…of course I jumped up with shock and the water hit the roof drowning everything! Note to self for next time…adjust taps slowly whilst seated!
Day Two – Buenos Aires
The alarm went off at 7:00am – we had to go to the Brazilian embassy to arrange for our visa for Iguacu Falls entry and Rio – 48hrs turn around – very efficient!
Dinner & bed early tonight…no sleeping tablet required!
At last ….shopping!! I set off on my own to the shopping mall – two hours later – one pair of leather ankle boots, 2 pair of dress trousers and a jumper – all for – under $200 pesos (approx NZ$160) I may never go home!!! Tonight we went to a treat of a lifetime – a tango show called Senor Tango. What a spectacular event! The best entertainment and most passionate show we have ever experienced – even horses dancing on a rotating stage with a centre-piece that rose 8 – 10 ft.
The story of Tango was told from its conception through to today in a spectacular feast of beautiful bodies, passionate movement, music and song. The grand finale was the entire cast joining the resident singers and orchestra to captivate us with a truly moving version of “Don’t Cry for me Argentina” – tears rolled from our eyes as their powerful voices impassioned us all. God! What an experience!! Bedtime: 1:20am.
Day Four – Buenos Aires
Off to Estancia Santa Susana – a working ranch, although I have to say, set up particularly well for the busloads of tourists who visit every day. Local Gauchos (cowboys) double as waiters and dance partners. The owner of this ranch is a well known polo player (good looking also!) His 6yr old son stole the show both on stage and on horseback. He must have had his photo taken at least 200 times – what a star! We enjoyed a traditional asado meal – equivalent to our Kiwi BBQ, except the meats are cooked slowly over simmering hot coals without flame – makes for succulent meat! A dance followed lunch which included as much beer and vino as desired. Needless to say lunch went on for the greater part of the afternoon – good party! Early night tonight!
Next week’s report is of us exploring Patagonia….join us then and come along for the ride!
To read No 1 Linda la Linda Reporting from South America
To read No 2 Kiwis with eyes wide open in Buenos Aires!
To read No 3 Kiwis fly to Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego
To read No 4 Kiwis Visit Devil’s Throat
To read No 5 Kiwis fall in Love with Salta
To read No 6 Kiwis Safari to the Clouds
To read No 7 Kiwis Big Drive from Salta
To read No 8 Kiwis cross the mighty Andes Mountains
To read No 9 KIWIS GET ALL SHOOK UP IN THE ATACAMA DESERT (No. 9)