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Kate’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 04 Nov 2010

Location: Buenos Aries, Argentina

MapFor breakfast... bread of many kinds. I didn't think I'd tire of croissants and cheese but I have reached my limit. We have fun trying to get out of Uruguay - their border police don't want to let us go becuase we are missing a piece of paper that we weren't given on entry. The ferry across the brown harbour is fairly dull, but most of the group are so hyped about getting to Buenos Aires that it doesn't matter. I'm not quite so excited, it's just another city in my eyes.

Vegetarian buffet for lunch. I know this entry is becoming all about food but I went crazy with excitement at the sight of vegetables and salads and healthy foods and gorge until my tummy hurts.

Our hotel is super fancy, with multiple chandeliers and big floral arrangements in the lobby. The room is small but very decorated - it's the kind with patterned carpet, bedspreads and wallpaper all crammed into a tiny space.

Monday night was awesome, we went to a drum party in some industrial block turned into a gig space. There were perhaps 15 musicians with various drums and percussion instruments and they got the whole place dancing. It was really impressive, with a very bohemian vibe, many dreadlocks and a lot of pot smoke in the air (it's legal to have a small amount of marijuana for personal use in Argentina and Uruguay apparently). We then wen't to our guide Maru's house for a party - her family and friends were so warm and welcoming and we entered the house to "hola" (hello) and hugs and kisses from all. It was so lovely. There are some really great parts to the South American culture.

A sleep in and lazy day visiting Palermo is very welcome on Tuesday. This is a fairly rich neighbourhood with lots of parks, bars and nice shops. It feels safe and expensive, not at all like the overcrowded central area of the city.

On Tuesday we headed out the a tango show, which starts with a tango lesson. It's actually a lot of fun (especially laughing at the uncoordinated guys trying to learn the steps) and I'm not as terrible as I expected. The show itself was spectacular, it showcased the progression of the tango through the decades and the dancers are super fit.

We all head out to a club for our final farewell party together. It turns out to be a really good night. I don't drink and feel great for it.

Most people look pretty shabby at the early morning meeting in the lobby to farwell Sam, my only fellow Aussie in the group. He starts work on Friday. I feel blessed that when I head back home I won't be straight back into work. So many of the people in the tour group are doing some soul searching, running away from work they find unfulfilling or trying to find something extra in their lives. I can understand when so many of them work in corporate jobs.

We tour the city on one of those open roofed buses. This has been such a wealthy country at times, beautiful buildings are everywhere, they are huge and ornate. We stop at La Boca to see the football stadium, and have a BBQ lunch in Caminito (super colourful neighbourhood with painted houses).

The remaining 11 of the group are too tired to party on our last night in BA. Many are staying longer. We are about to head south, and I am personally looking forward to it. I'm so glad about the smaller group of 4 (Kyla, Sarah, Kevin and I) plus Maru our guide. We all get along and things will be easier in a smaller group for sure.

Can't wait for mountains and small towns!!! There's only a 20 hour bus ride standing in my way.