Rosario and Buenos Aires
20.05.2011 - 24.05.2011 14 °C
We decided to travel in style from Mendoza to Rosario on the wide seated night bus that gave you your own little pillow and tartan throw, a couple of interesting meals and a glass of champagne. Deciding to sit upstairs at the front of the coach however, for future reference, has it´s positives and negatives. You do get a seat where people are not able to recline into you, however you also can´t ignore the scary over-taking that the drivers continuously do to get you to your destination on time, (or to ensure that they get a long break).
After our 20 block walk to the hostel we were pretty tired but decided to head straight out into the city befrore check-in, firstly visiting the Monumento Nacional a la Bandera. A very imposing building that dominates the scenery, has a flame burning constantly outside of it, and contains the crypt of the Argentinian flag designer. We seemed to visit the area at a time of unrest due to the protest that was taking place outside of the building. Lots of students sitting in the road, looking like they were having a bit of a jolly, but with some banners, chanting something that we couldn´t understand. The protesters outside the church however seemed a little more serious, with their tyre burning, so we promptly decided to leave the area and not inhale anymore thick black smoke.
We of course visited the usual museums and galleries, Rosario home to the Museo Municipal de Belle Artes which had a frankly weird exhibit where people were filmed pretending to be attacked by sharks. We then strolled around the Parque Independencia and went around the lake in a pedelow. It was at this point that we attracted “Samson,” our wolf like canine friend. He was waiting for us as we came off our boat, did not fall for any of our diversions of walking in different directions, or hiding, and then joined us on our next adventure of visiting the Rosario soccer ground. An intense but amazing experience attending the match of “Newell´s Old Boys” versus “All Boys.” A 1-0 victory to the home team unquestionably made the fans around us, no most of the stadium, go mad, however I am sure they are the same with any result- very passionate and loyal supporters of their team who are at the moment bottom of the league. A plus to watching football matches in Argentina is that tickets for women are ½ price, it should be like that at home. Sitting behind the goal, next to the away fans, meant that we were thoroughly caged in by barbed wire yet the young teenage boys and children seem to use the fencing to their advantage. Not only can it be used to climb up to give a lot more emphasis to your taunting or crotch grabbing at the opposition, you can also tie your jumper to it and make a sling in which you can place yourself close to the pitch for the entire game.
We then moved on and made Buenos Aires our home for the week, staying in the cobbled district of San Telmo. I certainly announced my arrival to the whole hostel by promptly causing a power cut after I had put my rucksack away. I got a little excited by the fact that there were hairdryers provided and did not really look at the interestng wiring before I tried to make it work- my first proper electric shock. Feeling a little tingly we headed out for our first of many steak nights in BA. There are so many nice restaurants in San Telmo, and I have eaten so much cow accompanied by a small glass or Malbec, Stew finishing the rest of the bottle, that I am quite looking forward to a few meat free days. One of the highlights of BA, or San Telmo in fact, had to be the sprawling Sunday antique/crafts market. I could have bought so much but luckily I had Stew there to restrain me, it would not have been practical with a rucksack. Stew then added to his collection of beaded necklaces at one of the stalls and all I can say is that I admire their selling technique. They proclaimed with such conviction that this certain necklace, that they were selling for about 30 pounds, had a pearl on it, a bit of a tree from the Amazon rainforest, and then to top it off a bit of the actual Inca ruins.
You can´t go to Buenos Aires without partaking in a Tango lesson so on the Sunday evening that is exactly what we did. The male instructor was incredibly annoying, a great example of an Argentinian male who loves himself, but the woman was very helpful. She did manage to slightly offend Stew by telling him he had bad posture, but in the end it turned out that he just had a sticky out bum, but she really helped us attempt to perfect our 12 step mini routine. No we weren´t perfect but in all seriousness I think that we did quite well and Stew has certainly developed a great facial expression for his tango dancing. I was also slightly hindered by the choices of footwear that I had to dance in, I don´t think they recommend flip-flops or walking boots but we made it work.
And next time on The Adventures of Stew and Becks in Buenos Aires………………. Coming Soon!