Helloo all! I finally get round to filling in my blog and contacting you! Iíve been busy with Spanish school and homework!! Itís a long time since Iíve had to do that. Thanks for the mails and if youíve not been in touch, please mail me back!! I havenít figured out how to put photos up yet. Will send them as soon as I do!!
I'm not sure where to start so I suppose my surroundings are as good a place as any. The Portal del Sur is a great hostel, not too big and pretty friendly. Iíve met loads of people here from all around the world, so I'm only alone here when I choose to be. The best thing about the place is the lovely rooftop terrace. There's always a lovely breeze up there. The city is hot and humid but I have never been uncomfortable in it. A group of us from the hostel had a really fun night out last Friday. We went to a club with an outdoor dancefloor. We got to see the sun rise. We left at 6, had breakfast at a cafe and went to bed at 8am. The nightlife doesn't get started until about 2am, so when you lot are heading home from the clubs, they are literally only opening in BA.
Buenos Aires is a beautiful city, slightly crumbling in a dignified way. As I read in the guidebooks, it has a completely European feel to it. South America Lite so to speak. All of the cars are European - I haven't seen 1 Japanese car since I arrived. The food is also pretty familiar so that is a comfort.
This is the best place in the world for carnivores Ė amazing steaks! Donít think youíd like it Tom Ė they never ask how you would like it cooked and it always comes medium-well. I spent yesterday day at an enormous flea market close to the hostel. It was pretty interesting - lots of tat mixed in with beautiful antiques. It appeared that even if the sellers didn't sell anything, they were enjoying themselves because it allowed them to catch up with their buddies. The amount of greeting and kissing that took place, I'm surprised they had time to sell anything! I dropped into Mass nearby for a bit. They seemed very tolerant, as tourists were coming and going all the time. At the end when everyone was filing out, there was a bit of a backlog. When I got nearer the entrance, I saw the reason for this was because the priest was personally blessing and kissing everyone that left mass. They are very tactile Ė the other day I got a manicure (v.v. cheap!!) and the manicurist gave me a kiss when she was finished. Needless to say I didnít see that coming.
Spanish school is going well. I even initiated a couple of conversations in a shop today and feel more confident about getting about by myself. The other students are friendly and its a bit of fun. I think I made a good choice -
the school is very professional and the teachers are enthusiastic and well prepared.
Today I was at the Cemetery in Recoleta. Its very famous Ė its packed full of mausoleums, including Eva Peronís. Only the rich and famous get in there after they die. Amazing placeÖ Apparently the founder of the Argentinian Navy was Irish so that was interesting to see. It was not the only grave with an Irish name on it.
Iím here for another week and then fly down to Uschuaia, the southern-most city in the world. Its supposed to be very attractive. Not sure what Iíll do there yet. Its all part of my spontaneous South American trip. Plan nothing!! My next mail update will be from there...