Tuesday, May 06, 2008

BA & Iguazu Argentina Revealed

Let me start off with this picture.....Ahhhhhh Buenos Aires
Ernesto parents left Wednesday night, Ernesto Thursday night and I left Friday night! We all got business class and we all paid too much for our taxi ride from the airport. It was funny because my first taxi ride ended in about 3 minutes. He was asking me if I had been to Buenos Aires before...I told him I was here 2 weeks ago and about 8 or 9 times before that....This made him realize that I KNOW how much a cab ride costs to the city. He told me the price was 120 pesos and I said, well you can take me back then...and he did. He knows he can get another tourist to pay that. that made me laugh.....always know what the cost is for a taxi beforehand so you dont get ripped off!ved at our APARTMENT by 9am. I decided we should rent an apartment this time (not sure why I never did this before) I found a great website that rents furnished apartments by the week or month. Buenos Aires Habitat has a great selection, and especially if you are more than 2 it is much CHEAPER than a hotel. We had a great 1 bedroom apt (with trundle bed) 2 steps from Plaza San Martin for $520 for a week (Ernesto parents are staying the whole week). That is $75/night with no additional costs, and free wi-fi (guess what Dad? I brought my laptop!)
Everyone was still sleeping when I arrived, they had a late night with mucha cerveza! Plus they walked and ate un monton. They went recoleta to see the cemetery and walked Puerto Madero, both which I have done lots of times. I was rested up and ready to go, I slept the whole flight. Rounding up the Espinoza's takes some time though, so even though I arrived to the apt at 9am, we didnt get out the door until noon. We wanted to take Ernesto's parents to a couple different neighborhoods. We walked through Puerto Madero along the water over to San Telmo. Even though it was the day before the huge Sunday flea market, Plaza Dorrego was still filled with people. It was gorgeous outside and the street tango dancers were in the square, so we sat outside at La Pergola, had a few drinks and enjoyed the entertainment. These two dancers were totally HOT!! After a few drinks and botanas (apetizers) we took a taxi to La Boca and this is where I had my chance to get with the street dancers. I posted the two other pics earlier, but here is the 3rd pose. (3 poses for 10 pesos) I love it here!! Do I look like a professional or what? I turned this one black & white, Im going to frame them in a series....I need cheap decor for Costa Rica:) Of course these 2 dancers wanted to pose as well.After walking for a while we were all thirsty again. We stopped at Pulperia La Argentina. I just had a drink, but Ernesto wanted to try a bowl of Locro, a stew that is a local favorite. (looked delish, but a bit too fatty for my taste)
  It was here that I last saw my sunglasses. My gorgeous Gucci sunglasses....dammit! I must have left them sitting there and somebody got a nice present that day! DAMMIT!

One our way home we saw some of the wild parrots flying through the park...this is a quaker, my sister Jenny has it for a pet. Did I mention I really like it here? Wild parrots....come on!?

I had heard only wonderful things about the barrio of Palermo.  Last time I was in BA I walked around a bit and really liked the feel, there is a huge park with a lake, the Hippodromo (horse track) is here, the zoo, Japanese gardens, beautiful streets and apartments.....and great restaurants and bars. There is a great website that is dedicated to Palermo Viejo ok, it is en espanol, pero you can look at the pictures. La Cabrera (Cabrera 5099 at Thames) restaurant was recommended to us by a fellow stand by traveler last year when we were there with my parents. I have had it written in my little black book ever since. Oh my God! I have found a new favorite, well.....another favorite. (I cant replace El Palacio) This place I loved immediately when we were dropped off in front. A huge crowd of people spilled out onto the sidewalk waiting for their name to be called. Yes, we waited 2 hours for our table, but there was a silver urn filled with beer, wine, and champagne on ice... plus a waiter holding a wood board with ham and cheese. I love long, drawn out meals anyway, especially if you are with good company. Of course we were, and with Ernestos parents we spoke only Spanish the whole trip, so I loved it! Once we were seated (about 1130pm) it was ON!!! Check out this spread...
You would not believe the amount of food. We each ordered a steak (all tried different cuts) and along with the bread, they brought out about 20 ramikins of succulent untraditional side dishes including mashed pumpkin with raisins, marinated mushrooms, olive tapenade, beet purée and baked pearl onions in red wine, AND... my favorite, a mix of hearts of palm, french cornicons, and hard boiled quail eggs in a creamy white sauce. All this plus 2 bottles of wine (one of my favorite Malbecs, Latitud 33) and who knows how many cervezas. Oh yes and dessert, flan and dulce de leche ice cream.....all for $100......this meal would have EASILY been $400 in the US. Did I mention that I love it here??

This must be my 9th or 10th trip to Buenos Aires, and I know there is so much to see in this beautiful country. Ernesto's mom really wanted to go see the cataratas (waterfalls) of Iguazu Falls. We didnt plan it in advance (imagine that!) We ended up buying the tickets on LAN Saturday night for a flight Sunday morning. Since Ernesto's mom insisted on treating us, I thought the least we could do is use our Starwood points for the hotel. The Sheraton Iguazu Resort & Spa is the only hotel actually IN the National Park. When we checked in, I asked for an upgrade to a room facing the falls and........she gave it to me!!! So our room had a balcony with an UNBELIEVEABLE view plus the sound of the falls.The best part is that we can just walk out of the hotel and there is the trail to the falls. Now I went to Niagara Falls a long time ago, but I dont remember being so amazed. First of all there are SO MANY falls. The biggest is called La Garganta del Diablo , the Devil's Throat. You have to take a little open train ride to get there, and then a long walk above the water. The only way to give you a taste is to watch this 4 second video...just to hear the sound.

The one night we stayed in Iguazu we took a hotel car into the little town and had dinner. Guess what we ate? Yes, Steak again! The restaurant was called La Rueda.
The next morning Ernesto and I headed out with his dad to take the little 1 minute boat ride to Isla San  Martin to get an even different angle to the falls. ...but more importantly so I could get the sand from the little beach there. was really glad to get out and hike again and enjoy the falls for a few more hours. Any chance for exercise is good especially when we have been eating non-stop. We even got lucky and saw a beautiful huge rainbow.....mira
We arrived back in Buenos Aires at 4pm with plenty of time for our flight to Atlanta at 840pm. But we thought....do we have time for one more big fat juicy steak at El Palacio de la Papa Frita? We decided yes. We left for the airport at 6:45p....yes, a little late....and who would have thought that this city would have traffic at that time? DUH!! about 20 minutes into the taxi ride, we said lets just turn around, we arnt going to make in time. Darn it...ANOTHER day in BA? Ernesto parents were so happy that we came back (they were staying another 2 days).

We spent the last day at El Tigre, a 45 minute train ride that costs ...oh about 35 cents. We wandered around the shops and ate lunch outside along the river.  I actually bought a souvenir too, (which I never do) a little lambskin rug that is very soft furry and....a bit stinky.  Rare wanted to eat it, the little hunter. It will look so cool on the back of a chair. With the extra day in BA, I only have to work wed-thurs at the office this week! Im taking Friday and monday off for the annual Girls trip in Punta Cana this weekend! Can you say new sand?

1 comment:

  1. Argentina´s provinces in general are regarded as flourishing regions, featuring a landscape of fertile soils and wide-ranging tourist destinations. Its geography is outlined by plains, hills, the sea, rivers and lagoons...
    I had an apartment for rent in buenos aires as soon as I arrived in the capital, but then I felt the need to know other parts of the country. I don´t regret it!


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