The Day That Felt Like 3

** This post is essentially a blow by blow account of our third day in Argentina, which I can’t imagine will be a common event on the blog. After all, if I’m writing down my stories every day, how will I find time to make new ones? But this day was magical, and deserved to be documented 🙂

Things start and end much later here. Our first full day in Buenos Aires ended with us tumbling into our beds after an in-house concert that only started at 1am (only to be expected at a “Rock Hostel”). We weren’t about to let a little sleep deprivation stop us from exploring this incredible city, so the next morning (technically later that same day) we scarfed down a quick breakfast [coffee and amazing homemade bread which was baked the night before – don’t worry Nanny, we think you bread is better], laced up our runners, and set out on the town. BA is a massive metropolis, but we tried our hardest to see as much as we could. The day before we had taken a free walking tour of the richer part of the city, so we headed to the water front, a place originally settled by poor immigrants (consequently making the area more fun- think Rose and Jack dancing in the Titanic’s lower deck).

Savannah could never find our hostel. Maybe because the sign was so small and out of the way…

Hope the caimans are fans of citrus!

Greenery everywhere in Buenos Aires. Beautiful, but apparently there were muggers behind every tree (Sav speaking, she’s incredibly paranoid)

 

Seriously, trees everywhere!

“What’s that ugly building for?” – Savannah

The streets of La Caminito – if you look really closely you’ll see the tangoers about to make out 😛

We ended up walking over 20 kilometres on foot, a great way to train up for the intense treks we’re planning on doing further south. Our decision to spurn public transportation (mostly for penny pinching reasons) resulted in our exploring the places not visited by tourists. Meaning that we ended up wandering into many authentically Argentinian areas, but also into some sketchy ones as well. But we didn’t get mugged (honestly a very common occurrence in BA [seriously, a guy in our hostel was robbed at gunpoint the day before]), so no harm, no foul!

Art. Made for vagrants by vagrant

Nutrition is important!

We’d been in South America for three days at this point and still hadn’t drank any vino tinto, so we picked up a couple bottles at the end of our walk and brought them up to the hostel’s roof. We were joined by a group of Spanish speakers [one of them pointed and yelled ¡Canada! at me, so we had to join them – out of Canadian courtesy of course] and we all made the switch to English when it became apparent that I could only understand when they spoke “mas despacio” and that Aidan’s grasp on the language was limited to the words “Sí”, “Gracias”, “Perdón”, and “Cerveza!” [Hey! I can also say “Che, que calor!” – which apparently is me mixing two different phrases I learned this night …].

This woman wasn’t impressed by our roof antics… Do yourself a favour and zoom in

The skies opened up soon after we got to the roof- we had to run for cover under this leaky roof!

 

We quickly lost track of time, and at around 11 pm Aidan and I realized that we still hadn’t had supper – not at all out of the norm in Argentina. Once revived by an expedition for pizza, we decided that we would like to experience some legitimate porteño nightlife. So as to not make complete fools of ourselves, we needed to practice our dance moves. Our new Argentinian friends connected their Latin tunes to some speakers, and we danced under the stars as we learned the cuarteto, the cumbia, and the bachata [learned is maybe a touch strong].

We left for the tango hall at 3 am – I told you things started later here! A faded placard above a door on an empty street marked the entrance to the club [even our new local friends had trouble locating this hole in the wall]. Aidan and I walked up the stairs in complete silence, since our non-porteño status may have prevented us from getting in [we were expresses told “don’t speak“]. This place was only for people who could tango.

Entering La Catedral was like stepping into some old Italian film. A handful of couples twirled about the ballroom, all perfectly in tune with each other. Incredibly, the individual members of each couple changed with each song- so in tune were they with the music that the identity of the dancer didn’t matter.

Words cannot describe, and this picture doesn’t do it justice. Take our word for it – tango is amazing

I would have been happy to sit and watch the dancers all night, but my new Argentinean friend Federico had other plans. Somehow I found the courage (most likely in liquid form) to join the tangoers on the ballroom and we danced for about a minute before we both realized we were out of our depth in the present company!

We came, we danced, we left quickly!

We left close to 5 am, and ended up running into the manager of the club. Affronted by the fact that we didn’t know how to tango, decided to give us a lesson then and there. At this point it had started raining again, but we danced anyway, essentially turning our night into a real life step-up movie [except instead of Channing Tatum, it was a middle aged Argentinian with a guitar on his back…].

We made it back to the hostel an hour later, resulting in a very exhausted Aidan and Sav this morning – recall that we had completed a 1/2 marathon before the night even started! We took the day at slower pace, mainly chilling at the hostel (yet still somehow walking 10 kilometres) – thus giving us time to work on the blog. I wrote while Aidan edited pictures beside me, both of us sipping on vino tinto- we’re fully assimilated [and then of course it took you until the last hour of our 22hr bus ride to Bariloche to actually finish {and our last night in Los Caihue to post it}].

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