Blog Archives

All good things pass through The Mouth

Laboca

While on foot, the dullness of grey walls and crumbling facades slowly give way to colour, both vibrant and garishly beautiful. The sounds of bustling suburban streets gives way to the sounds of tango, accordions, drums and the incessant click of a million cameras capturing all.

You’ve reached, La Boca – ‘the mouth’, the heart and birthplace of tango in Argentina.
Although named because of its location at the mouth of the river, it could just as easily owe its name to the entrance of one of the most revered of the senses – taste.

The senses are truly delighted by the music, the colour and the spectacle of La Boca. Yes, it’s a haven for tourists and it’s changed the nature of the area somewhat, but there are still small pockets of delight for even the most tourist-weary traveler.

It has its allure. Come, relax, sit back with a fine glass of Malbec, and drink in the show.

I recommend avoiding the tourist buses. Take a fairly short walk from San Telmo down through the back streets of La Boca to see the other side of this ‘barrio’ (neighbourhood).

Check out some of the other photos from La Boca in the gallery
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Muerte y Gloria

Recoleta

Death and Glory… never captured quite like in the mausoleums of Cementerio de la Recoleta.
Inside the cemetery lies row after row of memories, chronicling the lives, histories and accomplishments of the dearly departed.

Some graves are bedecked with ornate designs of varying architectural styles, while others are simple granite stone memorials.

But the size and shape of the mausoleum, no matter how grandiose, does not signifiy the importance of those housed within.

In one of the simplest abodes, lies the revered Eva Peron, or ‘Evita’, Little Eva.
Forget Madonna, this woman captured the hearts of many of the local ‘Porteños’. Starting from humble beginnings, she went on to become an outspoken first lady of Argentina, marrying the President Juan Peron. She won the respect of many, for her tireless campaigning on behalf of the poor and for the rights of women. Unfortunately her tale is a sad one, as the military didn’t agree with the dictatorial style of her husband and staged a coup.

She was just 33, the same age as me now, when she passed away from cancer.

If you get the chance, definitely head to this famous cemetery in Recoleta, Buenos Aires for a few hours of reflection and respect.

Check out more photos online at the 2011 gallery

On waking in Buenos Aires

Ba_sign

It’s about the third day of travel when it sets in…

It’s 8 in the morning, and your body is tangled in the sheets. It’s hot, humid and your body is covered in a fine sheen of sweat. The fan above circles noisily and lazily, providing a small sense of relief from the heat.

Before that moment when your eyes open, the heat and sweat can be an annoyance, until you open your ears and hear it…

…the sounds of a city vastly different from your own. Dogs are barking while a man shouts at his wife or girlfriend from the street below to open the door. An accordion is playing above the sounds of broken Spanish phrases and the shuffle of buses on cobbled streets all merge and dance around your eyes.

That’s when it sets in… the deep realisation that you have nothing that you have to do, nowhere that you have to go, no one that you have to see. It´s relaxing to realise you are the master of all the choices that the day will place in front of you.

Check out my photos online at the Argentina gallery

Australia Day… again

Adam

Some people said I wasn´t very Australian to leave on Australia Day, but as far as I´m concerned it´s far from the truth. I love Australia Day so much that I will fly around the world to get two of them if I have to… so I did!So after a fairly normal twelve hour flight, I land in Buenos Aires to the dawn of the same day again. Brilliant!

I don´t know why, but I always picture a disaster happening when I fly. Morbid huh? Maybe it was after witnessing the plane crash in Toronto back in 2005. Anyway, I´m on the plane and I´m picturing me trying to sleep with the strangely distracting smell of hot chocolate being served around, and I dream that someone goes up to the window at the overwing exit. They lean on the door and accidentally open it up. Cups of hot chocolate go screaming out the gaping hole in the side of the plane and everyone starts grasping for the oxygen masks as they fall from above.

Now, I know that the doors are protected against accidental openings such as the one described above, but still I have these dreams while I´m on board. It probably doesn´t help that I´ve also just finished a seasons of Fringe, which features a few plane disasters throughout its plot of twisted science. Next time I´m taking sleeping pills…

Window or Aisle? I´m still on the fence as to which I prefer for long distance flights. I think I´m more of an aisle man, because I hate disturbing or waking up someone else to get up to go the loo, but then again, it´s much harder to sleep in the aisle seat.

Which do you prefer?

Falling for Foz

Foz de Iguaçu - over 275 waterfalls all in one glorious place

Foz de Iguaçu – over 275 waterfalls all in one glorious place

From Salvador the Brazilianaire decided to catch a plane down to the south of Brazil to visit its world-famous waterfalls. The Foz de Iguacu is an impressive set of waterfalls that hug the Brazilian and Argentinean border. Most tourists are hard up trying to decide which side is better, but each has its advantages. The Argentinean side gives you a great close-up experience of a number of the falls, some decent boat-rides and the chance to lose about 5kg from the day of walking. The Brazilian side shows you the full picture of the falls and you get a better idea of how impressive it is, as well as the chance to get REALLY wet with a boatride into the largest part of the falls.

At Foz de Iguacu I met two couples who were really cool – Angie (Peru) and Aidan (Australia), and Alex and Jack (both from the UK). I ended up travelling on further with Angie and Aidan and we shared an apartment at our next stop in Florianopolis.

Travelers Tips:

Stay at the Paudimar Campestre just outside of town for a great youth hostel with a good atmosphere! Discounts for Hostelling International members…