After arriving from Uruguay on the ferry, we had one night in Buenos Aires to get settled into our fancy pants apartment before Ike hopped on a plane and headed back to the States for his grandfather’s memorial. We loved everything about our loft: modern feel, full kitchen, located in the hip Palermo Soho neighborhood, and reasonably priced. Perhaps the best feature was our close proximity to the famous La Cabrera
Ike makes fun of me for taking pictures of all the street art, but I just couldn’t resist these guys.
The next day we feasted on some empanadas before taking Ike to the airport. I’m proud to say I safely escorted Sweetcakes from the airport back to our apartment all by myself, with only a few disagreements with our GPS.
When you can have the dozen for just a few bucks, you get the whole dozen.
I enjoyed some “me time” while Ike was away, watching an entire season of Grey’s Anatomy and walking around my old neighborhood, reminiscing about my awesome host mom, Irene.
My old apartment building! I think we lived on the second highest floor.
Shopping mall in my old stomping grounds.
Once Ike returned, we flexed our tourist muscles and checked out La Recoleta cemetery. You can spend hours in this mini city of the dead enjoying the various architectural styles, pondering the meaning of death, or, in Ike’s case, gathering ideas and designing your own future death palace.
Can we hire a cat to snuggle on our grave?
Nope. Nope nope nope nope.
Can you spot the grave squatters?
Yes, can I get the 1:4 replication of a Cathedral please? great
Later that day we hopped on a bus to downtown to visit the Brazilian Consulate and apply for our Brazil visas. The woman who processed our paperwork was not a happy camper that day. She gave us flack for not having a phone number for our contact in the country (ummm, it’s 2015, we have her email…?), not having plane or bus tickets in & out of the country since we were driving ourselves, and not having any hotel reservations. Clearly she was not familiar with the overlanding lifestyle. Eventually she processed everything, told us to go pay the visa fee at a nearby bank, and to return the next day to pick up our visas. Thankfully the next day when we returned the woman was like a totally different person, the sweetest and most helpful public employee you could hope for.
With our visas in hand and one less thing to worry about, we explored a few more touristy sites downtown, including the Casa Rosada (“pink house”, the corollary to our White House). Some labor protests were going on while we were in the city, and the police were setting up barricades and were walking around with clear shields. I showed Ike around the nearby Plaza de Mayo and pointed out the white head scarfs painted on the sidewalk, in honor of the madres that still gather weekly in the plaza to demonstrate in protest of the lack of information provided by the government for their children that disappeared during the dictatorship in the 70s.
The beautiful inside of a church near the Plaza de Mayo.
During one of our evenings in Buenos Aires, we walked to a nearby Mediterranean restaurant. We haven’t been successful in adapting to Argentina time, because eating dinner at 10pm isn’t convenient with life on the road. So when we showed up at the restaurant at 9pm and were the only ones there, we knew we still had some adjusting to do to fit in to the porteno lifestyle in BA. Around 10pm a big family group started to trickle in, complete with babies and toddlers. And this was a weeknight! Another highlight from dinner that evening was the waitress asking us if we were Russian. No…? we responded, a bit puzzled. “Well, with her face (she gestured to me), and you wearing shorts even though it is SO COLD out, I just through you must be Russian.” [It was 65 degrees F, she’s redic]
Only ones in the restaurant because we were still too early at 9pm.
Our friends Nikki & Jakob from Sprinter Van Diaries
showed up in BA during our second week in the city and rented an apartment in the same neighborhood. In typical overlander fashion, we hung out with each other every night until we left! First up on our to do list was a craft beer tour, put together by Adventures on Tap
. We highly recommend all of these bars; they had some of the best beer we had tasted on the entire trip. Some of you who know me well know that I am not a beer drinker. I prefer my wine and liquor. But one of Ike’s goals for the trip was to get me to start liking beer. I had sipped a few here and there over the course of our trip, but I can honestly report that this was the first time that I ordered and completely drank a full glass of beer. Needless to say, after savoring several different types of beer, I was experiencing a new kind of “buzz.” Ike likes beer-drunk Bethany better than wine-drunk Bethany, apparently. Anyway, we all stumbled over to the pizza joint as the recommended last stop of our bar crawl and took the pizza back to our place, where I had the brilliant idea that we should all finish off the evening with big Olive Garden style pours of wine. Somehow Jakob & I were the only ones that drank our wine, and after gobbling down the pizza, Nikki passed out on our couch, and so we split ways for the evening.
I don’t even remember how many times I made everyone do my favorite toast:
Arriba, abajo, al centro, adentro!
Sometime later that week, after I had recovered from our bar crawl, we ventured to the San Telmo street fair. Since we’re not in the business of acquiring more “stuff,” we enjoyed the people watching and some highly recommended choripan
(sausage on a bun).
Choripan = <3
Choripan magic in the making.
One of my favorite things about Buenos Aires was enjoying all of the beautiful architecture mixed in with big city grunge.
Bus sign nostalgia.
We tried out several different delicious restaurants with Nikki & Jakob, but on our last night in the city we headed back to La Cabrera for more amazing steak. What’s there not to love about this country?
Moooo! Still kicking?
The last few parrillas we ate at didn’t have intestine, so Ike had to partake. And yes, that was his entree for the evening.
It’s always hard to say goodbye to friends, but we know we will see each other again for more adventures!
Sprinter Van Diaries & Nomadizens
Our crayon/paper napkin portrait of our favorite gal.