Friday, March 16, 2012

Day 10, Buenos Aires

When we went on the sightseeing bus tour last week we went through an area called la Boca. It looked nice if a bit touristy, but there were a street market, restaurants, and shops. We didn't get off the bus then, but we marked it on the map to come back to later. The owner of the apartment here and a couple of other friends had warned us not to stay in La Boca--get off the bus, have a look around, and then come back. They said it wasn't the safest area in Buenos Aires.
One thing I haven't mentioned on my blog is about safety here. I have to say that, so far, there hasn't been a single time when I've been worried, felt threatened, or thought there was going to be a problem! We were talking to Georg about this the other night before the show, and he said he thought London was worse, and I have to agree with him. We've not encountered a single problem so far using local buses and taxis or wandering around many neighbourhoods and local areas. We've always felt safe. The people have been great and very friendly, too.
We took the local bus to La Boca--it went the long way around, and it took about 50 minutes to get there. It's a great way to see the different areas of Buenos Aires, though. We went along one road that was obviously just for locals, and it had stalls all down the sides of the street selling everything from a plastic bucket to a man's 3 piece suit. It was fascinating to see.
Apart from the magazines in the news stands and a couple of posters near Roger's hotel, we haven't seen many posters or banners for the show at all. We passed a shopping centre on the bus that had about 12 banners all around the building. We think it's the shopping centre that has the large model of the screaming face inside it, so we might try to get back there before we leave.
Banners outside local shopping centre       No Roger magazines at the “locals” newsstand!
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We arrived in La Boca just after midday. The bus didn't take us right to the tourist area, so we had a 10 minute walk through local streets with local people gawking at the tourists, but again, even doing this, not once did either of us feel threatened, and we received smiles and holas as we walked past! There were some great old buildings around as you can see from the pictures below:
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We stopped in what looked like a huge cafeteria for some lunch--there were only locals in it, and I'm guessing as the football stadium is nearby to that area, it's a popular place when there's a game on. We had a bite to eat and carried on walking through La Boca to the “touristy” area.
Local fruit shop,                                
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We could see the small street market 4 or 5 blocks in front of us and headed that way. We passed 3 young guys along the way, probably around 13 or 14 years old. One of them looked at us and said something like, “Ahhhh tourists,” but in Spanish.
The area was full of small street stalls selling crafts, drinks, leather goods, and other touristy stuff. There were small bars and restaurants in abundance, and most of the people were now tourists, not locals. One thing it definitely was is colourful!
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There were several restaurants that had small stages in the front, and not only would you sit down to a meal but you would also get a tango show or a magic show or something similar.
Lunch and a show.

Kami has been looking around for some postcards for the last few days, but the ones we have seen have been pretty expensive. After a week of looking, we realised there was some kind of cartel (or CarDtel, as she put it!) going on with the prices of postcards, and Kami broke down and went and bought a few while we were here. While Kami went off to find some cards, I found a little bar and ordered an ice cold beer and sat and people watched until she came back 10 minutes later.
Dog just laying in the street                                        My bar!                 Kami writing postcards
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Video of the area around the bar where we sat for half an hour:
We wandered around the small streets after leaving the bar, but by this time, it was going on 5 P.M.! We walked for 15 minutes through the local area to reach the bus to go pick up our tickets for the show, and then it was on to the venue. We seem to be continuously on bus number 93! It just happens to take us everywhere we want to go!
Full album of pictures from today:


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