Buenos Aries – Part 3

Buenos Aries – Part 3

Ranch day trip – lunch hall

In – Part 1 – of this blog series posted a fortnight ago, I talk about backdrop events to our visit and our hotel. In – Part 2, which went out last week, I give suggest what to do and see in Buenos Aries.

Ranch day trip – museum

We noticed what we thought were Native American Indians playing pan flutes and drums in the streets. We loved the music and bought a CD from them. Turns out they are the original inhabitants of Argentina. It’s hard to get that. The native people are present in such small numbers that you don’t see them. Much like indigenous people in Australia. 

There are multiple bus tours available. Your hotel should be able to provide you with options or tour companies will give you details. Buenos Aries does not have a tourism office that you walk into. But there are kiosks where you can get free maps and pamphlets.

Ranch day trip – gaucho

Here are some ideas: –

A day trip to the beaches in – Uruguay – and – Montevideo
The – Tigre Delta
City – bus tours
A day trip via the – Pampas – to a hacienda
including traditional food, Tango dancing and Gauchos showing off their skills with horses and lassos
Visit the – Gran Chaco – area to see the arts and crafts of the indigenous – Toba – people

Ranch day trip – Barbecue

Do I even need to say that finding food for vegetarians is tough? Meat in Argentina is supposed to be the best in the world and steak houses abound. They have a fair amount of Italian food so pizza and pasta is readily available. We found a food hall in the city that had a vegetarian vendor – Green and Co – which was great and we headed straight there every evening. 

Ranch day trip – gauchos rounding up horses

As far as safety is concerned. We were warned to be vigilant. There are street people. Whole families live on the streets. There was a family who slept in the street opposite our hotel. People beg for money and accost the cars trying to sell anything from tea towels to hats. 

Giving money to beggars only perpetuates the problem as people learn to make a living scrounging and continue to do so. If you do feel moved to make a difference, donate to a charity that uplifts impoverished people. 

At the top of this page is a link for travel and safety tips which are applicable anywhere in the world.

Vegetarian food at Green & Co in the city

In the end we had a city break with two day trips. We did the Tigre Delta, which is this amazing area where people live on the water. It is only accessible by boat. And we did the hacienda or ranch day trip. We got to see a bit of the Pampas from the bus when were taken to a lovely big old house on a ranch.

Gauchos strut around and help with the midday meal and then impressed us by getting their animals to do all sorts of things. We had a display of tango dancing which was nice. At La Boca the dancers would only dance if you gave them money. We ate our fill at the ranch. There was plenty food and wine.

We did as much as we could but I do wish we had managed to visit Uruguay. 
Maybe next time.

Go to – My Holidays and Trips – at the top of this page to read about other places we have visited. Or just click on – this link.

Buenos Aries – Part 2

Buenos Aries – Part 2

Eva Peron’s mausoleum

Last week in – Part 1 – I talk about backdrop events to our visit to Argentina and the hotel we stayed in.

Buenos Aries is the same latitude as Cape Town so the is similar. Mild winters and warm summers. Buenos Aries was a complete surprise to me. The Spanish influence is immediately evident. Locals look Spanish, speak Spanish and the architecture was much like I had seen in Spain. It felt like I was in Europe. This wasn’t the South America I was expecting. Where were the indigenous people?

Caminito area

And there was a lot more I wasn’t expecting. Like the immense diversity of the country. Argentina extends far south toward the Antarctic to Tierra del Fuego where you can see glaciers, across west in the direction of neighbour Chile is Mendoza where they produce wines. Near Mendoza are some of the highest mountain peaks in the world in the Andes mountains. And there are lakes, wetlands, deserts, salt flats, forests and more . . . Phew! 

Tango dancers in the street – he’s checking I put money in the box

We thought a week would be enough.

We had to accept we were not going to see it all and prioritise. Since we were based in Buenos Aries and not hiring a car. We chose to combine self-guided walks with bus tours.

In the city of Buenos Aries our must-do’s were  –

Florida Street
Water taxis – Tigre Delta
  • Follow a map and see as many of the famous districts and landmarks as possible
  • Visit – Eva Peron’s – tomb in the Recoleta cemetery
  • Take a trip on the old – underground train – with manual doors from Peru station
  • See and stroll along the Waterfront area
  • Take advantage of the favourable exchange rate and do a bit of shopping.
  • Have a custom – leather jacket – made up
  • Walk along the – Caminito – in the – La Boca – area
  • Enjoy a coffee at one of the many street cafes
  • Eat lots of local – ice cream

Also worth trying if you have the time or inclination –

  • Watch a – football – match at one of the many stadiums
  • Take – Tango – lessons
  • Visit a – parrilla – or steak restaurant
  • Watch a – polo – match

Street people

Next week in – Part 3 – I suggest day trips, eating and give a link to safety tips.

Go to – My Holidays and Trips – at the top of this page to read about other places we have visited. Or just click on – this link.
Buenos Aries

Buenos Aries

Travel in Buenos Aries Argentina in 2004

Falklands war veterans protesting

The first backdrop to this trip was that South Africa had been the victim of an alleged move done by bankers at Deutche Bank around 2002 that caused the value of the South African Rand to drop substantially. Read more here. Long haul holidays were out of reach for most of us.

Waldorf Hotel

Although South Africa had recovered somewhat at the time we went to Argentina, the problems over there were far worse. They were at the mercy of  bank loans they were unable to replay.

The Peso had devalued even more than our currency and Argentina became an affordable destination. Argentina is the same latitude as South Africa – and just across the ocean – so many South Africans jumped at the chance to be able to afford to travel.

Rose Palace

It’s always interesting to look back. At that time, no-one seemed particularly concerned that these two countries had been so hard hit by greedy bankers – and loans that created massive debt. However, now that rogue banking practices are affecting first world countries and the European Union is in crisis – suddenly there are calls for investigations and criminal charges to be laid against bankers. Debt is handled with kid gloves to ensure the survival of indebted countries.

The other background theme to this week long break was mass protests. Unions and various groups took to the streets banging – pots and pans – making a noise – against unemployment. Read more here. While we were in Argentina it was the turn of Argentine soldiers from the – Falklands War – who were protesting. They had tents in the central square and wanted people to know they felt betrayed by their government. 


I’m in the UK right now where they have been commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Falklands war. It doesn’t seem right to commemorate a war. A mourning for losses on both sides is more appropriate. I felt for these Falklands soldiers when I was there.

Flea market in Recoletta area

However, on a lighter note, and moving on to our holiday in Argentina. We flew – Malaysia Airlines. I have to say the flight and service were excellent. Our deal was a week at the – Waldorf Hotel – including airport shuttle service. The Waldorf was having an upgrade at the time we stayed and somehow a pipe burst and we ended up having to move rooms. But the hotel was central and comfortable. Meals were good. To be honest I just wanted to set foot in South America. Anywhere would have been fine.

Once there, we knew we wanted to do our usual walkabout the city, take in the popular attractions and get a sense of who the locals were, how they lived, what they ate . . .  that sort of thing. Here are a few handy links to help decide what you want to do – Trip AdvisorLonely Planeteasy BA and wiki travel.

Avenue 9th July – the widest road I have ever seen

Part 2 – of this blog series deals with what to do and in – Part 3 – I give ideas for day trips, eating and a link to safety tips.

Go to – My Holidays and Trips – at the top of this page to read about other places we have visited. Or just click on – this link.

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