Wednesday, April 27

South America, Day Five: Buenos Aires

Knowing that we were going to spend a good few days in Buenos Aires, we finally toned down the pace of our holiday. After a relatively late start and lazy breakfast, we headed off to join a free walking tour that I had heard about. Despite being funded by tips alone, it was of pretty good quality - we took in most of the highlights of central Buenos Aires that morning as well as make friends with a South African who was in town for five days. But more about them later.

Since we had a few hours to spare before our plans for the afternoon, we decided to mop up the rest of tourist trail, finally ending up at La Recoleta Cemetery in order to pay our clichéd tourist respects to Eva Peron. As someone else commented later, the place is a photographers dream and I regretted not being able to spend more time there just exploring the tombs (as macabre as that sounds).

We caught the afternoon tour in good time. It was by the same group but with a different guide and vibe, this time focussing on the cultural aspects of BA - so the architectural indications of immigration and the like. As seems to be par for the course with tours, I started talking to an Australian who was also over for a couple of days.

In what seems like undeniable proof that my knack of ending up with a bunch of chicks isn't restricted to just the UK, we all ended up grabbing dinner together that night. The South African contingent had found a place that did halal Argentine steak just minutes from the hotel we were staying at, and it was a no brainer for us to pay it a visit.

The steak deserves a paragraph of its own. I've never really understood the fuss around beef steak - as much as I enjoy the food at whatever Halal steak house I visit in London to me a steak was just an oversized chop. That all changed once I was presented with a solid lump of Argentine beef. I was a little scared at the size (perhaps due to the company), but it's amazing how much meat you can eat after you realise how melt-in-the-mouth it is. I've not eaten anything like it.

Today was an excellent day, and that not least because of how awesome Buenos Aires is - as seems usual on trips away of this type I've managed to collect friends while exploring a new place, something that adds an even bigger sense of story and adventure. I could definitely spend more time here, and already feel like I'll be missing out by taking the departing flight that's already been booked for Friday.

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