This morning we had free time as organised by our tour planners Chimu. This was on top of what we had yesterday and so whilst the sleep in was enjoyable it left us with a block of time where it was too late to book something but too much time to hang around. Looking at the rest of the holiday there were also a number of others day where we thought we may be in the same situation. Therefore we used the time to try to organise a stronger timeline, work out where there would be “down time” and then try and plan some activities ahead of schedule. This proved to be a little difficult given our lack of Spanish, trouble with my Edumail and also people not responding to our phone calls. Hopefully with a few emails sent off from Philip’s account we may get some responses on proposed activities and therefore the time will have been used wisely. (Tourist operators just aren’t used to our pace of holiday).
We did manage to find a little restaurant around the corner and for the bargain price of $27 got three meals and drinks. Whilst it wasn’t the flashiest joint, for lunch it was perfectly fine and managed to fill the space in our stomachs before heading off on our afternoon tour.
This afternoon we had selected to go on a “Graffiti tour of Buenos Aries”. The city is known for its vibrant street art culture and we thought it would provide a different perspective to some other tours on offer (in addition to the fact that Philip didn’t want to do the cycle, cooking or learn to Tango options).
We were picked up by a flustered driver who had been sent to the wrong “Dazzler Towers” – apparently there are a few of them in the city. We were then driven to a street location where we met our guide, Circa. She was an Irish architect/ designer who had moved here about six months ago and was working with street artists and producing a documentary on the world of street art. We walked around the first area for about an hour before being picked up in a van and taken to a number of other locations. Some of the art was very impressive and it is unfortunate that it is mixed in with a multitude of “tags” which almost seem to be on every building (unless they have some kind of mural or painted art work).
It was really interesting to see the differences in styles, techniques and designs and each person had a differing impression on which one they liked the most. Whatever you thought of the Art, you did have to marvel at how well these people can produce such vibrant images on an upright “canvas”. Some of the images were huge and whilst graffiti is apparently illegal in Buenos Aries, even the politicians use this mechanism to get their own political messages out to the public… a slight contradiction.
The tour went for about 3 and a half hours and at the end we were dropped off in a part of town that we hadn’t been before. We looked around the area and then decided to have a bite to eat at a place that we had read about and that had been listed in a range of magazines. It also had a sign out indicating that it had been rated in the Top 29 best burger joints in the world for 2013 (An Adelaide burger joint was one place above it).
The burgers were actually pretty good and the meat was a decent sized patty. At around $10 each with chips and a drink it was also good value. Having eaten, we then caught the taxi back to the hotel. We had been told repeatedly that taxis were cheap and plentiful and found this to be the case unlike some of the other destinations that we have been at.
Tonight is about packing and getting ready to move to our next destination: El Calafate – Patagonia. We take a flight of about two and a half hours leaving just after lunch, and whilst we have enjoyed Buenos Aries, are looking forward to heading down into the country and seeing more of nature (and ultimately some great glaciers)!