The thought of having to travel 19 hours in a bus to get to Buenos Aires,felt like a waste of a few days. It was nice to be sat on the plane knowing it was less than an hours flight.
With my travel companions still in tow we arrive in Buenos Aires, a city that will become my most favourite capital city of my whole 6 month trip.
The hostel was located in Recoleta , only a 20 minute Uber ride from the airport. Voyage Recoleta Hostel is a an old 19th century 6 floor town house. It’s has a big kitchen, (perfect for cooking Christmas dinner) communal area, terrace and massive rooftop which was great for partying and getting to know the other guests.
This would be our home for 10 days over Christmas and New year, and more importantly my birthday which was today 23rd December.
The only down side was the plug situation, in that the fittings were no compatible for any of our adapters and the hostel had run out. As you can imagine after a long journey this did not put me in the best of moods.
One hour later and £15 worse off I had found an adapter so I could charge my phone and iPad.
That evening by recommendation from Victoriano and Sebastian who had I had met in Ecuador we went to La Clotilde restaurant for steak. What a great choice it was too, great atmosphere full of locals diving into massive plates of steak and bottles or red wine.
Although I had dropped a hint about a birthday cake to the boys , I always knew they wouldn’t succeed, so instead they got me a chocolate brownie with a candle – very sweet of them. Though tonight would be my gift to them by taking them to their first ever gay club.
Let’s just say, Keno needed more dutch courage than Esteban or myself. So we walked around to find a bar that was open close to the restaurant. This was proving more difficult than we expected at 12:30am. You would have expected the city to still be alive, maybe we were in the wrong district.
Stepping out of the taxi at the club, more drinks were required before Keno would enter. Across the road there was a good looking crowd and great music coming from Avant Garten. Great outside space and really good cocktails the perfect place to get in the mood for dancing.
Finally, he was ready and we joined the queue for Crowbar, a large warehouse style club that was way to empty – meaning we were too early. A few rounds later and it starts to fill up, and I’m feeling really old.
The boys on the other hand are loving it. I go out for cigaret at the side of the club, to find another club which is playing much better music and full of guys more my type.
I soon realise that we have walked into the the wrong club, and ended up in what I would call a school disco for under 20’s, not the night I had in mind. I checked with the bouncer and true enough we should have been in Rheo Club. After some convincing and the door being kind to me and the mistake, I manage to get us into the correct club.
We danced all night finally leaving at 7am, but not before a kiss or two all round. I pulled some local hotties and both Keno and Esteban pulled a couple of girls. Leaving the boys told me that it was one of the best nights they have ever had. Result
Christmas came and went and was celebrated with the rest of the hostel and once the misty hangovers had cleared it was time to explore the city properly.
First on the list was the Recoleta Cemetery, an absolute must while in BA. Here you will find the graves of notable people like Eva Peron and other important people to Argentina, all buried in amazingly designed and sculptured tombs.
Recoleta is a beautiful neighbourhood where the rich and elite have lived for 100’s of years. Puerto Madero is nice to visit for the day with a marina full of yachts and surrounded by bars and restaurants, very much the modern part of the city where the new money has moved to.
The Floralis Generica is a sculpture made of steel and aluminium and located in Plaza des las Naciones Unidas. The flower slowly opens at sunrise and closes again at dusk, it is just as stunning in the days sun as it is lit at night by coloured lights.
New Years was only a few days away, but I needed to get out of the city and spend some time by the beach. My friend Darren flew in and we caught the bus 5 hours to the coast to relax in Pinamar. Along the coast there are many resorts where the locals go for holidays, they reminded me very much of the British seaside towns, just with warmer weather.
After 3 days, it was back to BA for New Years. The night started at Plaza Serrano, where we met up with Keno and Esteban, and the British boys you may remember I met back in Santa Marta in Colombia. James, Ed, and Max with the new edition Courtenay. Chris was absent due to a motorcycle accident in Medellin.
Midnight came, with shots in our hands we welcomed in 2018. The square was packed, fireworks went off and a samba band started to play. Everyone was in the party spirit, dancing in the streets, drinking and enjoying life.
Bayside Club was our next destination, big Dj’s with few 1000 people and only 500 peso to get in, which is a bargain for NYE. Another 7am finish after lots of dancing to amazing music, with a really mixed and friendly crowd. I have to say being gay in BA is wonderful, no one cares and everyone just gets on. A wonderful city to be out and proud in.
Last day in BA and my last day with Keno and Esteban, so we saved the best till last. La Boca, an amazingly colourful area of the city by the docks. The birth place of Tango and so much of BA’s rich European history.
La Boca was the first stop for many migrants coming from Europe. Here they would live together in large dwellings or slum like places. Italians, Spanish, Swedish so many nationalities came to Argentina and why so many today have European surnames.
I would recommend taking the La Boca walking tour for 300 pesos, and then enjoy the best ever steak sandwich at CABJ opposite the La Boca Stadium.
It was an emotional goodbye to the Keno and Esteban after nine weeks of travelling together they were heading off to Uruguay and Brazil, while I headed further west to fly to Mendoza.
Lots of red wine drinking and some more white water rafting, zip lining and a the fantastic Cacheuta hot springs in Mendoza it was time to say goodbye to Argentina and make the long bus journey to the border with Chile and travel to Santiago.