A Travellerspoint blog


Buenos Aires!

la vida es bella.

sunny 30 °C
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I think my favorite Latin American city. I could live here - also the reason why I came back after Carnival... the sights, the sounds, the smell, the style, the grace of the beautiful people - I had such a good time the three weeks I spent there, often I just wandered the city without my camera, trying to blend in - to the point of explaining to Porteños which bus goes where -haha.
I thought I make a list of some of my favourite places if anyone intends to go:
Sights (apart from the obvious, i.e. the neighborhoods of Palermo, Boca, San Telmo, Recoletta and Microcentro):
- Street art is amazing in BA. I did a tour with Graffiti Mundo and discovered more than I would have ever by myself. It included a studio visit and chat with the artists - very cool.
- A football game at la Bombonera (Boca Juniors) or el Monumental (River Plate).
- Barrio Chino - continent hopping to the small Chinatown
- The parks (particularly Jardín botánico, jardín japonés y rosedal)
- Tango in the street.
- The San Telmo Sunday market
- Theatre - West of the Obelisk there is a ticket booth, where they sell half-priced theatre tickets.
- Teatro Colón
- A lot of interesting small galleries in Palermo and San Telmo, Graffiti Mundo (see above) keeps an up to date list.
- The many many museums, particularly, el Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Museo de Bellas Artes de La Boca, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), which also has a nice cinema.

- El Obrero - a great Argentinian Restaurant off the beaten path, I walked there in the evening, in retrospect, taking the taxi would have probably been a better idea.. Map.
- Rondinella, a family restaurant with good food I felt Porteños go here. Map.
- Sarkis, the large Armenian population puts on some good food. This one was recommended to me and was delicious. Map.
- Malvón - brunch in an incredible house. Map.
- Siamo nel Forno - true Neapolitan pizza. Map.
- La Pharmacie - me thinks, the best pizza in town. Map.
- La Cabrera - to some the best beef in Buenos Aires (which is a tall order), but it is really good, especially with all the delicious side dishes that come with it. Map.

Nightlife (apparently it changes a lot, so best to find out when you are there what is happening):
- There is a lot of underground stuff going on. I met some cool people that took me to places, which change all the time.
- Konex - I felt like I was in Berlin. Monday is a big night there with percussion by La Bomba del Tiempo.
- The Roxy Disco - ROCK.
- Niceto Club - apparently a BA classic, particularly on Thursday nights
- Jet Lounge - some decent electro music, but not too exciting, apart from its location on the harbor.

When I was here a series of truly spectacular free summer events was on. I got the information here.

oh yes, and for accommodation AirBnB worked great, I stayed at two different apartments in order to live in different neighborhoods (Centro y Palermo), both places were really good (and a fraction of what I would have paid for a hotel room)

...y algunas fotitos.

Posted by freddop 23:09 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Carnaval del país en Gualeguaychú

no hay palabra que defina lo vivido

sunny 35 °C
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In the middle of the Corsódromo of Gualeguaychú (the capital of Argentinian carnaval, as the town is called), in a lycra-onesie carrying a giant fish, 30,000 people in the stands going crazy, some asking me for a photo with them, samba music blaring and rather sparingly dressed dancers behind and in front of me, I asked myself, 'how did I get here again?'
I arrived for the long carnival weekend in this usually tranquil town 4 hours North of Buenos Aires, staying with Gustavo and Marina and their two kids in a room they are renting out on AirBnB. The town was awash with visitors from all parts of Argentina - I did not notice one foreigner. In fact there were so many visitors that the authorities gave up on counting, the only thing that was certain was that visitors more than doubled the population of the town of 65,000 inhabitants. In some parts, such as the city square, make-shift campground were being set up.

The first night I ventured out to the carnival of the people - a street party, where the primary aim, apart from the really cool groups that passed through dancing (such as 'ancianos divertidos' - 'the happy elderly'), seemed to be to spray the next best stranger with as much foam as possible - I felt like the prime target.. The second night I went to the big carnival show and watched in the stands of the Corsódromo -the "stadium" along the 500meter long route- the huge production of 3 different carnival clubs. I met a fun group and we continued the festivities in the packed streets along the river. On Sunday I decided that a break would be healthy and ventured out to a Gaucho festival in the countryside and sampled some very nice cheese and chorizo.

On Monday, Marina asked me if I did not want to see the whole production of the carnival backstage and put me in touch with a friend of hers, Gata, who took me along with her daughters to the preparations of the carnival club, or rather "comparsa", Marí Marí. As I was chatting with some of the people, one of the main organizers of the club approached me and asked if I did not feel like participating. The person who usually carries one of the big fish of their production could not make it today... ahhhh sure, and before I knew what was happening, I was in an incredible onesie and got my make-up on.

There is really no way to describe the energy on the Corsódromo - 45 minutes, 500 meters - something I will never forget, on the list of the top ten crazy moments of my life.

We got back to the community center of the comparsa at 2 o'clock at night, a barbeque was started and beer served. I met incredible people that night. At 5 in the morning a group decided that it is about time to join the festivities by the river, where the party continued well beyond sunrise...

The carnival weekend ended in Argentinian style with Gustavo barbecuing a leg of lamb and watching the sunset.

what a weekend (of which the pictures are here) - thanks to all the unbelievably friendly people of Gualeguaychú!

Posted by freddop 21:38 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

North again...

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after much pondering at the end of the world, exploring Tierra del Fuego, getting ahead on work and meeting family friends, I came to the conclusion that there is really no other direction than North and that I could use a bit warmer climate closer to the equator. My initial proposition not to plan much beyond Tierra del Fuego somehow didn't prove to be a problem and I decided that while I am in a position to combine travel with work, still enjoy my vagabonding lifestyle and la bestia negra goes strong I should explore this continent some more. So off I went, 3000km in 6 days along the Atlantic coast with some quality stops to Mar del Plata.
In Mar del Plata Argentinian summer break was in full swing - somehow I even liked the crowds and the Argentinian beach club craziness after the solitude of Patagonia - making Argentinian friends and finally surfing again.
click for pictures.

Posted by freddop 11:43 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Tierra del Fuego

all seasons in one day 15 °C
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woa.- ♫ what a feeling ♫ to reach the end of the road after leaving New York 1.5 years and 36,680 KM ago.

here are some photos of exploring Tierra del Fuego!

Posted by freddop 22:28 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)



all seasons in one day
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The beginning of Patagonia was technically already reached in Valdivia, but for me it really started with the ferry to the beginning of the carretera Austral.
The region was incredible, from seemingly untouched wilderness and glaciers to people taking such pride in helping - full of stories, which I think are better told in person... just posting some photos of Patagonia's beauty:
Here are some from the Carretera Austral in Chile
...and some from Cerro Torre y el glaciar Perito Moreno

Some photos from Torres del Paine (soon also to be known as 'House of Pain')
And from the Estrecho de Magallanes y el Monumento Natural de los Pinguinos.

Posted by freddop 20:06 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

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