As far as launching pads go, Buenos Aires is about as good as it gets. Heike and I chose to spend a couple of days in the warm (hot), sunny part of Argentina before heading south to get on the Ocean Tramp. Our flight was good, even though it was on the dreaded United. Business class tickets will bring that.
I thought I was being super efficient and had reserved a car to bring us to our hotel… but an hour and a half later, we were still in the airport waiting. Just as I started walking to the taxi stand, our frenzied, but very nice, driver appeared. He blamed traffic. Which is bad, but it’s hard to believe that it would make him 90 minutes late. At least we got the snafu out of the way right away. The rest of our too-short visit has been amazing.
Our hotel, the Unique Luxury Park Plaza is pretty and on a quiet street right in the middle of a great walking neighborhood. After a trip to a terrific acupuncturist (I am doing everything I can to stave off any degree of seasickness), we went to dinner at the obscenely early time (in Argentina) of 7 pm. We were the only ones in the restaurant for an hour, which would have been somewhat embarrassing, if we hadn’t been so hungry. We had the Broccolino specialty of calamari. The portion was enormous, but we made a decent dent in it.
This morning, we visited the Recoleta Cemetery, which is huge and beautiful in a really strange way. More than 4600 famous and notable people are interred here in elaborate, increasingly ornate mausoleums. We, of course, only wanted to see Eva Peron’s. We didn’t spring for the guided tour, so we spent 45 minutes doing our own Spirograph tour, finally locating Evita’s mausoleum using our razor-sharp detective skills (i.e. spying the large group of Japanese tourists gathered around it.)
We met with Paola, our fabulous guide from gydeandseek (just realizing I should have taken a picture of her. She’s gorgeous. But you can go to the website and see for yourself. Interactive blog post. Kind of.) She spent more than three hours telling us all about the history of Argentina (colorful!) and took us to several of the very different neighborhoods around the city. It was a terrific and efficient way to see a gigantic place with limited time. I’ll post more pictures as soon as they transfer from my phone (slow wifi).
Tomorrow, we leave for Ushuaia and then it’s off to Antarctica. I am more than a bit concerned about seasickness, but have done all I can to stave it off (hypnotherapy, acupuncture, patches, bands, ginger candy, Zofran). You can follow our adventure on www.quixote-expeditions.com or like Quixote Expeditions on Facebook. I think I’ll be device-free for three weeks, which should send me into technology withdrawal, so you may not hear from me til mid-January. I’ll squeeze a penguin for you. Southward!