We had breakfast in the hostel – some sweet little mini croissants called medialunas, tea (without milk as only hot was available – Peli deems this a serious situation, and a solution will be sought for future breakfasts) and bread with delicious “dulce de leche” (caramel milk, like the stuff at the bottom of Banoffee Pies) spread.
That’s a picture of a juicy steak, I hear you think. You’re right. More about that later.
Armed with cameras we set off into the hot sunshine towards the Plaza de Mayo to do the tourist thing, somewhat reluctantly as we’re not that into touregging. In the Plaza de Mayo, we managed to find probably the only patch of soggy mud in Buenos Aires (where they were irrigating the plants) and managed to coat our shoes (not deliberately, but it did make us feel more at home).
Peli did a good impression of a tourist guide, reading the Rough Guide from her kindle and pointing things out in a generally accurate manner. This is always very funny to see, she is a good guide, and all done with a smile.
Having texted Peli’s Evita-mad friend that we were “outside the Casa Rosada crying Eva Peron”, we then took a turn about La City, Buenos Aires’s financial district, which was utterly deserted on a Sunday.
On our return to the Plaza de Mayo, something odd happened. We found ourselves spattered with not inconsiderable quantities of a runny, dark green liquid. Our first thought was, “a bird’s crapped on us”, and Peli dug in her bag for a tissue to wipe it off. Immediately, a rotund chap approached us commiserating loudly and offering help to clean ourselves up, insisting to us that “Tiene que limpiarlo bien!” (You have to clean it up properly!). Peli was rightly suspicious, as she’d read in the guide books about pickpockets “accidentally” squirting ketchup on tourists and then deftly robbing them as they “helped”. We moved away quickly, followed by a woman brandishing tissues and insisting, “Tiene que limpiarlo, chica! Dejeme ayudar!” (You must clean it up, miss! Let me help!) obviously in cohoots with the chap.
We were getting tired anyway after two hours wandering in the heat carrying a pannier each (we decided these offered more security for our valuables than small barbags), so headed back to our hostel where we tried to wash off what was clearly green paint (it didn’t wash off), had a siesta (well, it is scorchio outside). We have just eaten delicious nachos with fresh tomatoes.
After a rather long siesta we went out again in the hunt of Plaza Eva Peron, which was not at all what we had expected. We found a massive, hectic junction, a petrol station, a MacDonalds and a heck of a lot of traffic. There was no statue of Eva anywhere to be seen, and we agreed that it was the last type of place we’d want to have named after us.
The San Telmo area was fully awake at 9pm with street vendors and loud drums. After five minutes in this tourist trap we had enough of the crowd – we really are bad tourists – and were rather hungry. Before we found a steak house to give Woolly his first taste of Argentinian cow (a picture of which you have already feasted your eyes upon), we found a group of people on a small dance floor in the corner of the square entwined in an Argentine tango, an informal occasion the Rough Guide tells me is know as a ‘milonga’, where many men of rather senior years were showing off their moves with the young ladies. Apparently, it is common to see older chaps teaching younger women how to tango, and any female hanging around a milonga in high heels is for the taking, as it were. Peli was pleased not to have packed hers (nor, indeed, to own any).
As for the meal, it was a shame that Peli’s pasta was a bit undercooked (as in almost inedible), but the salad and chips were just spot on. And so was the dead cow.