Saturday, February 6, 2010

Buenos Aires Day 3 - February 5, 2010

Word came this morning that although the bikes will arrive Sunday (fingers crossed!), we will likely not clear customs until midday Tuesday.  We had contemplated downtime due to illness, injury, and mechanical difficulties along the way, but the loss of a full week of movement from the beginning of the journey is still frustrating.  I'm sure we'll feel better once underway.

Today we walked south along the Av Santa Fe to the Plaza San Martin and then southwest to Av Corrientes and Av 9 De Julio with many stops along the way before riding the Subte back to Palermo.

Our first stop was La Recoleta Cemetery, part of an old monastery, it was established as a public cemetery in 1810 and contains the tombs of some of Argentina's most famous historical figures - with the best known to us being Evita Peron.
Evita's family crypt adorned with fresh flowers.
 The crypts are in varying states of repair - some open to the elements, and many of them remarkably ornate.


From Recoleta we continued south to Plaza San Martin, stopping for an excellent lunch of cold meats and a selection of cheeses at a cafe on the plaza - just in time to escape the first of several torrential downpours!

At one point the rain fell so hard the splash back from the pavement in the plaza was above peoples knees.
 The General Jose de San Martin monument, on land that was the site of the 1807 British defeat following King George III's second attempt to conquer Buenos Aires.

The rain stopped temporarily as we headed southwest to Plaza De La Republica and the famous Obelisk.

Built in 1936 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first founding of the city, the 220 foot high monument is located on the spot where the Argentine flag was flown for the first time in Buenos Aires.

Just as we sat down for un litro de cerveza in a cafe off of Plaza Lavalle, the day's second downpour began, drenching the early rush hour traffic.

Heading back to Palermo on the Subte from Tribunales was a whole new experience.  The ride was standing room only and at each stop more passengers got on than off.  The trains run with their windows open so once underway there is airflow, but as soon as the train stops it becomes incredibly hot (I suspect around 40 degrees C!).  It's amazing, the portenos (residents of Buenos Aires), don't notice the heat at all - some standing coolly in business suits while the two Canadians melt!

The torrential rains continued long into the night along with an extensive lightning show - enjoyed in part from the hotel balcony cigar in hand!

1 comment:

  1. Living your adventure through your blog...has its limitations. All sensory related of course. Sipping my own beer at superbowl later today (minus 10 and sunny) will definitely have different feel to it than sitting in cafe in Buenos Aires (90% humidity with rain). Really the pictures and details have made for a very enjoyable read this am. And I did not know that those tall pointy structures actually have a specific name... "obelisk". Thanks for that lesson!! Hope the motocycles show up today for you two. Please include picture of BOTH your smiling faces!!