28 January 2014
Today was my last full day in Buenos Aires and I had no plans. I was more comfortable in the city now than in those initial days in Buenos Aires. It was pouring with rain in the morning so I stayed in and catch up on some writing. Around midday the sun was out so I just decided to walk with no general direction in mind through San Telmo.
Plaza de Mayo, Florida,
Beyond the obelisk towards Recoleta and back another route.
I always find the cambio / money exchange dealers every few meters in Florida quite funny.
I settled for a Mediterranean sandwich, cheese cake and lemon iced tea at Starbucks for lunch, I then headed for a nice souvenir shop to get myself a Buenos Aires magnet and some Yerba Mate (with the cup and straw to drink it from – if anyone at home wants to try this super-caffeinated communally shared hot drink, let me know).
There is quite a bit of graffiti and homeless people in the city.
The rain started again that afternoon so I went indoors and rested again until 10pm when I went out for dinner.
I passed by an outdoor restaurant with tango dancing.
It took me about 30 minutes to find a good restaurant as I wanted something other than pizza. I found a great restaurant that served me an assortment of breads with a pate as a starter, grilled salmon with wok vegetables with a cold drink, and tea with a croissant (total 159 pesos).
Returning at 1145pm (it was a 25 minute walk) I noticed a family going through the garbage bins looking for recyclable materials (many young daughters going through the trash). I’d seen this on a number of occasions.
The Argentinian economy is in a very bad condition and people are struggling. Those of us fortunate to have food, shelter, clothing and education must never forget how privileged we are.
29 January 2014
My final day in Argentina. My final day in South America. The final day of my epic trip!
After breakfast I finished pack my bag and headed out for lunch to Los Temenos for a slice of pizza and coke.
There empanadas looked good but they didn’t have any tuna or veg.
I then returned to collect my luggage and headed off to the airport with another guy that was also heading that way by taxi.
I arrived at the airport at 2pm. My flight was scheduled to depart at 6pm so I decided to kill some time using the free WiFi internet. A lady who recently resigned from Standard Bank (where I was working at) recognised me. Far out! After checking in I met another South African next at the boarding gates. He was a BCom student who spent 3 months in Salta with an Argentinian family on a home exchange programme. He shared some interesting insights on his experience, and his Spanish is really good.
On the flight back I sat next to an Argentinian technician who is coming to SA to do work at one of SA’s retail stores. We discussed the economy, the Argentinian diet, difference between SA/Argentinian work patterns, and where he is heading off for his holiday.
The flight would be 8.5 hours in total (with turbulence). I watched Elysium, wrote a little and caught a nap. At 8:15am I would be in Johannesburg, South Africa. Back home after an amazing 40 day adventure to Antarctica, Argentina and Chile.