|Drinking mate in the park|
|Mate bag and set|
A final, very important thing that I learnt about Argentina was how much they loved their meat. Our first day in Mendoza, Juan burbled on excitedly about a huge barbecue his friend is going have at the weekend and the amazing steak and ribs they were going to cook. Abashed, I confess to vegetarianism which by his reaction and appalled "WHAAAAT??" might as well have been a confession to baby-eating. Determined to prove to him that vegetarian food can actually be tasty, and that I'm not some kind of masochist by not eating meat, I cook for him and his friends my famous Veggie Lasagna that has now been cooked all over the world. Imagine the scene, 8 hungry meat- loving Argentinian guys, just back from playing in a football match..... loving my lasagna! Win! Test passed.
|The lasagna test|
and we landed into BUENOS AIRES!
The city of tango, the Pope, Evita and very crazy nightlife. Thus follows couchsurfing with a guy who did not seem to care that I kept repeating that I had a boyfriend (I left the next day), a night in a terrible hostel (nobody really wants to hang out with a group of Chinese people who talk only in chinese to each other) before finally making it to Buenos Aires's 'party hostel'! (I swallowed all my reservations of avoiding the party hostels for fear of too many preppy 'gap yah-ers', and was so pleased I did!) This hostel was just the best way to meet people and I made some really great friends there. We had some crazy nights out in Buenos Aires, and went to an incredible tango show where as well as the show we got a tango lesson, and a 3 course meal with unlimited beer or wine. I liked the vibe of Buenos Aires, it was was somehow different to the other cities in South America, and the many different zones and neghbourhoods gave it alot of character. Not to mention the crazy cemetery in Recoleta- a literal stone city for the dead.
I felt smug in quickly becoming the spanish translator of the group, and had alot of fun negotiating money on the black market for everyone. Because yes, if you want to survive for long in Argentina, you need to come with a fistfull of dollars and go to the streets on Buenos Aires to change for a much better rate than the banks or ATMs would give up. I felt like some kind of mob star....
With a very fun Irish couple in tow, I set out for my final bus ride in South America to the Iguazu Falls. This began like most of the other bus trips, except with a thunderstorm in the night and I woke up to rain dripping onto my face and my bag soaked on the sopping wet floor. Classic.
The Iguazu Falls were spectacular, although the whole site wasn't open due to very heavy rain in the last few days (oh rain? I hadn't noticed...) Luckily the day we went was beautiful sunshine and me and my Irish friends spent a day looking around the Argentinan side, before saying goodbye and I made my way over the border into Brazil in preparation for my fight to Rio the next day.
The end of the Argentinian chapter, and the start of the final chapter.