My journey to Patagonia began with a couple of days in the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires. Here’s what my friend and I managed to pack into a two day visit.
Our flight into Buenos Aires from Sydney via Auckland arrived in the late afternoon, so once all the regular airport duties (i.e. customs and immigration) were done, we headed straight to the hotel to check-in and get freshened up after almost 24 hours of travelling. It was then time for a walk down to San Telmo (via some sketchy looking streets) on a search for some food!
After an average night’s sleep (thanks jet lag!), it was decided that we’d get up early and head to La Recoleta Cemetery. We arrived at the cemetery at 7:30am, and we’re glad that we did as the morning light was perfect and there were literally only a few other people around. Who knew walking down the alleyways of a cemetery, looking up at towering graves was a peaceful and nice way to spend a morning?
Once we had spent a couple of hours exploring and observing the cemetery, we headed back to grab a bite to eat then pick up some bicycles to ride around town on. From our hotel, we cycled through the city and down to the neighbourhood of La Boca on the lookout for the colourful buildings of Caminito.
I’m not gonna lie – the ride into La Boca felt a little uneasy at times as the neighbourhood was much more run down than the Recoleta area where we had been that same morning. We were conscious of our belongings and stayed alert at all times whilst riding – we even got pulled aside by an older gentleman who didn’t speak any English, but simply just wanted to warn us to keep an eye on our stuff, bikes included.
After checking out the colourful and touristic streets of La Boca, we rode back towards the city via the Reserva Ecologica Costanera Sur to check out the park and river, and then onto the El Ateneo Grand Splendid book store on the way back to the hotel. The book store was an old theatre from the early 1900s which had been converted into a book store. Probably the most breathtaking book store I’ve ever been to, that’s for sure!
The following day started off with a walk back down to San Telmo, this time to check out the Sunday markets. The markets were a big thing in San Telmo – so big that the streets were closed off to cars! It was a nice morning spent strolling through the markets, soaking up the buzzing atmosphere on a nice, sunny day.
Later that afternoon after wandering the market, we headed back to the hotel but stopped off at the Catedral Metropolitana in Buenos Aires. Fun fact: before becoming the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church in Vatican City, Pope Francis gave mass at this very church.
After heading out for dinner and arriving back at our hotel, it was finally time to get packed and get our things together for our departure the next morning… to El Calafate! I have so much more to share with you from my trip, so stay tuned for more posts from Chilean and Argentinian Patagonia.
Before I go, here’s a little video I put together from Buenos Aires. It does a much better job than my writing at highlighting what we got up to in the city!