After the long drive from Ushuaia through the Ruta 3, we were happy to be able to have a break in the Paris of South America, Buenos Aires.
Once we arrived at the city we were charmed by the informal and relaxed look of the people, and the slow pace with which the pedestrians walked on the streets. Despite being the biggest city ever since we had left Santiago in Chile, a couple of months ago, here in Buenos Aires rush did not seem to be a priority.
There was something young about the city’s character. The slow rhythm of the bodies contrasted with the cheerful lives reflected in the faces of the Porteños. Everything smiled in their faces, not only the lips but also the eyes, the jaws, the eye brows.
And then there was the weather, it was hot and humid, and this added to the sexiness with which people moved and dressed, or dressed little, hardly covering their bodies. We ourselves were victims of this agonising weather that forced us to undress. Each day we drove the motorbike with one piece of cloth less. First the trousers stayed behind, then the boots, gloves, jacket. And eventually we were driving like locals do, with open helmets, shorts and t-shirts and enjoying every minute the wind refreshing our bodies.
On our first day in Buenos Aires we fell in love with this capital and its laidback atmosphere. In S. Telmo we walked among hundreds of tourists and locals alike, through its cobblestone streets filled with musicians, spontaneous tango dancers and ingenious street performers. This neighbourhood is the heart and the soul of Buenos Aires. In one of the streets, when sitting on a bench to recover energies, we were surprised by little Mafalda, a permanent resident of that bench. We learnt that her creator Quito (Joaquin Salvador Lavado) was an Argentinian cartoonist.
We had heard a lot about the neighbourhood of La Boca, and specially of the Caminito. It is helpful to understand that the suffix “ito” means small. El Caminito is a small alley, don’t be disappointed by its size. Instead, concentrate on the pretty, rainbow colours of the facades and be attentive to passersby, there is plenty of spontaneous tango being danced here.
In Puerto Madero we met some kids having loads of fun on a public fountain. It was so hot and the splashing water so inviting that five minutes later we had joined the kids and were completely soaked in the middle of this recently-trendy dock-neighborhood. Literally a cool experience!
We ended up staying in Buenos Aires much longer than we had first foreseen. We left because the trip had to go on… But it was so difficult to move on when the days were spent learning how to dance Tango, watching people dancing Milongas, and the evenings were spent by the pool grilling real Argentinian parrillas, drinking beer and chatting about all possible subjects…
You can read this article in French on RTL5minutes.
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