We landed in Buenos Aires to a beautiful blue sky. There was the occasional wisp of puffy cloud overhead, the forecast had said cloudy I guess the argentine idea of a cloudy sky differs from what it would be in the UK.
It was a genuine relief to get off the plane. Because we had bought from a bucket shop this time we had no choice of seats and we could not get out to walk around. Not that that would have been possible for most of the journey because the seat belt sign was seldom off. We usually get some turbulence as we cross The Atlantic but the intercontinental convergence zone was tonight really living up to its name and, I think, trying to expand its empire. It never used to frighten me it was just the inconvenience of not being able to pour a drink and leave it or catching your coffee before it becomes a part of your clothing, but that was before the Air France flight from Rio last year that disappeared from the radar behind us. They still do not know what happened and until they do it will always be a worry to me when we get tossed about like this.
Still we are here now the sun is shining even though it is only eight in the morning, we cleared customs quickly and it was just the job of choosing a Remis next. Remis is what they call private hire cars here, they are strictly regulated so that they are the safest way to travel. There is a whole line of booths at the airport arrivals hall and I always go down them all to check who is the cheapest they vary from $118 to $140 which is a difference of about £5 but every little helps and by the time you have tipped the porter, the driver, and the guy who holds the doors open, you are not far short of£30 for the journey from the airport.
It is a great feeling now that we know where we are all the time, as the car turns of the autopista at Boedo and turns into Columbres I can name most of the intersections and when we cross Rivadavia I know we are on Salguero and only eight blocks from home. The sight of Plaza Almagro, as we pass, is always welcoming for then we know we are on home soil.
Philippe has left the place pristine as usual, but that does not stop Viv wanting to clean as soon as we arrive. All the clothes are packed into the wardrobe, cases away and sorted by eleven, so after a coffee it is down to the supermarket for some provisions.
We have already been in touch with Janis, had a light lunch from the vegetarian chinese takeaway opposite and are ready for an afternoon nap. It is after all twenty-four hours since we got up so it was badly needed.
Later we explored a bit more, most of the shops were closing up now but Viv wanted to find a vegetable market we had seen before. Firstly I wanted to find what had become of our favourite panaderia. (See Back again in Buenos Aires) There were shutters on the front which were down, but they were not completely closed. So crawling on the pavement I peered underneath, lo and behold, yet another chinese supermarket. Just what we don’t need.
Tonight we went to Salon Canning, not one of my favourites especially on Saturday, but we were invited and after a very long tiring day, it’s close.
You get fussy when in Buenos Aires, stuck in the tango desert of N.Wales I would love this place, but here? well there is so much other choice. Here they are not a crowd where we are known so we had to put up with many attempts to drive the extranjeros into the middle of the floor where they belong. I have been coming here too long now to allow this, but one guy just kept pushing and I just kept giroing until there was the inevitable collision. His partners ruined shoes she seemed to think were my fault, but when you run into the people in front, you should look to your driver. They gave up and changed lanes.
The other thing I don’t like here are all the cameras, I guess touristas ( we were there ourselves once, some would say we still are) have to go somewhere, but one couple had brought an entourage with them, complete with lighting set up. Two camera men would take pictures of the floor then arrange the couple for a shot with the champagne then some more of our feet, they seemed to be enjoying it, but it just looked boring to me.
When one of the cameramen (woman actually) sat on the corner of the floor taking pictures it seemed to cause chaos. Some stopped to pose, some tried to get out-of-the-way, others just got flustered. Why do they not just dance? It was all too much after a long day we had had enough and it was time for bed three hours is enough for our first night.