Not the best night´s sleep ever – too much sniffing probably a major cause of the insomnia. Start the day with a Skype call with Mum & Dad – connection was a bit flakey so no video which is good as it meant they didn´t get to see us in our jammies!
After waiting for a while Bernice calls the accommodation people only to find out that we didn´t get the flat we asked for 🙁 again – apparently what we need to do is submit loads of options and they will tell us which ones are free, then we make our choice! So we put 5 on the system and they come back with two options for us. We pick one that is in the heart of Palermo Viejo – the one they had actually offered us yesterday that didn´t have a balcony and we were getting picky so said no! – and then set off for a walk around the local area.
The walk takes us to the barrio of La Boca, home of the Boca Juniors for all you footy fans. We take in the stadium but pass on a tour (can only see stadium on a combined “tour and museum” visit yawn!) and continue to an area called Caminito made famous by it´s docklands area and brightly coloured houses that were the work of local artist Benito Quinquela Martin. It all looks great – but is bit of a tourist trap. We take refuge in a museum /gallery that is based in the artist´s house. It is great, with only a nominal entry fee, lovely rooftop views and nearly empty!! The inside of his house has been given the same treatment as the houses in the street – lots of bright colours – and has some of his really atmospheric paintings of docklands life from the 40´s and 50´s. Lunch is a Choripan and a chop (remember this is a draught beer measure not meat ´round here) from a street BBQ… yummy!
On the way back to the hotel we stop off for another Frappuccino (still not Starbucks!!) on way back to cool down but also for free WiFi so we can Skype with Fi (from Sulana) and to hopefully finalise our accommodation. Fi is planning to join us in Argentina – hooray – flying in next Wednesday – yikes! We finalise our rental – double hooray!! – although if we´d have realised Fi was coming so soon we may have gone for a bigger flat!!
A cab takse us across town to the new flat in Palermo Viejo, the Flat owner Renee and some gadgy from the rental agency are there to meet us. The flat is nice and bijou with living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom (still can´t believe it´s cheaper than the hostels??! And Renee the owner is really friendly) so looks like we are going to be well set up here.
After unpacking we take a walk around local area, with all the cobbled streets, market stalls, bars and boutiques it is definitely a Camden sort of place – thanks for the tip Ignacio 🙂 We stop for a chop (or is that stop for a top chop in a beer shop … ooh hours of rhyming fun) where Huw feels a divvy by mis-hearing the amount of the bill (in Spanish) and ends up giving the waiter way too much. The waiter “assumes” the extra is a tip so we go through an embarrassing session of asking for the change!! (Bernice – Tee Hee Hee)
Back at the flat we take advantage of the cable TV and work on improving our Spanish by watching LA Law and House in English with Spanish subtitles rather than having the siesta we need for an Argentinian night out. We are back out at 9.30ish for food (Back on Madrid dining out time here!) and after wandering around for a bit we choose a Mexican restaurant! It´s called La Flor Azteca and was great fun, the waitresses mostly tolerating or pigeon Spanish and resisting the temptation to speak English to us. The only point they switched was when confirming how hot we wanted our food – muy picante (very hot) seemed to be considered near suicidal for locals however on establishing that we were English it was felt that it may not be hot enough and that muy muy picante might be required!! Due to lack of siesta, by 01.00 we were done, so home to bed!