Day 11 – Planning, shopping and Argentinian meat

Prior to The Big Trip (TM) we both had rather a lot on.  We got married about 5 weeks before we left the UK, and weddings take a bit of organising.  After that we had a brief ‘mini-moon’ and then 3 weeks back at work before seeing friends and family and then packing our entire belongings up.

This means that we had not had time to a lot of planning of this trip.  And that is probably over egging the amount of planning we did.  This fact started to hit home in Buenos Aires as we looked at our next destination(s) and realised we had no accommodation, transport or plans.  ARRGGHH!

So the morning was spent with the computer, phones, guidebooks and pieces of paper as we started to get a a feel for what the next month might look like.  At the end of this period, whilst we haven’t got everything sorted (many places don’t have online booking options so you are waiting for email returns) we had some stuff booked and a more definitive plan and both felt a bit more relaxed – but we also had a bit of cabin fever so exited the hotel into another wonderfully sunny Buenos Aires day.

The area adjacent to ours is called Palermo Soho and is a very ‘up and coming’ neighbourhood – and we spend the afternoon strolling its beautiful streets (though the quality of pavements are a bit ropey) looking at shops, markets and numerous places to eat and drink.

One the age old problems facing couples in society is the shopping trip.  The stereotype is that women like to shop and men don’t (though I’ll admit I can happily spend some time on retail therapy at the right time and place).  In Palermo Soho I think they may have come up with the solution – shops with pubs in them!  Well a bar, but you know what I mean.  We saw about 3 or 4 shops that had a central bar where you can grab a beer whilst someone else wanders round the clothes section – this may appear slightly sexist but the clothes in these shops were predominantly or totally female.

On the plane over from the UK we read a copy of Condé Naste which had an article on the best 15 steak restaurants in the world, two of which are in Buenos Aires. This evening we have a booking at one of them – La Brigada in the old San Telmo area of the city (for amusement I suggest you Google and look at their website for some quality S.America mullet action).  The journey down by taxi was very pleasant as Niki conversed with the driver in Spanish and we were astounded by the width of some of the roads – 10 lanes wide, and apparently one of them is the widest in S.America (maybe the world).

We arrive and we (well at least 50% of us) are delighted to find that not only is home to world class Argentinian meat, it is also a shrine to all things football!  The place is decorated with scarfs, shirts, signed pictures (including presumably a valuable one of Pele and Ali) and other assorted memorabilia – couldn’t find anything with Oldham Athletic or Aston Villa on it, but we were told if we sent them a scarf it will get put up!  The main mullet man is there on arrival but for the rest of the evening we are served by a lovely waiter called Sebastian.

Meat selection is amazing and many of the food items that Terista explained the previous day were available.  We were encouraged to order some offal as starters (Niki was not sure) to go with good empanadas (though not as good as our own) and then 2 different cuts of beef.  The meal was amazing – the sweetbreads and ‘morcilla’ aka Black Pudding were delicious – and the Beef loin tail and Bife de Chorizo were so tender the waiter cut them with a spoon to allow us to share them between us.  With full stomachs we left and got a taxi ride home.

For those who recall the Sega Dreamcast games console, I think this driver wanted to “Make some crazy money”.  In a 15 year old Corsa

with grinding brakes we had the most wild car journey I can recall – accelerating constantly unless he had to slam the noisy brakes on to stop and weaving in and out of other cars without a care in the world.  Terrified we chose to end the journey a little early and walk the last bit back to the hotel.

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