Great flight, excellent friendly service any concerns about flying an unknown airline –TAM- quickly dispelled. Have to say Buenos Aries has a slightly English feel to it, being slightly decrepit but full of former grandeur !
Lovely old buildings but clearly there is little “government” money as seen by the lethal pavements with holes big enough to seriously injure yourself and the line of police cars outside a station where clearly 50% of them were not roadworthy. I think the UK “austerity” measures have some way to go to match what is clearly everyday life here.
These things just make the difference between the “haves” and the “have not’s” just that much more obvious from the homeless and sick begging outside of the churches – no social security here – to the nice restaurants packed with people and not just tourists to the extremely expensively dressed young women parading their finery at the polo matches.
Beef is big here in Argentina and is nationally revered to be served well and enjoyed. For the average Brit they don’t understand “well done” – a sacrilege to all that’s gone into the preparation of the meal starting with the rearing of the animal. 7 of us had a nice meal in an upmarket restaurant with several bottles of a very smooth Malbec with our share being under £40 for quality and quantity that would have been 3 times the price at home.
Meeting our travel colleagues for the first time has been stimulating, on the whole an interesting and varied group. All with fascinating travel stories to tell. Some are on their 3rd trip with Odyssey, a lot on their 2nd which is a hopeful sign for the success of this trip.
I suppose I could summarise it by saying lots of like minded people and no-one we want to kill just yet! Of course that may change over the course of 6 months in relatively close confines. We’ll see.
Sunday morning was a walk down to a Sunday antiques market, where 50% of the wares were tat, 25% not antiques but rather some startlingly good crafts and the rest excellent although clearly priced for tourists rather than locals. Did spend a very pleasant hour listening to a stunningly good classic guitar player who accompanied a geriatric pair of tangos dancers, entertaining and fun.
Sunday afternoon at the polo,had a really interesting chat to a chap called Ricarrdo who was keen to hear all about the group. Spent as much time watching people as watching polo as BA’s wealthy strutted their stuff along with the rest of us. In the battle of the PR girls I think the Ralp Lauren girls in gold hot pants just edged the spray on outfits of the Mercedes Benz team!
A thoroughly enjoyable first day, now off for a little siesta before heading out for another meal.
Its hell here. (its not but I said it for Chris’ benefit. As I didn’t want to mention the glorious weather or his and Gareth’s commute tomorrow – the first of 27 such Monday mornings I won’t miss!)
Some Photos Here : BA First 24 hours
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