The last time we were in Buenos Aires (2005), we stayed in the Milhouse hostel, downtown BA. To say this was a party hostel, is to play it down. Back then Buenos Aires involved many late nights and slightly too much drinking…….Only slightly.
This time was much more sedate, but equally as much fun. The fun this time around, was mainly to be found in the numerous playgrounds and Buenos Aires loves a good playground. How times have changed. Trying to get Betty on a swing a couple of months ago was like trying to get blood from a stone. These days we can’t prize her off them!!!
We split our time with three separate visits over the course of ten weeks, staying in two very different barrios, San Telmo and Palermo. Oh and we managed to escape across the river Plate to Uruguay for a few days to see how the folk of Colonia sipped their mate!! To say they take the Yerba mate serious across the water is an understatement. It’s a national obsession.
First up in BA, was a stay in the old neighbourhood of San Telmo. We were lucky enough to be staying close to the main square, plaza Dorrego, the hub of the cafe scene in the week and host to inpromptu tango on a Sunday evening straight after the famous market.
San Telmo market is touristy, but when the weathers good, its great to mooch around the stalls and catch a bit of live music. The wares on sale are also decent. So if you forgot to buy that leather wine bottle holder while on your travels, then this is the place to get it.
While it’s not the most child friendly part of BA, there was stuff for us to do. The playground at Parque Lezama on the edge of ’La Boca’ neighbourhood is great and if you turn up on a weekend when everyone else seems to, the little ones can create their own masterpeices on the canvas and easels that are set up around the swings and slides. Top stuff.
We’d already decided to stay in Palermo for the end of the trip, as it maybe suited us better as a family. We did though decide to go to Uruguay when we came back from the Andean North. We were still in the Northern rhythm and felt that BA was going to be a bit hectic, so we went down to the port and caught a ferry to Uruguay.
It was a toss up between Sacramento del Colonia and Montevideo. Colonia won.
It was like stepping into a time warp. A sort of mix between Havana and a small town in Sicily.Its sleepy and old with not a lot of things to do, but it suited us perfectly apart from the fact that the restaurants still opened late!!!
Home was an old house, run by Rosina, whose mum was around while we were staying and helped to fill in as ‘grandma extra’. There are two things though that we will remember Colonia for. The first is the sunsets. They are the best we have seen on the trip and some of the best anywhere.The second is Don Joaquin pizzeria. We wouldn’t normally rave about a pizza restaurant. But this was not a normal pizza joint. The best pizza of the trip and some of the nicest staff in a restaurant we have ever been too. If you happen to find yourself in Colonia, please pay them a visit and say hello from us.
Top marks Don, top marks.
So the last few days of our south American leg would be spent back in BA, but this time in Palermo. The mercury had also risen a few notches from earlier and it was now summertime. Suncream, shades and ice cream was the order of the day, followed by a bit of last minute gift shopping.
Palermo has the usual mix of cafes and shops and then some. The area felt younger and more modern than San Telmo and its much more child friendly. But if you want somewhere truly child friendly you need to jump into a taxi and take the ‘little un’ down to Museo de Los Niños!!!
It’s hidden away on the top floor of a massive shopping centre and looks a bit tacky from the outside, but when you get in it will be the best childrens museum you’ll have ever been to.
There’s lots to keep them occupied from playing doctors to making your own TV show. I’m not too sure who had more fun us or Bet!
Well nearly 3 months in Argentina has come to an end. What a country! It was up there as our favourite country in South America before we went, and has cemented itself as our undisputed ‘No 1’ now. We hope to be back at some point in the future, possibly for a Ruta 40 reunion but we’ll have to see…….
Sad to go but we had to move on. It is Australia for Christmas and New Year and i’m sure quite a few BBQ’s. They’ll have to be good though because that Parrilla in Villa La Angostura will take a bit of beating.
- Did you see how many dogs that fella was walking!!?
- The tash is definitely going in Oz…….
- How good are the sunsets in Uruguay!!!
- Mate (yerba) daddy!? (Betty)
- Steve – How is she not sleeping anymore!!!?
- Nay – She’s going through a sleep regression!
- Betty – Gracias!!!
- Don Joaquin Pizzeria, Colonia – The best pizza we’ve had in Latin America.
- Ninina bakery, Palermo – Buenos Aires doesn’t do all that good coffee. This place does.
- Huracan FC – Boca will always hold a place in my heart, but you can’t get tickets anymore, so i went to Huracan instead and found a little soft spot for them.
- Palermo shopping – If your after some different things, the independent shops here will help.
- La Crespo – Jewish style cafe with the BEST salt beef in BA.
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