The next stop was Mar del Plata, around 5 hours and 400km south of Buenos Aires. I met Camila in Bariloche on the Refugio Frey hike and then kept running into her on busses. As the city is so close to Buenos Aires (in Argentinian terms) and its famous as a summer beach retreat from Buenos Aires. I decided to go and see the beaches, although off season.
The last day in Buenos Aires it was storming and humid. As I went to the bus station I didn’t know whether to wear a coat of TShirt and shorts. On the bus I had the top front seat which was great as it gave me a panoramic view and it actually felt really good to be on the move again and to see more of the north. I managed to snap this as I arrived at Mar del Plata, sadly one of the lights wasn’t working but it’s a nice welcome.
A short taxi ride later and with the help of some Argentinians and WIFI from a bar I made it to Camilas house. She shares it with her sister Sofia, two cats Leo & Eva a dog Vata (pics in order below) and two friends. I got to meet everyone right away and they were really welcoming, speaking as much English as they knew. Camila was the only person who could speak English fluently having learnt at school and being self taught using movies and TV. I even was graced with Eva sitting on my lap which is not something she affords everyone.
The next day Camila have me a tour of the city. It’s big by British standards with over a million people living there. Although it has a very neighbourly feel, with the residential streets quiet and homely. The centre was more bustling and as the weather was great the many sandy beaches were busy.
We walked along the sea front to the Mar Mueso for art. They have three giant spaces to display art and outside is a sea lion which is the symbol of the city.
The first exhibit was a series of colourful portraits. Camila did translate but my memory is hazy and I think it was portraits of local people practicing their hobbies. As I am colour blind I like anything with vivid colours so I really liked this display. Camila even recognised one of the people on the photos.
The next exhibit reminded me of the soldiers in China (when I have time I’ll add some citations here) as it was a room full of fiberglass girls standing on chairs. It was supposed to represent being tranquil but I felt it had a creepy nature that I liked.
The final room was by the same artist and had lots of interesting pieces entered around the same theme.
We had lunch and decided to take a siesta. Camila works long hours in the week, going to university in the morning to study psychology and then working late into the evening at her job. It kinda put me to shame with my last job rocking up at 10am and leaving at 6pm and I always moaned I was tired all the time. Looking at how hard people work here has actually inspired me so let’s see how much I still sit about when I get back!
On the way back to the siesta we visited the cathedral.
It was then time to hit the beach and on the way we went though the main plaza where there was a guy singing.
Camila took me to a beach that was a bus ride out of town. It was really quiet with not many people and I got to see a beautiful sunset over the Atlantic Ocean. It’s one of the best beaches I’ve ever seen with so much sand and the colours were stunning. There were birds feeding and the water and sky changed colours as the sun set.
Camilla did a photo shoot with me which resulted in lots of awkward photos as I can’t pose. But I kept them all anyways. Yes there are actually 8 photos of me coming up. I hope it doesn’t hurt anyone’s eyes too much.
Afterwards we headed back to the house and I had my first Argentinian sushi which was delicious.
Sofia was heading to a Tango night so we joined her. Sadly this time I didn’t get the oportuno tu to dance but I’m glad as those who were dancing had a lot of skill. It was really interesting to see how it works as people of all ages were there dancing together. They play four songs and then have a short break in which time you switch partners or have a rest as it’s tiring. What is nice is that people go there to dance, they make friends and have a great time. It’s not about getting drunk or anything else. The place is open until 4am and I didn’t really see anyone drinking. I didn’t take any photos as it didn’t seem appropriate it was an experience I enjoyed.
The next day brought lots of rain and grey skies so I had a relaxing morning before catching the bus back to Buenos Aires. I had a really great time and was sad to be leaving but I had a plane to catch the next day. Also I think one full day of speaking English was tiring enough for Camila as it’s hard speaking another language. She did mention she was thinking in English by the end of the day so I hope I helped her learn a few words. I’ve added a few words to my limited Spanish diction. Claro and Yo También which has increased my determination to learn!
Back in Buenos Aires I had decided to switch hostels and went for dinner at El Banco Rojo and had a shrimp BBQ pitta, which was so good I’ve vowed to eat every meal I can there.
After I met up with Bonnie and Michael from the previous hostel as they were both in town and we went for cocktails. I had an amazing Pisco Sour and accidentally stayed out until 2am which made the journey to the airport in the morning harder than it should have been. Next Brazil and Iguazú!