Thursday, June 23, 2011

South America for beginners

A tour to South America, Panama Canal and Cuba requires three things.

1. A plane

2.  A flight crew

3.  A map:

4.  Passengers

And, having checked everything is in good working order...

Let's go!

Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Date: Monday 9 May 2011.
Time: 1410
QF 6034
Sydney/Buenos Aires
Flight time 13hrs 20 minutes.  


There's 220 of us.  En masse, we are a force of nature.  A fleet of seven sightseeing buses take us on tour, and we see the streets where Buenos Aireans set up house - but not all houses are for the living.  We visit the Boca district and its vibrant colours, the sombre tombs of Recoleta Cemetery...and everywhere, there is the tango.

(Please note: I take responsibility for all photographs, spelling mistakes and opinions.)

The Buenos Aires signature dance

A professional dog walker

Christ the Redeemer is everywhere

School bus

The Boca District

The story goes that this is what you do with left over paint.

We stroll along the main street of the Boca District, La Caminto.

The Boca District is for tourists.  The slums are not...

Seen from the bus window: Mile after mile of Buenos Aires Leggoland slums. They compete for the same air space as the hi rise office towers, but look as if they might blow over with the first brisk breeze.  
People actually live here


Recoleta Cemetery, where we visit the dead of Buenos Aires in their ornate tombs.

Mourning in concrete

Mourning in a rather nice terracotta brick

I feel these plants are not showing proper respect for the dead

Cleaning day

Lovely art deco door

Having driven by the cram of Buenos Aires' slums, I feel that the dead in Buenos Aires have a better standard of accommodation than the city's poor. 
Eva Peron's plaque

Even now, over 50 years after death, Eva's tomb is festooned with flowers

Historic building in pink - I believe Eva lived here

More electricals

Electricals and vegetation

The sun flower sign

Isn't this tops!  It opens to the sun and closes at night.

Metal stamens

Can you see the bird?  It is sitting on the 'engine' at the centre of the flower.

The flower is made from the outer metal of a Fokker Friendship. 

We cruise along canals of the Tigre Delta

Inside our river boat

The Tigre Delta is a waterway of shifting sands.  Islands are easily formed and, in an endless cycle, they are just as easily washed away. For those people who have not learned from recent history, a new island is fresh real estate.  On this pile of unstable silt, they build holidays homes.  Some are shacks, others are mansions, but all are at the mercy of wash from passing ferries (such as ours), and moods of the delta.
If they do not buttress the shores with a stout breakwater, the waterway sucks away the sand, crumbling the shore like wet cake.  The house foundations are next, followed by the house itself. 
Slow mo demolition

The corner shop

Check out the industrial strength breakwater.  This mansion is here to stay.

Such an ordinary house, such extraordinary protection!

Is it sinking?

Our room in Park Tower, Buenos Aires. 

Hotel foyer

Classy vases