Miraculously, I arrived in BA in once piece on Sunday, and here I am Tuesday, still functioning. I’m trying to survive on $14 a day, and Tara’s motto is always in the back of my mind: You can be poor anywhere in the world. Amen to that. And what a beautiful place to be on a budget in!
First off, I’m super lucky to be hanging in Recoleta, a relatively safe and affluent barrio of BA. The first day, I walked around the neighborhood in circles, looking for a grocery store. I finally returned to my apartment to find that there was one across the street. On Monday, feeling brave, I perused my Lonely Planet map and ventured out to Santa Fe, a street that could’ve been out of New York City. I walked up and down that street for an hour and a half, and finally had lunch at Cumana, a cool authentic place I found in my Lonely Planet,
which has become my best friend here. (We’re making Argentinian friendship bracelets.) After a cazuela, or an authentic stew, I ventured off to the Recoleta Cemetery, which is really more like a small city. BA’s finest are buried here, and it’s said that you can live extravagantly all your life and still not be able to afford a resting spot in Recoleta Cemetery. You can get lost in the labyrinth of mausoleums, some of which look like bank vaults, others competing for attention. Of course, Eva Peron’s site is probably the easiest to locate. I’m directionally-impaired, and even relying on memory, I was able to find her site tucked down a little “alleyway” off the wide “street.”
As I wandered the cemetery, I ran into a group of 3 American travelers, who were totally awesome and invited me to wander with them. How many times can you say you’ve met someone in a cemetery?
We explored and took some creepy/crazy pictures, which you can find here, and Melanie even spotted a bone. Then we headed out to a park to find Buenos Aires’ fantastic metal flower. We were kicked off the grass shortly after we’d sat down, and later we were kicked out of what looked like a Harry Potter-esque ‘whomping willow’ because a man slept there. (His mattress was wedged in between two roots.)
The night ended back at Cumana, where we tried the real authentic cazuela, known as locra, which is beans, pork, and chicken in some thick type of gravy-broth. Paired with wine and good conversation, it was the perfect way to end the night. It’s always awesome to find people who have great stories and a passion for travel. And it sure beats sitting in the apartment watching Tom Hanks in Terminal.