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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Argentina - 28 January, 2002

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Majestic Hotel, Buenos Aires S3437.076' W05822.245' 18 m
Finish Majestic Hotel, Buenos Aires S3437.076' W05822.245' 18 m -

Leg 2 Total:

8,670 km

Leg 1 Total:

9,010 km

Galapagos:

771 km

Grand Total:

18,341 km

 

Weather: Clear, sunny and very hot.

 

 

Today is our last full day in BA.  It is Monday and the Brazilian embassy is open so the first thing we do this morning is head over there to see if we can get our visas.  They open at 10 AM, but we are there a bit early to get in line.  After some wait, the stern ladies serve us and we beg for our visas in a day.  In the end, they say they will try, but no promises.  Paolo uses his charm, and the lady breaks into a small and laughs.  We leave our passports and completed application forms behind and head off to the bank to pay for the visa fee.  After that is all done, we are free to look around.

 

First stop is at Amex - we need to change some more money.  After that we wander the streets, walking down a pedestrian mall doing some window shopping.  We have a quick lunch and then split up.  Jacqui wants to do some shopping - things are very inexpensive.  Paolo and Lars continue wandering the streets.  We are in the financial area of town and it is jammed with people.  Every one is lined up outside the banks and exchange offices.  There are restrictions on how much money people can take out of the banks and they all want to change their pesos into US dollars as they are afraid it will continue to fall in value.  It is sad seeing how all these people are suffering.

 

Argentina02_BA3_02_Cathedral_C284_Web.jpg (122856 bytes)

First stop is the post office where Lars collects some letters - many thanks to all those who sent some.  It is greatly appreciated.  From there we walk across the Plaza de Mayo and by the Pink Palace to the cathedral.  It is open today, so we take a wander around.  It is very grand - a big contrast from the plain exterior.  We also got a chance to see the tomb of Jose de San Martin - Argentina's most revered hero.  The tomb is guarded by a couple of soldiers and we were surprised to hear and then see, just as we were leaving, about 8 soldiers march loudly into the church with guns.  They were coming to relieve the guards as they were closing the tomb (for lunch??).  It was quite a spectacle to watch, in particular inside a church.

 

We then started to head back to meet Jacqui and had to try to make our way through the huge crowds outside the banks and exchange offices.  There was also a huge security presence at the Pink Palace - they seem to be expecting further demonstrations.  On our way back to Jacqui, we stop in the Mitre Museum.  It is contained in an old colonial building that has survived the development of downtown BA.  Mitre was a soldier, journalist and Argentina's first legitimate president under the Constitution of 1853.

 

One last stop before meeting up with Jacqui - the Brazil embassy.  We get there at the appointed time and hope that the visas are ready.  The people at reception are very unhelpful - they say come back tomorrow.  In the end, however, we are able to find one of the ladies that we had spoken to that morning and they had our passports ready with visas.  Great news!!!  After a quick stop at American Airlines to change our flights, Lars meets up with Jacqui.  Luckily there was not too much damage done to the pocket book!!!

 

We return to the hotel to relax and work on our journals.  Lars also takes the opportunity to run out to an internet cafe to update the website.  After a quick shower and watching live on TV some demonstrations in the streets, we are ready to head out for dinner.

 

Based on the recommendation of the helpful guy at the information office, we went to a local steak place in San Telmo.  And it was a great choice.  It did not look like much, but it was filled with locals and the food was great.  The steaks must have been some of the best we have ever had.  We had huge portions of french fries and some salads to go with it.  We picked out a bottle of wine by going to their wine stock and chatting with the waiters.  The waiters were great - helpful, friendly and a good laugh.  We joked a lot with them.  As Lars went to go check out the selection of after dinner drinks, one of the waiters sat at our table and chatted with the ladies!!  The grappa was great to settle the stomach after all that rich food and wine.  It all came to about $25 for two people.

 

As we left the place, the streets were still deserted and we were happy to see the police presence all over the place.  We took a taxi back to our hotel.

 

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