16th - 18th January 2004 - Buenos Aires
First job to do today, now that we were in Buenos Aires, was to contact Maersk Logistics and arrange to visit them in their office. We wanted to get all the paperwork and organisation out of the way so that we could relax during our last week of the trip.
We arranged to meet with them in the afternoon and decided to get a taxi to their offices rather than navigate our way round. Their offices were at the port and it was certainly a lot easier to get to than the port in Guayaquil, Ecuador. We handed over the documentation they needed at this stage and arranged to deliver the landy and sort out customs on Tuesday. It all seemed relatively painless.
On the way to the port we had seen a hotel - The Hotel Emperador - that was used by my company and we caught a taxi back there to check out the rates and the situation with parking. They gave us a really good corporate rate and so we decided to splash out for our last few days. It was also Ed's birthday on 18th and the hotel we were currently staying in, although alright, was a bit miserable and dingy. The Hotel Emperador also had parking so we could transfer over on Sunday, park the Weasel for a couple of nights and have the final sort out in a secure area, ready for putting in the container on Tuesday.
On Saturday we wandered around the main shopping district and caught the 3rd film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The cinema was incredibly cheap - only $3 each - and it was lovely to be in an air conditioned building! Can't imagine paying those sorts of prices in central London.
For Ed's birthday on Sunday we picked up the Weasel and moved to the Hotel Emperador. Driving there was fairly easy, but parking proved to be a little problem. When we had initially checked the underground parking, the height restriction had stated 2.8m. That was no problem for the landy. However, it turned out that was only referring to the entrance to the service level. The underground car park further in had a 1.9m restriction. After a bit of persuading, the manager let us park in the service area. It would still be secure there and we had no other choice. The valets were all very curious with the landy, especially being right hand drive and it wasn't long before all the staff knew who the guests were with the funny land rover.
After settling in, we headed off to Recoleta. It was absolutely roasting so we caught a cab rather than walk. There was a large artisan market outside the cemetary and we wandered around, bought a few gifts and then decided to find somewhere in the shade for lunch. There is lots of choice in the area, and we sat down outside where we could be shaded by the large trees. We then headed into the cemetary itself.
It is huge and really well kept - more like a museum than a graveyard. The most famous people buried there are numbered on a map, but most people come here to see Evita's tomb.
Evita's finally resting place
After a huge ice cream we headed back to the hotel and relaxed before going out in the evening. As we crossed the 9 de Julio we saw a large crowd and a film crew.They were making an episode of "No Fear" at the obelisk. The contestants appeared to get a few practice runs - not quite what you see on the TV.
For Eds birthday dinner we headed out to a famous Parilla as recommended in the guidebook. It was probably the worse meal we had in Argentina. The meat was a real disappointment, the waiter seemed drunk, bringing the wrong wine and forgetting things. Not cheap either. Why bother keeping the standards up when there is a constant supply of tourists! We would have to have another steak elsewhere so as not to go home with the taste of that one!
Click here for more pics of The Recoleta Cemetary