19th January 2004 - Buenos Aires cont'd
Monday we relaxed and took our time sorting out the Weasel and completing a packing list for customs. We had oil and a few bits and pieces we didn't want to ship home and offered them to the car park attendants who seemed pleased with the gifts.
Finally Tuesday arrived and we drove over to the port which was not too far from our hotel. So much for our assumption that it was going to be relatively painless. Customs proved to be far more complicated than we were first led to believe and it took us nearly an entire day to get everything sorted. Luckily this time we were able to sit in the shade of a building and not have to sit outside on the docks as in Guayaquil.
It was quite sad locking the weasel up in the container and send it off on it's own. .
Wednesday we went shopping and tried to arrange a bank transfer to Maersk to pay for the shipping. Not a good day to choose as all the banks were gradually being forced to close. A rather noise demonstration of old age pensioners where banging hammers on the banks railings in protest. Not sure what it was all about.
On wednesday night we met up some guys from a 4x4 club for a few drinks and dinner. ( Need to put contect website here ).
Thursday, again after a late breakfast, we headed out to try again to arrange payment of the shipping. After trawling through town to a number of banks we were unable to arrange a transfer to Maersk from Argentina. Fortunately they were OK with this and were happy for us to pay when we returned to the UK. After all, they had our Land Rover as collateral!
Having given up on the banks we headed over to Plaza de Mayo.
Every Thursday at 15:30 the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo march around the Plaza, campaigning for a full accounting of the Dirty War atrocities. It is quite a sight and a number of them hold photos of their sons who were among the "Disappeared".
At the east end of the square is the Casa Rosada, the presidential palace, so there is probably no better place for it. You can see the balcony from which Juan and Eva Peron led their political rallies and Madonna sang "Don't Cry for me Argentina" in "Evita". We didn't go into the palace itself - they were setting up for some function and so the area immediately around it was fenced off.
From here it is easy to walk over to Puerto Madero, the renovated waterfront area. It is very peaceful and there are a number of elegant shops and restaurants - definitely a business lunch area. We tried to sit down and have a drink at one of the restaurants overlooking the harbour but the waiter wouldn't serve us unless we were also eating! Fair enough if it had been lunch time and they were really busy, but there was only one other table occupied and at 15:00 it was well past lunchtime. So we walked back to the hotel for a swim to cool off, booked ourselves in for a massage on Saturday, raided the mini bar and then headed out to dinner .
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