The New Year in a new continent
Dear family and friends, we hope you had a good start into the New Year. We spent our New Year’s Eve and the New Years day in Auckland. On the New Year’s Day we already continued our journey and flew to South America, to Buenos Aires. Our flight was at around 8pm and after an 11 hrs flight we arrived in Buenos Aires at around 3:30pm on the same day, the 1st of January 2017. It was somehow weird to cross the day borderline, it was an 11 hrs flight but we arrived even earlier than we departed on the same day. The flight itself was nice, we flew for the first time with the Boeing 787-Dreamliner. Air New Zealand had a nice entertainment system and after a few hours nap the 11 hrs went quickly over. The time difference between New Zealand and Argentina is 14 hrs, at the beginning we had trouble with the Jetlag, but luckily it was over after a couple of days.
Buenos Aires welcomed us with a warm sunshine weather at around 28°C. Our standard procedure when we arrived somewhere in a new country is always to get some cash from the ATM and to buy a prepaid SIM card for our smartphones to have internet access, until now it worked out quite well. In Buenos Aires we booked a small apartment through Airbnb, we stayed in total 9 days there. We stayed here so long because Mery took a Spanish language course to improve her basics skills for one week and I started a basic online course to be familiar with some words. Without Spanish knowledge it´s almost impossible to talk with the local people, almost none of the people we met could speak English. Our lessor Maria was a very nice and hearted lady, she brought us a few times food, really lovely. Originally her parents were from Japan, but she grew up in Argentina and is now in the second generation here. There are a lot of Japanese people leaving in South America.
In Buenos Aires we walked a lot through the city, you can see beautiful old historical houses. This city has definitely its own flair, but it´s also very big, for me it´s already too big. We also took a ride on the hop on city bus which drives through the large area of the city, they have three different routes, but some lines are very crowded. Mery visited a Tango dance performance and I visited the La Recolate cemetery. The La Recolate cemetery is the last resting place for all famous Argentina people who once lived, amongst others also of Eva Peron (also known under Evita). I also visited the president palace Casa Rosada where Eva Peron hold her speech to the nation. In total we didn´t do that much activities here in Buenos Aires as we tried to learn Spanish, only in the afternoon we could do some city sightseeing, we also needed to do some bookings and trip scheduling. The people in Buenos Aires love dogs, unfortunately this causes a lot of dogs pooh on the sidewalk, you really have to watch your step, if not you have an additional perfume with you.
Across Buenos Aires at the other side of the river is Uruguay. The river is called Rio de la Plata, a 120km wide river which is the second widest in the World after the Amazonas. We made a day trip to Uruguay by boat, to Colonia Del Sacramento, an UNESCO World cultural heritage site. The boat ride was not long, less than 1h and you are already there. The old historical part of the town is nice to see, old houses from the colonial era of the Portuguese and Spain, and some streets are lovely covered by beautiful alleys.
From Buenos Aires we will continue our journey to the Iguazu waterfalls, we will keep you updated.