Tuesday, February 03, 2009

An Al Fresco day

My final morning in Milhouse, as it was time to shift to the newer, shinier, air-conditioned splendour of the HostelSuites on Florida. Having effectively given myself a dress rehearsal when heading over there when Aina moved a couple of days earlier, it all went swimmingly, though once again I had to pop stuff in storage while they waited to get the beds cleared. So I put the time to good use by finally managing to catch up with Ana for lunch. We met up in the Plaza de Mayo, where I was treated to the sight of her hobbling in with one foot in a padded-boot setup, a result of injuries sustained whilst sand-boarding back at Floripa. Although she called it sand-surfing, which had apparently already led to one amusing misunderstanding when a colleague thought she said she had injured it salsa-ing (Ana doesn't really dance, a view I can certainly sympthise with). Still, I don't know, you leave someone to her own devices for a few days and she manages to invalid herself. Lunch consisted of a couple of empanadas (kind of like pasties) for her, and one of the biggest sandwiches I've ever attacked for me - does a steak sandwich really need ham, salad and boiled egg added to the mix (there would have been cheese, but we all know my thoughts on that subject)? All taken in one of the little al fresco cafes which contribute towards the air of European elegance for which Buenos Aires is famous.

Once Ana headed off to work, I headed back to the hostel, got checked in, and then headed for San Telmo, where I was meeting up with my other Danish friend of the trip so far, Nanna, who had arrived from Iguazu that morning and was feeling slightly marooned without her sister Mette (the two had been travelling together thus far and had now finally parted ways). We went for a wander around the neighbourhood that gave birth to the Tango (no, I don't mean the bloody soft drink, before anyone tries to be witty), having a drink in another little open-air cafe, this time in a little plaza, and then headed down to Puerto Madero, where we had a slightly more considered look-around than I had managed whilst fruitlessly searching for Ana in the baking sun the previous day. We had thought of meeting up with Aina that evening for dinner, but it wasn't to be, as she was off visiting a friend of a friend. And, to be honest, things would have got a little confusing name-wise if I had managed to catch up with Ana, Nanna and Aina all in the same day.

As it was, Nanna and I went to El Desnivel, the place which had been recommended to Aina and I back on the Saturday I arrived, where we had a very pleasant meal, rather more restrained in portion size than some of the others I'd had, accompanied this time simply by half a litre of the house red (served, bizarrely, in a china jug shaped like a dolphin). After that, we wandered over to Calle Chile (Chile St), where we found a nice little restaurant with yet another outdoor seating area and proceeded to work our way through another bottle or so of vino, this time of the Rosado (Rosé) variety, setting the world to rights, exchanging tales and just watching the world go by. I am starting to get disturbingly grown-up in my drinking - drinking wine al fresco whilst watching the world go by? What's happened to my beer-guzzling madness of days gone by? Ah well, I can't compain, it was a very pleasant, relaxing night.