"" Writer's Wanderings: World Cruise - Buenos Aires

Monday, April 27, 2015

World Cruise - Buenos Aires

Memories of Buenos Aires that stuck with us from a previous visit were the cemetery where Eva Peron is buried and the wonderful steak dinner we had. Those were our top priorities for this visit. With that in mind, we set out after breakfast to find the shuttle to the Calle Florida, the pedestrian shopping area and the shuttle stop.

The trip actually required two shuttles since we were not allowed to walk in the working port area. And it was a working port for sure. All day and into the night they loaded and unloaded and moved containers. We had to take a shuttle from our ship to the cruise terminal and then walk through the terminal to the other shuttle to Calle Florida.

Traffic in Buenos Aires is unbelievable and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a city with so many buses. Our shuttle bus crossed Avenida de Mayo and rounded San Martin Park to deposit us in front of H Stern, an upscale jewelry store that I suspect may have contributed somehow to our free shuttle since we were each given a sticker with H Stern on it to identify us for the ride back.

We started down Calle Florida to the sounds of people shouting, “Gambia!” or “Gambio!” At least that’s what it sounded like. They were in the business of changing USD into ARS. It’s big business there. I think they buy the USD in the hopes that they can make some money if the rates change significantly enough. It was irritating though and there were the warnings of scammers and counterfeiters.

One of our goals was to find my hair coloring product so that I could touch up my roots. Shocked? Ha! I had thought that I might treat myself to coloring on board the ship but after spending $100 to get my haircut I decided against it. I have never paid $100 for a haircut—ever! And $15 was for the conditioner she put on after shampooing that she didn’t tell me had an extra charge. So we kept eyes peeled for a pharmacy or chemist which is where you usually find that sort of thing.

Having gone as far as we dared considering we had to walk back, we turned and headed to a large indoor mall we’d seen on our way up the street. The Galleria was an upscale mall and had lots of shops where we recognized names like LaCoste, Adidas, and the usual handbag brands. The nice thing was that none of the money changers were in there, kept out by the guards at the doors.

We found a bench and sat for a few minutes while Bob checked for a nearby steakhouse. Since the shuttle back to the ship quit running early, we were going to have to find a place open for lunch. He found a highly rated (TripAdvisor) one, La Cabanas, which was not too far a walk. Most of the way was past a very nice business district that turned into a very nice area of apartments and office buildings that bordered a large marina area.

Puerto Madera is turned out was the old port area that has been turned into a beautiful area of apartments, office buildings, restaurants and shops. La Cabanas was in the middle of one of the four sections of marinas and we found a spot on their front porch to have our delicious ribeye steak and Caesar salad.

While we waited for our steak and salad, we mapped a route back to the cruise terminal. It looked to be about as far in that direction as we’d already come from Calle Florida plus we’d have to wait for the shuttle to leave and then there would be the ride back. We agreed. It would be quicker to just walk it. Besides, we had quite a meal to walk off.

At least twice there were people who approached us for directions, legitimately I think. I felt bad for the lady who looked lost near the port as we weaved our way through trucks with containers headed for the port. At least I remembered some Spanish, “No hablo Espanol. Lo sciento.”

It was a good walk albeit almost all in the sun. A quick ride from the cruise terminal to the ship, weaving in between stacks of containers and listening to the warning sounds of the big pickers as they went up and down the rows moving the big containers and stacking them or loading them on trucks or ships. I wondered if they ever dropped one. What an awful thought as we were moving between them.

That evening after dinner, we were treated to a local show of tango dancers. They presented a history of the tango through costume and dance. No oil and glitter here.

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