After so many months on the road and changing locales practically every day, there’s a certain level of relief when you allow yourself time to wind down, and truly experience a place. Even better is when after so long and so many miles that a friend journeys afar to visit and share the experience.
We started talking about Buenos Aires and meeting here as far back as late 2004 when I was still in Newport Beach and planning and preparing for my motorcycle journey. In April 2005 I held a dinner in Newport with a silent auction of wines and products donated from friends and sponsors in order to raise money for my trip. Tim flew from New York to help. And it was at this dinner and the post-dinner party at my house while under the influence of wines that didn’t sell at the auction that Buenos Aires became the decided meeting place.
It’s been a long time. A broken leg, nine months of recuperation and a slower journey south than on the first “leg” of my journey, I often wondered whether those who’d “promised” to meet me somewhere on the road would truly make it. To be sure, Tim and I have traveled together extensively. We’ve expored the backroads of the western states, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and endless trips to Napa, Sonoma and more. So here we are. Hanging in Buenos Aires.
The sure way to cool off on a hot Buenos Aires day is a cold glass of Quilmes.
Rarely do you find a long neck, 12oz or 355ml beer sold in restaurants or cafes. In Argentina it’s about sharing.
Beers come in 3/4 or liter sizes with as many glasses as you’ve got friends. And if you’re alone, it’s easy to make friends by sharing.
Our apartment is on strategically located in the fringe of Palermo and Barrio Norte between Santa Fe and Scalabrini Ortiz. With my bike safely parked at Fernando’s house and with a quick overview of our neighborhood, sites to see and plans to meet later for dinner, Fernando handed us the keys to the apartment and left us to explore Palermo.
Hot but pleasant Buenos Aires abounded with a subtle energy. The busy and noisey aforementioned streets to the calming sidewalk cafés surrounding Plaza Viejo, it became difficult to choose a place to have a beer or a glass of cold Torrentes. Yet, after a couple hours of walking the streets we finally settled at a table on the sidewalk on Honduras. For less than $9 we cooled off with a nicely chilled bottle of Torrentes and a couple empanadas for the tummy. We then proceeded to hop from café to café over the next few hours when with the sun still shining we realized that it was 9pm. We’d watched life pass by on the streets of Palermo from lunch (almuerzo) to afternoon café and tortas, to pre-dinner conversations over beer and coffee. We scrambled to get a taxi back to the apartment where a patient Fermando was waiting to take us to dinner.
So it goes for a Saturday, our first day in Buenos Aires.