- Day 19 -
As you may have noticed, Cass and I have not been maintaining the rigorous backpacker moneysaving discipline of cooking our own pasta in the hostel, before venturing out. In fact we freely admit we are what some call flashpackers. Many of our best travel experiences have been enjoyed over a great meal, and thankfully Buenos Aires has plenty of restaurants on offer.
On a blisteringly hot day we decided to spend the morning cycling through the city parks, picking up an Orange bike in a great sponsored collaboration with the Dutch airline KLM who now fly direct from Amsterdam. Thankfully these were a lot more reliable than those in Colonia and we quickly headed out from Palermo (bizarrely bumping into the Canadian couple once again), past the Zoological park and melting track runners, before finding ourselves (no pun intended) in the beautifully tranquil Japanese gardens. These were a gift from the Japanese emperor to the city and are some of the largest outside Japan. Order and calm are maintained while BA’s frenetic pace fizzes at its borders; the apartment blocks towering above giving the only indication another world exists outside.
When I was last in BA, after 5 days of steak, I had craved broccoli. Similarly this time, after our previous night’s carnivorous exploits and a heavy bread diet over the last few weeks, we both craved a salad. Strangely our lunchtime hunger always seems to coincide with being surrounded by great shops. However, after my “hangar” ( Hungry +Anger) kicked in and we couldn’t find the recommended café amongst Palermo Hollywood’s labyrinth of boutiques, we settled on La Salamandra, pulled in by the temptation of spoons of Dulche de Leche served with your coffee and home made Alfajores. We forced ourselves to initially stick to our good intentions and were rewarded with delicious bowls of crisp peppery arugula (rocket), torn mozzarella, meaty tomatoes and generous portions of pan fried chicken. The energy kick from the coffee and postres (dessert) though was what powered us round on the hunt for replacement leather sandals for Cass’ flapping gold ones and another obligatory stripy T-shirt for me.
After an early evening siesta to keep up with BA’s vampiric night scene, and Cass enacting a cliché by slipping on a banana skin in her new shoes, we caught the 67 bus to head out. I had hoped to repeat a night I’d done two years before, showing Cass the wonderfully characterful El Cuartito pizza restaurant, but sadly it was closed on a Monday so we headed to my second venue and dined instead at Milion. This beautifully restored terrace mansion has a Soho house feel with sweeping staircases, a delicious cocktail menu and courtyard garden where stylish Porteños relax. Opting for salmon stuffed ravioli and seabass we continued our exploration of epicurean delights, saving home cooked boiled rice for another day.
- By Ian