Sunday, 23 September 2018

An Argentinian journey. Part one, Buenos Aires

My other half (OH) has taken 'almost' retirement.

To celebrate he has dragged me to Argentina, because I happened to mention some time ago that I would like to see the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. The best salt pans in South America are in the high altitude altiplano and puna of Chile and Argentina, and the Salar de Uyuni amid the Andes in southwest Bolivia.

We have a long trip, starting in Buenos Aires, and finishing in Chile, taking in both the puna and altiplano, but not the Salar de Uyuni on this particular trip. The Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world, and will have to wait for another day.

Patience is a virtue; who am I to complain when we have such an exciting itinerary ahead of us, crossing the Andes from Argentina to Chile.

But first we must see Buenos Aires and do the 'city' thing.

I would have opted to head straight to the countryside, to open spaces and wild places.

But there are sights to see here.

First we headed to the small local shops in search of batteries.

I was taken with the brush department.

So colourful. And such a selection.

I resisted, and made do with a plastic mug for making tea in. ( Hotels here don't have kettles).

Next we wandered up to the pink palace ( Casa Rosada) at the Plaza de Mayo, where Eva Peron used to live.

Casa Rosada , Buenos Aires

Life here is hard at present. Local people are tired of their politicians, and the devaluation of the currency is causing much hardship.

For us this makes prices very reasonable.

A cafe lunch at Cafe Puerto Rico was quiet on a Saturday.

Truth speaks in silence

Cafe Puerto Rico, Buenos Aires

Mostly we walked and ate.

Meat, beer and more meat. A certain person in heaven.

We found an exhibition about meat. OH easily persuaded to visit.

Carne ( meat)

The exhibition of meat facts accompanied by paintings of juicy steaks.

from the 'Carne' exhibition by Micaela Gauna


Obviously that made us hungry, but before eating 'we' needed a beer.

cerveza (beer)

No prizes for guessing which one OH had.

I, of course, had the 'Scottish'.

We walked some more. Long distances along wide streets.

La Recoleta cemetery was fascinating and morbid altogether.  Enormous mausoleums to contain the departed. Displays of wealth and importance.

Dead people; some coffins visible through broken window and door panes. A bit close for comfort.

So many 'streets' that you need a map.

La Recoleta, Buenos Aires

Resting place of Eva Peron

Eva Peron - much loved Argentinian

And the tragic story of a young girl who died in an avalanche.

Accompanied by her faithful companion, nose stroked by many who pass by.

After all that walking I demanded some culture. There are so many wonderful art galleries and museums in the city, it was hard to choose just a couple.

We managed the Museo de Arte Moderne (MAMA)

The photographs of Argentinian history were particularly moving. Thousands of boys 'disappeared' under the military dictatorship in the seventies and eighties.

Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo demonstration 1983, photographs by Aldo Sessa

White headscarves were worn by the 'Madres de Plaza de Mayo' movement.

After that a more light hearted exhibit, aptly titled

"Huevos en el piso"

( eggs on the floor)

'Entrevidas' a performative installation ; huevos en el piso by Anna maria Maiolino

We resisted temptation........

There was some eccentric performance art from the 1969 body of work set up by F.E Walther and photographed by Tim Rautert.

Having recently met Richard Long of  'A Line made by walking' fame, I was amused by these alternative views on the line.

OH was seriously not amused by all of the above, so we had a nice cup of tea, and then out for some more meat.

A brief trip to the Museo de Arte Latinamericano de Buenos Aires ( MALBA) the next day was somewhat better tolerated.

Cindy Sherman was deemed to be 'really weird', but OH interacted very nicely with some paperclips and padlocks hanging from the ceiling in a work from Pablo Accinelli's Nubes de Paso.

'I did blow them, and they moved'............. he informed me.

I preferred Pablo's feather dusters.

feather dusters from Nubes de Paso

The would have gone very well with a nice red brush.

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