Hello everyone! There are a couple of big changes coming to The Sunday Blah! Firstly, we have a new contributor, Matt (me!) who will be updating these pages as well as the Lore you all know. Secondly, the blog will no longer be updated only on a Sunday, instead it will be whenever we have time to take a break and write during our exciting new adventure!
That’s right! The Sunday Blah has moved to South America, and will turn into a travel blog, detailing our every move throughout the coming months.
Our first few days were spent in a city 50km south of Buenos Aires called La Plata. A student town, La Plata was a good place to start, especially since it is almost completely void of tourism. We were very kindly hosted by friends and had a beautiful apartment to ourselves for the first couple of nights. Whilst in La Plata we experienced our first ‘Asado’, a very common and popular occurrence in Argentina. An Asado is similar to a barbeque but the meat is cooked over a longer period of time over embers.
One thing that stands out from our visit to La Plata is city zoo. Sadly a couple of years ago there was a large flood in La Plata and many of the resident animals died. Although sad, this has resulted in a one-of-a-kind zoo nowadays. In many of the enclosures there is only one remaining animal, and they are often shared by some stray cats (and\or rats and peacocks) that I’m sure are happy with the free food they steal from the zoo keepers!
After being in La Plata we were driven (again by our ever lovely friends Ale and Rocio) to the beach city of Mar del Plata, about 500km south. Being on Argentinian roads is quite an experience and traffic rules seem mostly nonexistent, or at least ignored whenever possible. Mar del Plata is very popular amongst Argentine tourists, but there was a distinct lack of any foreigners, much less those of the English speaking persuasion. By this time we had discovered the necessity of learning Spanish, and we are currently studying hard to do so!
By this time we were introduced to what seems to be the main pass time of Argentines, drinking Mate! Mate is a herbal tea that tastes somewhat similar to English tea, but with a distinct bitterness to it. The Mate is held in a vessel and hot water is added to it, meaning the flavour flushes into the water. This is then slurped through a straw with small holes at one end, in order to stop solid Mate herbs from being sucked up. People are never seen without their Mate bag, containing a Thermos of boiling water, Mate herbs and the vessel with straw. At every service station there is an ‘Agua caliente’ machine to dispense more hot water for the road.
And thus ends our first update, we are currently exploring the magnificent chaos that is Buenos Aires, but let’s talk about that next time.