When we got off the Plancius, we had a couple of days in Ushuaia to get our land legs back and have a few more drinks with some of our shipmates, before flying up to Buenos Aires for a month. Originally we were only passing through for a few days, but as our budget got more and more stretched, we figured that it was time to take some budget friendly decisions.
As we will be planning to go back to Brazil some time in the future, and it is one of the more expensive countries in South America, we decided to only do a small bit of Brazil this time, and save some money. It is relatively inexpensive to rent a flat in BsAs, and with our own kitchen we can cook for ourselves often enough to make up for the steaks and wine that we inevitably buy.
As it turned out, with me feeling decidedly under the weather still, it was good to have a break from travelling to have a chance to get over it. It also allowed us some time to catch up on some of our practical issues like planning our route for the rest of this year, thinking about our plans for the summer and booking flights for next year.
So we had a month of relative relaxation in BsAs, with its fabulous graffiti and the paseoperro dogwalkers, spending plenty of time in cafes.
The weather was much warmer than last time we were here as it is the tail end of their summer. It was generally around the high 20s to early 30s, so even the Porteños weren't complaining about the cold this time. It did however rain a few times. On our first full day, when we were moving from our hostel to the flat, it bucketed down. It was literally stand outside for a few seconds and get completely drenched.
Unfortunately the taxis here are a law unto themselves and refused point blank to take us with our rucksacks. In the end, with little time to spare to meet the rental people, I stayed in a cafe with the bags so that Nic would be unhampered by them and could get to the flat. By the time he came back it was largely stopped and we both walked up. A few taxis sounded their horns at us to see if we wanted to use them - oh now they want our business - and it was only the fact that these were probably different drivers that stopped them from getting a mouthful of abuse.
Other than that, we we lucky to be able to avoid the downpours, and could instead watch them from the safe harbour of either the flat or a cafe. They were worth watching for the sheer volume of water that they dropped and the amazing thunder and lightening.
One evening we were sat in a cafe and watched the road become almost a river, and pieces of tree and other debris flowing along it. The rain set off car alarms and drenched anyone who moved. We later heard that four people were killed in the centre and a further eleven in the suburbs of BsAs. The wind had been 60 miles an hour, with reports of it reaching 75 miles an hour at times. Most of the people killed were hit by falling trees or masonry, but one was electrocuted by a fallen power cable. Ten people were injured by a church roof that lifted off and landed where they were waiting for a bus.
We were glad that we had been inside a restaurant. Just as an aside, the restauant that we ended up in was one that had a lot of bottles with messages on around the walls. At the end of the meal they asked us to write on ours. It is the one third from the left at the front above the bar.