It’s with very mixed feelings when I’m finally leaving Mendoza. It has been 10 amazing weeks spent in one of the biggest wine districts of the world. 10 weeks with people I’ll never forget, a house I got to love, a nature so incredible beautiful and a guy to whom I’ll leave a piece of my heart. But my wild, adventurous soul won. The journey must go on. New countries and places are waiting to be explored. New people are waiting to step into my life and new adventures are waiting to be outlived.
Before leaving Mendoza, I did some amazing trips. I went to visit Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Western and Southern hemisphere with its 6.962 meters, and I visited the incredible Inca bridge near by. I went sandboarding in the desert at Altos Limpios and I did a road trip to San Rafael and the stunning Atuel Cañón. I got to celebrate my birthday in an Argentinean manner with friends and colleagues in the garden of the hostel and I got to experience something rare: Snow in Mendoza City.
All these are memories I’ll take with me together with all the others. It’s no secret that I’m going to miss Mendoza and my life here but at the same time, I can’t wait to see a bit more of Argentina and then Uruguay and Brazil before making my way to the States in October.
A City to Fall in Love with: Buenos Aires
Next stop after Mendoza, is Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. A place I always wanted to go, and after 17 hours in a bus I’m finally here. In Buenos Aires I’m greeted by a warm, loving wind which kind of gets me thinking that the name for the city is a great match. The climate is really something else than Mendoza, and even though I love the mountains, it feels good being close to the sea again.
During my days in Buenos Aires, I spend hours upon hours walking the streets of the city. I make my way down to Plaza de Mayo where the mothers of the disappeared still protest every Thursday afternoon. I feel history coming alive at Casa Rosado where Eva Perón (Evita) waved at the crowd from the balcony. It almost makes me want to sing “Don’t cry for me Argentina…”. Later on, I visit her grave at Recoleta cemetery. A cemetery so incredible beautiful and grand filled with this mysterious energy telling tails about the past.
At Puerto Madero, I enjoy a stroll and lunch at the seaside in the sun, and in Palermo Viejo, I find a spot at Plaza Serrano just watching live pass by. In cosy San Telmo, I take a stroll through the cobbled streets while I’m feeling myself getting hungry from all the amazing smelling restaurants serving big cuts of meat or pasta. After a drink at Plaza Dorrego, I make my choice for the evening: Dinner at Cafe San Juan, and oh God it is worth every peso. On Sunday, I make my way back to San Telmo to indulge in the weekly Sunday market. But before, I visit the colourful neighborhood of Buenos Aires: La Boca. A place created by migrants years ago. A place for the working class filled with colourful, old houses. I love the trashiness of the area, and if it weren’t for the warnings of the area not being too safe, I would have spent hours walking the streets taking one shot after another with my camera.
When night time falls, I’ll take myself on a date and watch a tango show at the famous Café de los Angelitos. To be honest, it somewhat of an experience to do a tango for one but I couldn’t leave Buenos Aires without getting a feel for the tango. After all, it is the city where it all started.
In all, I’m mesmerized by the magic of Buenos Aires. I’m intrigued by all the small cafes where the porteños are sipping away their cortados smoking on a cigarette while reading the day’s newspaper. I’m enchanted by all the small shops and markets selling anything from small local delicates to the finest meat to old antiques and colourful clothes. I’m amazed by the size of the city and most of all, the size of Avenida 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world with up to 16 lanes at its widest stretch. I’m in love with the architecture of the city which in many ways reminds me of Paris or some other amazing city in Europe. And most of all, I love how all the sudden, you’re in the middle of a tango lesson at some random place.
A Last Goodbye
While I’m writing these words, I realize that I had just my last piece of Argentinean meat and my last cup of Argentinean red wine because tomorrow my journey will go on, taking me to Uruguay. A new country and another adventure. Once again, my feelings are mixed. I’m definitely going to miss this gorgeous place. The country I so far ended up spending the most time in during this journey. In all two and half months. Most of all, I’m going to miss the the people of the country. This has by far been the warmest and friendliest people I’ve met in all of Latin America which is a big thing to say after visiting 13 of the Latin American countries (okay Colombia gets close as well). I don’t know whether it’s the Italian roots or what it is, but the the people I met here are some of the most warm-hearted and friendliest people. I know that kisses on the cheeks happen almost everywhere in Latin America but here it’s done with such a warmth. Even when the guys do it on another guy. Here family and friends mean everything, and here new friends take you under their wings making sure you have snacks and amazing literature about the history of Latin America to take with you on your journey. Here taxi drivers are seriously interested in your story and they’ll even pick you up again for free when they realize they’ve just let you go on the wrong corner. Here you’re treated like a member of the family when you participate in a family dinner. Here being social and together means everything.
And while I make my way back to the hostel to pack up my gear, the rain starts falling. A perfect way to end a blue Sunday filled with the sentimental emotions of another goodbye with a beautiful country.