The walk was great, they took us by places we had been to the days before, but we did not really know the real historical significance - there is only so much a guide book will tell you, and only so much Spanish we can translate so far (but we are getting better). We learned that Casa Rosada was originally 2 buildings, including a fortress, and it was on the banks of the river. We learned about the rise of Juan Peron and Evita, and had a very interesting chat from a man who had moved to Buenos Aires when he was 20 because he was so inspired by Evita he moved from the countryside and ended up with a very large collection of memorabilia which is now on exhibit in the room where Evita's body was kept (and later stolen from to be returned some 16 years later, damaged) and he tells tourists the stories of how he, and others were inspired by her. A thing to note here about this collection of his is that it was illegal in the time after Juan Peron was exiled to Spain to keep photos, books or memorabilia of the Perons - and he had two rooms full. He really loved Evita, you could hear it in his voice and in his eyes when he spoke about her, though he never met her in person.
That was the second most memorable thing of the tour, the most learning that there are still 30,000 people missing, they disappeared during the Dirty War (1976-1983) - and the plight of the Madres (mothers) who are still to this day marching on the Plaza de Mayo every Thursday seeking answers, they want the bodies of their children and the names of the babies who were stolen from the pregnant women who 'disappeared' when they gave birth, after killing the mothers. They began marching in 1977, some of them 'disappeared' too.
|Evita fan (right)|
|Symbol of the Madres|
After taking us to see an old house which shows the style of house the rich lived in until the 1870's and then how it became where the immigrants (about 10 per room) lived - and the Tango was born, the tour finished up with a beer in a bar which had a couple doing a few tango dances.
In the evening the hostel had a BBQ - which it does every Friday night - which is all you can eat for A$90 (about £10) pretty much everyone staying at the hostel came, it was great fun. Being in a country of salad dodgers, it was a time to fill up on salad!
The next day (Saturday) we had a cycling tour of the north of the city booked but unfortunately it was raining and we had to postpone to Monday. So we had a wonder around town, went to the Galleria Pacifico which is a pretty shopping centre in the centre of town, we saw the Oblisco, and a lot of black market 'cambio' dealers, Angel got pretty good at mimicking them 'cambio, cambio, cambio'....
|Tango, old folk style|
|San Telmo Markets|
It was then a long slog back to the hostel. phew.
For our last day in Buenos Aires we had our postponed bike tour from Saturday, luckily the sun had come out for us though it was chilly.
|Ellen ready for some cycling|
The ride back was interesting - there were 2 separate police road blocks, which amusingly our guide rode us straight through.
Now, quite knackered from 2 full on days we are going to blow our budget and have another steak dinner as tomorrow we are up very early (5am) for our flight to Bogota in Columbia.