With only a limited number of days in Buenos Aires, Melisa and I were only able to scratch the surface of what the city has to offer.
We started our last full day in the city with a continental breakfast in the hotel and then ventured out to El Ateneo, a bookstore, which had been converted from an old theatre. Bookcases lined the walls and the floor, where orchestra and balcony seats once were and the former stage had been converted into a cafe. It was quite beautiful and Melisa and I spent time wandering the different levels. The kids section, located in the basement, had a painting of penguins, which had us excited for the days ahead.
After leaving the bookstore, we headed back to the Recoleta neighborhood to grab lunch. While we had hoped the restaurant would provide some reprieve from the heat, we left about as warm as we had been when we got there. Being hot, we decided to forego the trip to the Japanese Gardens that we had been planning and, instead, head back to the hotel for some time in the pool. We also used the time at the hotel to get our luggage weighed for the next leg of the trip, which we would be kicking off early the next day. Melisa and I had each prepared for the trip, packing only a carry-on bag and a personal item. We were quite proud of ourselves given the length of the trip and having to pack for the weather in Buenos Aires, Ushuaia and Antarctica. After staff weighed our belongings, we had to shift a few items around to have the right weight distribution in our two bags, but were left wondering how anyone who had packed normal sized luggage would have met the restrictions.
A good friend of mine who had spent some time in Buenos Aires had seen I was in the city and said that I should check out La Bomba de Tiempo – a live, outdoor music show -if it was still happening on Monday nights. After confirming the weekly show was still taking place, Melisa and I decided to get dinner and then catch a cab to see the show. On our way out to dinner, we were stopped by Ken, a man we had met earlier in our trip, who asked if we wanted to join him and Shelly for dinner. We decided that it was a good idea for us to get to know some of the folks who would be on our expedition a bit more, so we joined these men for dinner. The four of us shared travel stories and discussed plans for future adventures. Ken had mentioned that his goal was to take a minimum of 4 trips each year – 2 domestic and 2 international. That goal stuck in my mind and is something I hope to replicate in 2017 and beyond!
After splitting a pizza and a bottle of wine with Melisa, we said good-bye to our dinner companions and found a cab to bring us to the La Bomba de Tiempo show. We waited in line at the venue to buy tickets and then followed others into the Konex, an open space with concrete walls. As we filtered in with the crowd, we got drinks and took in our surroundings. People talked, drank and smoked, huddling in circles or sitting on the hard ground, looking completely at ease and without a care in the world as they waited for the Monday night show to begin. When the show started, a team of nearly 20 percussionists took the stage. They improvised the music, feeding off the audience’s energy as people danced to the changing beats.
This show (along with Fuerza Bruta) topped the list of things I did in Buenos Aires. The music and atmosphere were infectious. The night’s performance, like every other, was unique, offering the crowd a one of a kind experience. While I enjoy seeing tourist attractions when I visit a new place (they usually draw crowds for a reason), I also like trying to experience things the way locals do. Monday night’s show at La Bomba de Tiempo is not something I’m sure many tourists see. The show gave us a chance to interact with locals and experience something unique to the area. It was a great send off!