Buenos Aires in the summer is hot. A few years ago, someone somewhere took their giant cigarette and burned a hole right through the ozone layer above the city, creating saunas out of any homes lacking AC and forcing Argentines to develop a system for having a constant supply of ice to cool water when the cold tap runs hot (note the buckets of ice in freezers decanted from the ice trays). Most of the summer is spent sweating it out on the sidewalks, wishing for a pool…
Flags swirl, banners fly, balloons reach high into the clear Buenos Aires sky. The communal voice of 50,000 of Argentina’s most fanatic fans overwhelm Boca Junior’s Bombonera stadium. Shirts are swung, songs screamed out. Frenzied fans let off fire crackers and fireworks. On the east stand drums beat and horns blast, while above them the outnumbered enemy, dressed in the red and white jerseys of River Plate, try their best to drown out the Boca crowd.
Selección Argentina are through to the final 16 with Messi back on form. “Dale! dale! DALE! Vamos Argentina! Yeeeaahhhhh!” Or, should I really say: “phew”. The good news is that we’re (that’s Argentina and all their supporters) through to the final 16. Great news for sure. But, let’s be honest, La Selección didn’t make it easy on themselves, despite having a particularly easy group.
So… will they, won’t they? They are, and always have been, one of the best football teams in the world. Of that no one has any doubt. They had Maradona as a player (good), they had Maradona as a manager (bad), and they have Messi. Messi! At the 2014 World Cup, what could possibly go wrong?
While most porteños love to eat cow, very few actually look like one. Just because you are visiting the land of beef, wine and 5am Fernet boliche binges, doesn’t mean you’ll have to pack on the carb-ed out kilos. The Argentine lifestyle may look like a dieters worst nightmare, with red meat a plenty, empanadas galore, extra cheese on the side and a never-ending glass of overflowing Malbec, this weight and appearance conscious city continues to bring their sexy back and stay fit.
The latest in our series of interactive guides turns its attention to football (it was only a matter of time). Here we look at an eclectic bunch of stadiums, restaurants and sights.
At times, the pace of life in Argentina can be a little hectic. Buenos Aires especially moves at just one speed – fast forward – and while that is part of its charm, there are occasions when one needs to step away from the urban rat race and, say, spend a few hours walking around in the great outdoors pursuing a little white ball. A round of golf is the perfect antidote to inner-city blues…
This year Los Pumas, Argentina’s celebrated national rugby team, will end one chapter of their history and begin an exciting new one. Their gruelling quest for international recognition as a true rugby power will finally be completed in Cape Town on August 18 when the Argentinian rugby team takes on South Africa’s Springboks in this year’s edition of The Rugby Championship, the Southern Hemisphere’s elite annual tournament. A week later, on August 25, history will be made again as Argentina play their first home game of the competition in Mendoza.
The Argentine football league varies in quality from entertaining and unpredictable to scrappy and, well… unpredictable. The one thing for which it can be relied on, however, is its ability to produce a seemingly endless stream of talented youngsters – the best of whom inevitably end up moving to Europe’s richest leagues and quite often, to international superstardom.
Could there be a better day? An exhilarating few hours whitewater rafting along the mineral blue meltwater of the Andes before pulling over for an asado brimming with meat and a glass brimming with wine, before a gentle meander downstream. I can think of fewer ways I’d rather spend a sunny day in my favourite country. When Pacahmama (Mother Earth) created Argentina’s geography, or more accurately, its geology, she was in a fun-loving mood…