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…
Argentina: a country where you can get ice cream delivered to your door after midnight, where the number of variations on dulce de leche flavour can run into double figures, where homeware stores sell serving dishes that are just the right size for a one-kilo tub. Ice cream isn’t just an occasional treat here, it’s an essential food group.
Juicy, brimming with fruit and generally packing a satisfying punch for your peso, Bonarda is emerging from the sideline as an easy-going alternative to Argentina’s flagship red Malbec. It’s perhaps no surprise. After all, the country is awash with the variety, this being the second most widely planted grape in the country.
Buenos Aires and its porteño residents have never been a particularly disciplined lot, so the idea of sending visitors on a traditional sightseeing tour complete with an officious flag-bearing guide is wrong on all accounts. However, BA, as creative as it is, offers a whole host of alternative ways to see the city via its street art, boutiques, sacred grape and a photography workshop.
In the booming Argentina of the 1920s, the hip place to look to for ideas if you were an artist or intellectual was mother Europe. Jazz had just become all the rage over there, and hence arrived in Argentina not via the United States, but rather from the likes of Paris, London and Berlin. As the ‘new’ music began to take off in Buenos Aires in the ‘30s, it met with some resistance from certain quarters who viewed it as too foreign, and a threat to traditional types of music such as folklore and tango.
The Patagonian Lake District, with its famous Siete Lagos route, is undoubtedly one of Argentina’s outdoor highlights. It’s stunning whichever way you go, but nothing beats on horseback. The days pretty much go like this: wake up in camp, light a fire to warm water, drink some mate tea, lazily eat some facturas (pastries), saddle up and hop on a horse, amble around some of the world’s most idyllic countryside, get off the horse, set up camp, help the gaucho with an asado, eat meat and drink wine overlooking a mirror flat lake, sleep into a divine slumber.
When travelling to a country of such imposing latitudes as Argentina, one of the key issues you’ll need to consider is how to cover the often enormous distances between the top sights, cities and attractions. Luckily Argentina has an excellent infrastructure and an efficient flight network, but before you rush to the nearest online booking engine, it pays to be armed with some basic information and advice that may well save you money and ensure a considerably smoother journey.
Here’s a sign of the times: type ‘Why is Argentina so…’ into Google and one of the auto-complete options it offers is ‘expensive’. It’s the question on everyone’s lips, and one we can’t really answer in a short blog post, so let’s just stick to the basic facts: soaring inflation has left the prices of 2002 far behind. Here are The Real Argentina’s tips for following in their trend-setting footsteps when shopping in Buenos Aires.