02.05.2008 - 06.05.2008 21 °C
´Follow, follow, follow, cause United are going to Moscow´
Old Trafford and the Manchester United supporters
Hello blog fans
It hasn´t been long since I last wrote but so much has happened I thought I had better start updating the blog. We have moved into a funky little apartment in the Palermo Viejo district of Buenos Aires. We are on a quiet street but only 2 blocks from a little square surrounded by cool bars, restaurants and shops. The whole area has more than enough bars and restaurants to keep us busy until we fly home.
Unfortunately I also got pickpocketed on the underground, ba**ards. It all happened so quickly that I didn´t realise my wallet had gone until after they had got away. How they managed to unbutton my trouser pocket and get it out so quickly I will never know.
We have also been the ´el classico´, Boca Juniors v River Plate, joined a gym and booked a 3 day/2 night trip to Iguazu Falls. Despite the pickpocketing we are loving Buenos Aires, it is a fab city.
Friday May 2nd, Carla Jennifer Easton´s 23rd birthday
The day started well. The sun was shining and we had lunch sitting outside a nice pub in Palermo and then checked out our hostel and moved into our apartment that we have rented for one month. We met the owner and the agent and all went well. I was literally skipping down the street in the sunshine as we were delighted with the apartment. Small, but spotless and modern. It is a great feeling to have our own place for one month after 11 fairly hectic months of travelling.
We got the underground to 9 de Julio and went to change to get the underground to Plaza San Martin. As we got on there was a scuffle with people getting on then deciding they wanted to get out. I was involved in the scuffle and after it finished I realised my wallet had been pinched out my trouser pocket. I had combats on and the wallet was locked in with a button, fairly safe I thought. Somehow one of the guys, I think there were 2 or 3 of them in the scam, unbuttoned my pocket and lifted my wallet without me even feeling it. As soon as I realised I erupted with a rage and barged my way out the train as the doors were shutting and dragged Lynn with me. But it was already too late, they had disappeared into the crowd. Probably a good thing as god knows what would have happened if I had caught up with them.
We immediately found an internet cafe and got the numbers for our bank and credit card and cancelled them immediately. Unfortunately there was also around 100 pounds in the wallet as we had lifted money to go to the BA office and change our flights home.
I eventually calmed down but was raging that I hadn´t noticed something suspect was up.
At night we had dinner in the apartment and a few beers to calm down!
Saturday May 3rd
Lynn´s Mum phoned our new flat at 8am and woke us up. My Mum also called and we chatted before watching the Manchester United 4 v 1 West Ham game with breakfast in bed! Top goals from Ronaldo and Tevez ensured an easy victory.
After the game we walked down to the gym that we have joined for a month, around 6 blocks from our apartment. We spent an hour running and doing some light weights to break us back into the routine. On the way back we stopped off at a nice local supermarket and bought some food for the flat and returned to have beefburgers for lunch and then a wander round the leafy streets of Palermo Viejo.
There are some cracking shops in the area and I boughta couple of tshirts, a shirt and a jacket. Lynn got a sripey crossover shirt and a vintage tshirt. Buenos Aires is a well dressed city and our old backpacking gear just isn´t in vogue!
At night we wandered down to a local sushi bar and got 40 pieces to takeaway and had them for dinner with a nice cold Quilmes from the fridge.
Sunday May 4th
Boca Juniors 1 v 0 River Plate
One thing I really wanted to do in BA was go to a Boca Juniors game, so imagine my delight when the fixtures came out and Boca were playing their arch rivals River on May 4th. Maradonna used to play for Boca, as well as Tevez of United and Gabriel Batistuta. They have a rich and interesting history, as do River.
We were picked up by our mini bus and guide from Tangol at 12.45 and driven to the game. Amazingly someone else in the bus had a bit of Scottish history, Duncan McPhee from Santiago in Chile has a Scottish Grandfather from Greenock! He is also friends with Seb Rozenthal who used to play for Rangers.
We got to the ground a full 2.5 hours before kick off and met some other people who had booked through Tangol and transferred to the areas of the ground we were all in. The guide didn´t want to hang around outside as he said there would be trouble between the two fans and supporters have been known to get mugged for their ticket! This is a game that the whole of Argentina wants to see and the streets were deserted on the way in. The country stops for this game.
We took our seats high up in the stand behind the goals, opposite from the stand where the River supporters occupied the third tier. We were high up in tier 2 and it was steeper than the North Stand at Old Trafford, which is saying something! The result of the steep stand ensures you have an amazing view and are almost on top of the action when the play is at your end.
The reserves played a 45 minute match to warm the crowd up. Not that the crowd needed much encouragement. The River end was already full and the rest of the stadium soon filled up. At the bottom of our stand a group of kids through rolled up ticket tape into the crowd, enough so that pretty much everyone had one. Behind us a group of supporters prepared a huge flag that would cover the whole stand!
As the teams came out the ticker tape throwing started, creating an amazing sight. Anyone who has seen footage of the Argentina v Holland 1978 World Cup Final will know what I mean. Then the flares started and then the flag was passed down over the end of our tier and into thetier below. Some amount of work must have gone into the creation of this flag!
The game was delayed as the stewards battled to clear the River goalmouth and Boca fans played at trying to hit the River keeper with ticker tape that wasn´t unrolled! The game eventually kicked off and River started brightly with their number 30 looking particularly skillful. Boca started to gain more possession and their number 9 was sent clean through on goal, forcing a good save from the River keeper. The resulting corner was headed powerfully into the net and the stadium went wild.
River never recovered and although they had a lot of possession I can´t remember them forcing a real save from Boca. Boca had further chances to score but didn´t take them.
We waited for the crowds to clear and made our way back to the bus and then back to the flat. We decided we couldn´t be bothered cooking and found a nice restaurant a few blocks away that I will need to go back to as I can´t remember the name of it. We had a delicious meal, I had an amazing piece of meat, a good 4 inches thick, while Lynn had fish and lovely creamy mashed potatoes, washed down with a bootle of fine Argentine win - Torrontes Vinci Domingo. Amazingly we bumped into Duncan and his girlfriend, and we thought BA was a big city!
Monday 5th May
After a light breakfast we headed to the gym where we had a medical test to ensure we are fit and healthy. After 11 months on the road you can´t be sure! Our heart and lungs were fine and we had another hour of exercise and then walked back to the apartment, picking up some laundry from a local laundrette on the way. 2 big bags of washing for only 3 pounds!
We then got the underground into Central and went to the British Airways office to change our ticket home but you couldn´t do it in person! We then walked to the Tangol office and booked a ticket for the River Plate v San Lorenzo match on Thursday night. Should be a good one as River are 2-1 down from the first leg, it is the South American version of the Champions League. We also booked a 2 night/3 day trip to Iguazu Falls for May 15th.
After a relatively productive day we had dinner in the flat, with me cooking some nice fresh noodles, chicken, veg and sauce. It is great having our own place to relax in. We have stayed in some cracking hostels, but also some that have been very noisy.
Tuesday May 6th
After a long lie we went to the Subway police and filed a report in case we can claim some money back through our insurance. After that we had a wander around some shops and found a Levis Outlet store only a few blocks from our flat and Lynn bought a nice top.
We plan to have a very chilled afternoon and evening, likewise tomorrow, apart from the gym and then go to the football on Thursday night.
Catch you soon
Murray and Lynn