Squeezing the most out of life | An Aussie and a Colombian living life with a wandering spirit. Eight years together & over 60 countries up our sleeves, we're sharing the love |

End of the line and back

After 3 weeks of hard concrete in Buenos Aires it was time to get a random train to a green space. A place where the vast sky of the low lying pampas could be fully appreciated.

With this in mind we headed North West on the Tigre train line towards the outskirts of the mega city. Changing lines at Victoria we got a country rattler to the end of the line.

As the train rumbled through the suburbs, past parks, dense apartments and track side shacks I felt the intensity of the city drop away. The sprawling pampas grass became ocean like around us, burnt corn coloured textures and faded caramel bushes. A dry and cattle eroded waste land. Occasional Ranchos interrupting the solitude.

After a few hours, the last stop, Capilla de Senor presented itself. A neat and colourful surprise, the dead Sunday peacefulness we where seeking. The streets where chilly and sun washed as we walked in search of a country style lunch spot. Nothing else to do but contemplate food, and for Andres to finally try some highly merited Argentine meat.

I’m still in awe of the beauty of the architecture, disheveled doorways, chirpy painted colours and an overall rustic simplicity. The streets where planted with fruiting orange trees and the local square was groomed with pride. A truly beautiful town.

The happy accident we found was a restaurant called Fonda Habia Una Vez (Once upon a time inn). Behind a dirty rose facade and wrought iron gate we wandered into a garden kitchen with the restaurant in the old house. Mosaic tiled floors, quirky antiques and a pot belly stove greeting us. Late for lunch at 4pm the kitchen kindly stayed open.

Possibly the best meal we have eaten here yet. I had fat parcels of spinach and ricotta stuffed ravioli and Andres licked the bones off the local pork ribs with buttered rice. Washed down with a ‘higher than used to’ standard of house red we reached some kind of happy place.

With no where to stay in the town we returned to the tracks. Enjoying the people watch, the rocking of the train slapping us in to siesta for a sunset return. Rested and recently used to the winter eating patterns of the locals we arrived in time for dinner at 9.30. Another culinary discovery presented itself in one of the many local pizza joints. A sea of cheese, olives, onion and tomatoes the ‘Grande’ was probably a little piggish. A litre of quaffable red and a HUGE pizza for $15 combined, our wallets can afford it but probably not our waists. Pure decadence.

It was also time to hit the local version of an Aussie RSL. But not. A milonga or dance hall where locals go to have drinks, and basically show off their tango prowess. I’ve always appreciated the sexy cool of Latin dance. A big fan of flamenco I have been excited to appreciate the Tango style, but not in a flashy extravaganza for tourists.

Down the street from where we live you can pay $15 pesos ($4.50 for a lesson) or arrive after classes as we did to watch from the dark corners.  It’s not actually sexy, but very romantic. Men whose grooming is only surpassed by their confidence gallantly approach girls who in turn patiently sip and gossip. Rejections are unheard of. Eyes closed, a few slow gauging steps; seems like the man leads the dance and the women surrender to his pace, but we all know better. Partners grip each other tightly and the music changes from upbeat and light to darkly emotional. Enthusiasm lasts until 3am – the crimson stained walls matching the atmosphere and the cheap drinks.

Intimidating? Yes. I would love to attempt the dance, it’s like trying to speak another language. First you probably have to embarrass yourself in public.

Kris

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Related posts:

How to make sweet, sweet Roti
A new culture, a new continent: landing in Latin America
A reflection on volunteering in an Indigenous Australian community
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