Saturday, 1 November 2014
The McBaby's job options are at present likely to be either cowboy, pirate, runner or Peppa Pig episode tester. So to fulfil the first option, we took himto see some real life cowboys when we were in Buenos Aires. Argentina is well-known for its "gauchos" and you can spend a few days in the countryside on an "estacion" living the life of a real life cowboy.
We didn't stray far from the city so decided to do the toddler-friendly version of the gaucho ranch by taking the McBaby to the Feria de Mataderos. This takes place every Sunday in Avenida de Lisandro del Torre which is quite some way from the centre of the city, so we took two buses, including the 55 out to the sticks, making the journey equally eventful as the destination.
(This was the journey where I inadvertently nearly caused a riot because I was holding the McBaby and a young woman didn't give me her seat. On the same trip, the bus driver accidentally closed the door on a woman getting on the bus and so we departed minus one of her shoes. Then another woman got her handbag stuck in my dress, and ripped away, leaving a giant, embarrassing hole in my fabric).
A very helpful woman pointed us in the right direction, and we arrived in searing heat to see people dressed in traditional garb, dancing, waving handkerchiefs and singing. This seemed like one of the most authentic experiences that we had in Buenos Aires; the place wasn't quite was elegant as the rest of the city and most people here were locals enjoying a fabulous party atmosphere. All of the most essential Argentinian food items were available from stall holders and we did our best to sample the lot; churros, choripan (a filled sausage sandwich which I didn't taste but smelled amazing), panchos (ditto, this time a traditional hot dog), ice-cream (wow, Argentinians eat a lot of ice cream!) and empanadas.
There were a number of stalls selling hideous gnome-like creatures. These are called "Duendito" and are good luck elves that you can personalise for people.
The McBaby got a bit hot and bothered, so we didn't buy any of the huge array of handmade traditional crafts on offer or see the Carerra de Sortija where the horsemen show off their skills with a race. Watchign the traditional folk dancing and seeing the colourful characters walking around was a great experience, and one that came quite far down the list in all of our guidebooks, but our most treasured memory of our trip.