Today was my first full day back in Buenos Aires, and I was quick to do some research about what there is left to do in the city. One place which had been in mind from the start was La Boca, which it was a definite shame to miss last time, and is the kind of place people always ask if you visited. I therefore did some research about the best way to get there, and then headed out.
La Boca isn’t on the metro system, so I had to get one of the city buses there. There’s nothing like a bit of time away to make you more confident in doing something, as I had no problems with the bus system this time (and was fortunate to have some leftover Argentine change). Before long I reached the end of the route, and was dropped off at the Plazoleta de Los Suspiros which is right in the centre of La Boca. The area itself is supposedly a ‘rough’ part of town, though I have to say I didn’t get that feeling; perhaps after Brazil I’m just used to it.
The Plaza is set right on a large bulge in the river which runs through the city, and given the bright sunshine, it made for some nice views. After taking it in I headed to the small side streets where the heart of La Boca is. Here I finally saw the multi-coloured houses the guidebooks talk about, as well as a number of bars and restaurants with people playing traditional Argentinian music and dancing the Argentine Tango. Apparently despite the Argentinian traditions on show, the early settlers in the area were of largely Italian descent, with specific emphasis on the city of Genoa. There were also a large number of souvenir shops, and caricature statues of Boca Junior football players.
The statues inspired me to take a wander to the other major sight in the area – the Boca Juniors football stadium. It was strange how the whole vibe changed simply by walking one block away from the bustling bar/restaurant area. The houses were noticeably more dilapidated and not painted with the same theme, and the kind of feral dogs I was used to seeing in Peru were roaming the streets. When I completed the five minute walk to the stadium I took a few pictures and quickly moved on since there isn’t much else to do on a non-match day.
Once I was done seeing the main sights of La Boca I got the bus back to the city centre and took a wander around the Plaza de Mayo and Florida areas, which I am now quite familiar with. By the time I was done it was getting dark, so I headed back to my friend’s place, where we all made dinner and relaxed with some beer in the evening.
Photos of the day: the main street in La Boca with the multi-coloured houses on show, and one of the Boca Junior football player statues.