Friday, 5 April 2013

Climate shock

Home! Pottery Cottage and snow....

Flying home

Lovely LAN pilots on the flight from Buenos Aires to Sao Paulo who let Seth and Bo see the cockpit and pose for photos.

Seth was so chuffed he drew a picture for the pilots, which he gave to the stewards to pass on.

As we were landing, there was an announcement from the pilot: ' has been a pleasure travelling with you today, especially with my friend Seth, who I have just received a picture from......' Seth couldn't believe his ears and literally danced in the aisles and was telling everyone he was SETH, 'the friend of the pilot.'....

Ciao South America and such fabulous attention to small children. Back to the world where dogs are more important!! Seth is still chuffed to bits and can recite the pilot's speech 'IT WAS AS PLEEEASURE TO TRAVEL WITH YOU AND MY FRIEND SETH......'

Spectacular views on landing in Brazil. Less than spectacular seven hours of lay-over in Sao Paulo airport. We did see all of our nine bags being taken off the LAN plane though, which was very exciting for two little boys. That took up approx half an hour of SEVEN hours.

Hysteria, nostalgia, esperanza

'Along with nostalgia and hysteria, BA does esperanza very well too: waiting, hoping...', wrote Chris Moss in his recent travel piece in the Telegraph. The article was spot on, one of the best I've read on Buenos Aires, or at least the Buenos Aires I know and love.

Leaving Buenos Aires, with no firm plans to live there again, the complimentary daily we were given on the plane to Brazil, was fitting. Front page splash photo of hysterical fans celebrating an Argentine pope. Me balling my eyes out about leaving, thinking I'll keep the paper as momento of our happy years in that crazy country (although I think I lost the paper en route). Us wondering when we'll be back, hoping the boys will find a way to live in Argentina and get to know the country they were born in.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

And finally....

Our very first evening out in Buenos Aires was at La Cabrera with the Guardian stringer Hannah Baldock. We were in BA for just a week, in August 2004, to scope out places to live and Cabrera wowed us just as it has hundreds of tourists before and since. After we took the plunge and moved out to BA in December of that year, we soon met Jennifer and Zsolt, at La Bamba, where we spent our first Christmas in Argentina. So, as we're sending all our things back and plan to stay in Wales for a good while, this felt like a real farewell, and it was fitting to spend our final evening with Jen and Zsolt at La Cabrera. It has become hugely popular and touristy, and we escaped that a little with the early bird deal at 7.30pm, but still with delicious food, familiar waiters, and we had a lovely lovely time with our oldest pals in BA.

El Molino & co

Aaah, lazy autumn days at La Molina. Four years previously we'd celebrated Sethie's first birthday here and over the years we've had many happy times here with Maria Rosa and family, even one Christmas.

After a lovely day with MR and a more yummy meat cooked by asadora Luchi, later that day we had supper with the rest of the family at Alfonso and Lilian's place in Belgrano.

What an amazing family they are!


Can I have an iphone??

Sleepover with Henry whose parents are from the USofA. Henry is SIX, he has an i touch, and says water in a really cool way. He's Seth and Bo's hero! Helps that he's a really nice kid who we love having around, so Henry joined us at Jacaranda for a sleepover with the imps for their last two nights in Buenos Aires. 

Burgers and buddies

What a great welcome/farewell to Buenos Aires - scrummy burgers made by Matt (birthday boy 1) and hanging out on the terrace at Ian's (birthday boy 2) with a gang of wonderful friends. I will really, really miss afternoons like this....

Birthday boy with burgers 

Don't be fooled by Bo, we all felt like Seth

I hope we never have to travel with this much luggage again! If all goes well, all our things from Argentina will arrive in a container in Clyro and all our things will be in one place. Trips far away will be shorter stints and I'll be able to saunter up to check-in feeling very cool with my one compact pull-along suitcase.

Leaving Colonia

Our great friend and ex-neighbour from Buenos Aires, Lilian, came over to Colonia just before we left. The boys had a ball, showing her the sights and had lunch at Lola at the yacht club. Over the last week we ate at all favourite spots, La Bodeguita at sunset, with the imps and on our own, Barbot for artisanal beer and Mexican food with Tom and Kelli and kids, and pizza by the metre at La Pasiva with Gabriela and Henri. Our last evening we were drinking mate outside the house with friends until late in the evening. I'll remember our months in Colonia fondly. It's a very pretty spot, great for two small boys to have adventures away from the pressures and fears and busyness that seems to dominate the rest of the world. Once we'd adjusted to the quietness and settled into a pattern of going to Buenos Aires to see friends, we enjoyed having more time together just us four, and I spent whole afternoons reading books, it was like being a student again - but with worse accommodation. I won't miss the house one bit, and it made coming back to our own place (finally!) even more thrilling.

Two things we definitely won't find in Hay: Chivitos and coca-cola branded seating. Meeting up with Papi for a supper and sunset watching after one of his last days of field research out at the plant in Conchillas.

Washington Barbot, a road much travelled. We walked this street many times a day - to go to the almacen, fruit shop, Montes del Plata offices and Ollie's key 'informant', Luis the taxi driver. 

 The imps saying goodbye to their friend Silvina who worked at the posada nextdoor

View from our front door

 Sethie drew a picture for all the shopkeepers he'd become friends with and spent his last morning delivering them. Above with Daniel from the traditional old almacen, where three generations work at the general store, his father and his son. Daniel is the only person to have swum both ways across the River Plate estuary.

Nine bags packed and we were off!