Long time no hear. Hope everyone is well. I know, I just finished my last trip on November 15th. Where am I now and why? This is really my last trip of the year. I promise. Would you believe I am in Buenos Aires Argentina? Believe it. Am writing this blog at 8:24 PM from BA (Buenos Aires). Argentina is two hours ahead of the east coast time zone. Left JFK last night at 10 PM on American Airlines and flew all night. Nonstop to BA and arrived around 11 AM. An eleven hour flight. For me, it feels like going to get milk at the local grocery. Slept most of the time between meals and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” reruns. It is almost summer here. The first thing I felt was a rush of warm air hit me as I disembarked. The weather is similar to NYC weather in July. All the flowers are out and the grass is green. What is the BA Airport like? A mad maze of lines and more lines. Lines to go through immigration and then lines to get your luggage and even longer lines to put your luggage and carryons through security just in case that last bomb or gun was not found along the way. Finally got outside ate around 12:30.
Have not told you yet what I am doing in Argentina so here goes. I am on a photography trip to Patagonia and then onto Antartica. Why go there? First I could tell you that this trip will not be easy. Lots of running around and a wide range of weather. First lets start with Patagonia. I decided that since I had always wanted to go to Antartica and the way to pick up a boat to Antartica is through Argentina, then why not see and experience as much of Patagonia as I can. Some photographers have told me that the most beautiful mountains in the world are in Patagonia. We will see. More on Antartica later and what it takes to go and how to get there.
After leaving the Airport, we drove on a highway and I could see slums on either side of me. Not the worst slums I have ever seen, but slums nonetheless. We then got into the City towards our hotel. BA seems to be made up of large boulevards and started to remind me of a mixture of Madrid and Barcelona. Some of the older style buildings looked like they came from Madrid and the newer styles and some of the modern housing reminded me of Barcelona. Arrived at our hotel at around 1 PM and I decided to drop my bags in the room and take a ride around the City. We are leaving BA tomorrow morning and I decided I might never come back to BA again. Our driver who took to the hotel decided to give me a whirlwind tour for three hours. Of course, we first stopped at the ATM. Argentina currency is called pesos. 2000 pesos cost you about US$105. Took out 4000 pesos and we were on our way. The driver took me to the Presidential Palace where there were lots of old and stoic looking buildings like they were from the 1930’s. The streets are very clean and people appear to respect their environment. There was very little traffic since it is Sunday and we moved quickly around. The driver then took me to one of the most famous soccer stadiums in the world. A huge stadium that was surrounded by lots of shops, restaurants and bars. The team is named “BOCA”. We then drove to an area called “La Boca”. La Boca is a neighborhood that was full of local artists selling their crafts, restaurants, street bars and tango dancing halls. Took some very interesting shots in this neighborhood. The graffiti is awesome in BA. Street art is all over, large and beautiful. I wish I had time to just walk around and take pictures of the street art. Its that good. BA is on the Atlantic. We drove down to the harbor and saw some great looking sailboats. The humid weather and lack of sleep was starting to get to me so I decided to head back to the hotel. Took a long shower and we all met at 5:15 for dinner.
Dinner was in a restaurant named “Brandon”. The reason why I mention this is that this is the name of one of my two beautiful grandsons. A lucky omen to start the adventure. Andy ordered lots of starters and then we all ordered our main course. I decided to try the lamb. The lamb was cooked on a wood grill and was the best lamb I had ever had.
We are a group of ten plus Andy and Marc. The group comes from Mexico, California, Dallas, Maine, Virginia and New York. A good mix of different people.
We are leaving at 4 AM and flying to El Calafate in Patagonia. The flight is three hours and leaves at 6:15 AM. No rest on a photography workshop.
Talk to everyone soon