The holidays are over, the new year has begun. Summer has started. And, Buenos Aires is empty.
How a huge city like this, always so busy and loud, can become so quiet and empty in such a short period has always been a mystery to me. Right now the city is empty. Now you can cross big busy lanes when the light is red, but also, shops are closed, restaurants are on holidays, and all you see is tourists. Many Many tourists.
The heat is too much to do anything, and how the tourists manage to sit on the top floor of the open tourist busses, I don’t know, but I suppose the urge to see and to get to know this wonderful city is really big. Unfortunately now the city is not as is usually is. It is completely different. It is like another world. Maybe it is not quite dead, but it certainly is sleeping.
But where did all the people go? You would say that most Argentines are in Punta (Punta del Este in Uruguay), for ages this has been the place to be for the well off, although nowadays it is not just the rich that go there, but also the huge middle class.
I was lucky to be invited to go to Punta in December, that is when everything opens although it is still as good as empty. In restaurants you are received by tens of waiters, literally waiting for a client, and you are treated as a god. The beaches are as good as empty, and you can easily drive around without being stuck in traffic. This is probably when Punta is the nicest…
I don’t really understand the hype, it is nice, yes, but to me it is a strange and very artificial place, full -realy full- of houses and apartments, and for 3 months a year there are people, lots and lots of people, the other 9 months is it dead and empty. I am told that in winter they even turn off the traffic lights…
Uruguay does have a few pros, and one of them is certainly the delicious fresh fish. We were absolutely delighted with Lo de Charly in Manantiales, where delicious fresh fish is served in an excellent way. Charly might be Argentine, his fish certainly isn’t!
But when it comes to beaches, to me, nothing can beat Cariló in Argentina… it is a lot quieter, more beautiful, and not so artificial, but if next year we are invited to Punta again, we will definitely not hesitate to accept the invitation. Hehe.
Let the summer begin!
PS pictures taken between Punta Ballena and Jose Ignacio, with in the middle Punta del Este, Uruguay