More Bicentennial Action

25 May

I headed back down to the center yesterday to meet up with my friend Brian and some of his hostel buddies. Originally I wanted to use the free day to check out the suburb of San Isidro, north of Buenos Aires, but with the lousy weather and no one to join me, I instead chose to meet up with the guys at 3 pm for the classic car and motorcycle parade. It was another gray and nasty kind of day, and rumors soon spread that the parade had been postponed because of the weather.

Since we didn’t see any cars, we instead walked down the length of 9 de Julio from Avenida Corrientes to Avenida Independencia. It’s maybe 10 blocks or more, but with the millions of people pushing, shoving, and shuffling like penguins, it took us at least an hour to get down there. Along the way we passed by the dozens of stands represented by the 24 provinces (and the “25th province”), and also passed by musical performances on side stages.

It was like salmon going upstream for a while, to the point that you just had to let the person in back of you do the pushing and hope to keep an eye on your friends in front. I gave in to my sweet tooth by buying an ice cream cone filled with dulce de leche, something which I probably could have done without. Later, the guys wanted some food, and though choripan (sausage sandwich) was being grilled everywhere, like an idiot I picked out the one place without a line. The reason? Those sausages were cold and probably cooked a day before. We all agreed they were the worst choripans we had ever eaten.

Occasionally a military flyover went the length of 9 de Julio, but to be fair, it was maybe the lamest military flyover ever. They had a few cargo jets followed by some propeller planes which might have been impressive in the 1940s. Later they had what looked like passenger planes from one of the major carriers. No fighter jets were seen, and the noise level was the same as if we were kind of near the airport. I wasn’t expecting the Blue Angels, but maybe something a little bit deafening.

As we walked by Independencia we finally saw some of the classic cars, but again, aside from their shiny colors, these cars weren’t too impressive. There were antique buses with the traditional fileteado painting designs, as well as two antique locomotives. The Argentina/Canada soccer game was being displayed on jumbo screens, but I had to get going and called it a day. Later on the Colon Theater was unveiled after 2 years of renovations, though I wasn’t around to see it.

Today I’m heading back down to the center to see the closing ceremonies, as today is the actual Independence Day.

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