Latest Photos from Argentina – via Instagram
Our troops landed in Buenos Aries, Argentina, on a special chartered flight to support the All Blacks when they took on the Argentinean Pumas on Saturday 29th of September 2012.
FRIDAY:For a lot of New Zealanders, soccer means nothing, but in South America it is a religion. We left our hotel and traveled to La Boca, a suburb that is defined by it’s restiance to the president (it tried to declare itself as a republic) and it’s passion for football (soccer, as normal people call it) we toured the stadium which consists of standing seats with avanchle bracades. They are there for when the fans move back to watch a goal and then pour forward. The ground is covered in razor wire and security gaurds, slightly different to what you would see at an ITM cup game. The fans from the opposite team are confined to an area that has one toilet to 3,0000 people, plus the sun is in their eyes the whole time. We then went to the heart of La Boca ‘Caminito’ where poverty was rife. However a local artist who became very famous returned all the money he had made into the community. This made the area colorful and vibrant although the whole time reminding you of the poverty it was born from. After that it was a trip back to the city and a catch up with the posse that are going to help the AB’s win tomorrow! Hola! -D
THURSDAY: The days are flying by and everyone has been great. Peeople on tour are bonding well and we are meeting up at our various hotels and sharing stories of our great time in Argentina. I got together wtih Dan Carter and we did an online press conference called the DCPC. It was a great chance to catch up with fans from all around the world and give them an insight as to what Dan is up to. I had an early night, 1:30am, which considered very early for Argentina, and then it was off for shopping in the morning. After a siesta the evening rolled around and we headed out to San Martin Rugby Club, it is one of the oldest in Argentina and had some amazing food, drink and watched training. A highlight was watching Frank Bunce have a tango off with Argentinian legend Sefarin Dengras. It is great getting a feel for the local rugby club as game day is approaching fast.
WEDNESDAY: “Eat your weight in steak,” it is not an Argentinian saying but it should be. We went down to Puerto Madero to a traditional BBQ restaurant. The salad bar was not what you would expect. It consisted of half chickens, prawns and oysters. I have never eaten so well in my life. After a great sleep we travelled out to watch the All Blacks train at a local school. Then we were luckily enough to keep the rugby theme going and I interviewed Richie, Conrad and a group of the boys for our Air NZ tour group. They gave some great insights to the team and few a things that will remain on tour! Mahe Drysdale and I were invited back to the All Blacks hotel for a team bonding session and dinner. Was awesome to meet them all and have a laugh. I even cracked out some stand-up comedy styles for the boys. After slipping in a bit of sleep I was picked up at the hotel to have a BBQ with Argentinian rugby royalty, the Contepomi brothers and Augustine Pichot. Was wonderful going to a local house and sampling some home cooked goodness. What will the next few days hold? who knows! -D
TUESDAY: Argentina is famous for a few things. One of them being steak and the other being Tango. Two hundred of us decided to combo the two. We headed off to a beautiful restaurant where they served us an amazing steak dinner and put on a Tango show. Tango is more than just dancing, it is singing as well. Beautiful couples flung themselves around the stage, an amazing singer sung ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” and then possibly the best thing I have ever seen happened – a man who looked like Antanio Banderas’s brother came on stage in a white silk onesie. It appeared that he was allergic to buttons as his chest was bared to the world. He carried what looked like pois on longer strings. He beat them on the ground dancing and using them as drums as well. This man has blown my mind.
After a well earned sleep, I pounded the pavements and expolored the city. The one thing I have learned about not speaking the language of a country is that you get very good at charades very quickly, D
MONDAY: After a comfortable 12 hour flight filled with movies and sleeping I hit the ground running in Buenos Aires. Once bags were dumped it was time to see the surrounding. I walked past the train station and into an alley where people were BBQing mystery things in homemade tin-can BBQ’s and all sorts of tacky things were being sold in stalls. I later found out this was an area you shouldn’t go to as it is frequented by pick pockets. I managed it safely and then it was time for dinner. I was picked up at the (Argentenian) dinner time of 10pm by locals Gus and Bebe. We went out to a Japanese reaturant where I embarassed myself trying to speak spanish. I said to a woman in spanish “Hello my name is Dai,” no response, I said it again, no response, and then she look at me as if I was mentally ill. It turns out I was not saying my name, I was saying “We are all going to die” over and over. Still these things happen. Back to the hotel and all in all a good first night.
Sunday morning I find myself on a tour bus soaking in Buenos Aires. The Kiwis on the tour with us are wonderful and there is lots of laughs. We end up at a famous cemetery (literally the dead centre of town). We saw amazing mausoleums, a lot of cats who have weird admirers and the resting place of Eva Peron. I found out Buenos Aires has the worlds widest Avenue. I can only hope it has the second longest cul-de-sac as well.
Then markets where I bought a great knife and fork holster which I will be using to impress many BBQ kings over the summer months. The food is amazing the company is great and if the highs keep coming at this rate I will be well over stimulated by game time next Saturday!