Bummer, my boarding pass once again got all the ´SSSS´check mark, and I was searched in SFO. I was glad that I checked in my roller bag, and my carry-on daypack was practically empty.
The flight to Dallas was as boring as the city itself, and I was so tired that I slept the whole time. While I continued to catch up my sleep on my flight to Buenos Aires, Ken was enjoying some great conversations with Gabriel, a Buenos Aires native, now a controller in Toronto, Canada. He gave us some great tips and suggestions.
Buenos Aires is a busy big city. Narrow one way streets, old buildings, uneven sidewalks, and the humidity, all remind me the old city of HongKong and Guangzhou, China, where I grew up.
Hotel Gran Hispano looked exactly like in the tour book -- beautiful Spainish style court yard garden, to where our room opens to. Each room has the old style glass panel french door, and a wooden slot panel French door in front, so you can close the outside door but leave the inside open to let air in. Bathroom is noticeable new. However, there is no window in any room but you can get sunlight from the courtyard.
We decided to go to lunch at Sobat, a Lonely Planet suggestion because it is on Avenidad de Mayo, the same street our hotel is on. It turned out that Sobat is on 25 de Mayo, a complete different street, which intercepts with Avenidad de Mayo. After about ten blocks of walking, we arrived at Sobat, which only had a tiny sign stick out that I could easily pass it without notice. It was right at noon. A waiter opened the door for us, and turned on the light. I instantly felt that I was completely out of place. This was a fancy restaurant by any standard -- white elegant table clothes, warm cherry wood walls that hang with a few poster size portrays, mostly black and white. The waiter seated us all the way at the back, and told us that all other tables were reserved. I ordered the Merluza, which is pan fried light breaded white fish, a very typical local dish. Ken had the steak. The fish was very fresh, and the steak was simply exceptional.
People started coming in at 13:00, and within 15 minutes or so, the restaurant was completely full. It was obvious that was a power lunch place -- everyone was in suits or ties, and we were the only two tired travelers. We soon learned that Sobat was the No. 1 choice by Buenos Aires (BsAs) food critics and locals, and it was both TimeOut and Lonely Planet´s top pick.
We paid a visit to Lora´s office from Chalten Travel. She helped us finalized our excursions, transportation and hotels in and around El Calafate. By the time we left her office, the streets were crazy. The famous BOCA football team, a BsAs team, just clinched the Championship. Hundreds of young people in team jerseys, waving flags rushing down the streets to the Independent Plaza, where there were already hundreds if not thousands fans gathering to celebrate. We couldn´t help but enjoyed the moment with them.