Suitably Stuffed

Last Sunday we finally made it to Las Pizarras – after the Easter weekend fail – and oh my, it did not disappoint!

The setting of the restaurant in itself is lovely, with big old fashioned style windows, giving it a very open feel whilst still keeping that cosy atmosphere…

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Being a bit of a special occasion, Katie and I decided to wear our capes that we bought on our trip to Uruguay 😉

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The menu changes each day depending on what is fresh from the market, making it all local (I presume…) and seasonal, and organic! Perfection. We started out by sharing 2 starters between the 4 of us – a chickpea cake on top of baked camembert and a lovely prawns combination… (It tasted a lot nicer than it looks in this horrible photo!)

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For my main course I chose the wild boar, purely on the basis that it’s something I’d be less likely to get at home. It was a tricky decision though – you can see the menu below, I would have very happily eaten pretty much everything on it! It came with carrot quinoa and roasted carrots. The wild boar itself and the carrots were incredible but the quinoa was a complete let down and tasted rather like earth… Safe to say, I left that behind.

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All of this was accompanied by some delicious Malbec (obviously). I mean, we are in Argentina after all…

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And then came dessert… Oh dessert! Not necessarily needed as such, but…so so needed. I mean, sticky pudding? Who can say no to sticky pudding? Not me, that’s for sure! This was HEAVEN. Made me think of British style puddings after a Sunday roast 🙂 a delicious sponge with dulce de leche, whiskey and cream – I mean you can almost see the nutrition, right? Yum.

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Safe to say, we were very happy campers!

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Katie, me, Tess and Tess’s friend Barbara who is visiting from the States

I cannot recommend this place enough if you happen to be in Buenos Aires! The food was delicious (ignoring the bad luck with the quinoa), the wine list extensive (and a great range of prices for all budgets) and the staff so welcoming. I left very content and suitably stuffed!

Just remember to book 😉

Do you have a particular local, fresh from market restaurant in your area?

 

 

 

 

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{MIMM} A day at the polo

Happy Monday! I can’t believe that we are about to move into May, I swear time is just getting quicker and quicker! Before I know it I’ll be back in the UK… Suppose I best join Katie and get on with recapping my glorious day on Saturday then.

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Being in Argentina it seemed more than appropriate to take a trip to the polo – although I am pretty sure it was mainly foreigners and rich Argentines there. Nonetheless, it was the perfect day. There were two games happening, the first was on the smaller, secondary pitch and was Colombia vs. The Rest of the World (?!) – to be honest I’m not sure who won as we missed half the match and were talking a lot…oops!

However, the second half of the day was AWESOME. It turned out that the main game was England vs. Argentina – I had no idea! We had the cheap seats, a bargain at AR$50 (about £3 or US$5) and were basically wooden slats but perfectly comfortable and with an excellent view. On the way to our seats we passed the England tent so stopped to say hello and (being with my slightly embarrassing American friends) I was persuaded to ask for a photo – although, to be honest, they could have been anyone for all I know about polo!

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The weather was perfect, a warm autumn day, so we decided some champagne was in order…

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…before the sky was filled with people parachuting in with the Argentine flag! Amazing!

Then after the national anthems (Argentina’s being notably longer than ours…) it was time to start the match! The score was close the whole way through, with the lead constantly swapping between the two teams… I never realised just quite how aggressive and fast paced polo can be – check out the horse up on it’s hind legs in the video below!

But in the end, England took the game! The ultimate first polo experience 🙂

Have you ever been to the polo?

{Recipe} Autumnal Apple Porridge

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I realise this might not be suited to those in the Northern hemisphere since I hear spring is well on it’s way but bare with me because this was rather delicious (if I do say so myself!). The perfect warming breakfast on a cold chilly morning – I enjoyed this after an early morning run and it was just heavenly.

Even if it may look a bit of a mess…

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Autumnal Apple Porridge

50g oats

1 pinch of cinnamon

175ml (ish) water or milk of choice

1 egg (optional)

1 apple chopped into little chunks

1 knob butter

1 small handful of cereal of choice (I used a type of All-Bran things)

Yoghurt of choice

 

Heat a pan on a medium high heat and, once hot, add your butter. When it has melted add your apple. Continue to stir until it turns a lovely golden colour, I tend to splash a tablespoon of water on every now and then which seems to help!

Whilst the apple is cooking, mix the oats, water/milk and cinnamon in a microwaveable bowl until well combined. Then crack in your egg (if using – it makes your porridge fabulously creamy as well as adding some protein and healthy fats) and whisk in. Microwave for 2 mins on high.

Add in the cooked apple, a handful of cereal (for a bit of extra crunch) and a big dollop of yoghurt and enjoy!

 

Do you find your eating changes with seasons or does it tend to stay the same all year round?

{Thinking Out Loud} Learning to love my flaws…

In the past, I’ve always been wishing things were better, wanting to change things about myself, my body, and the way I am… never thinking I was good enough. But now, I don’t. I don’t want to change… not at all. I want to learn to love my ‘flaws’.

Am linking up today’s ramblings with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud!

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1. I don’t want to ever have a perfectly flat stomach. Because then I wouldn’t have the short upper body that I’ve inherited from my dad, which would mean that I wouldn’t have my dad (or I’d probably be pretty much starving myself to get it)… My body is pretty much genetically designed to have a little bit of a tummy – just like him. And I am – finally (slowly) – learning to live with that. My goal is one day to maybe love it…

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2. I don’t want to ever be a planner. Because then life wouldn’t keep on surprising me. I love not knowing what’s around the corner, yes sometimes it can be a bit scary, or you can feel a bit insecure (or disorganised…), but it’s what makes life an ADVENTURE – and for me, that’s what makes life worth living.

3. I don’t want to loose my stubbornness. Because I inherited this from my mum 😉 and because it helps me to stick to my guns, and a girl’s gotta be stubborn sometimes.

4. I don’t want to stop being an emotional person. I guess my heart can be a bit too open now and again, maybe I feel too much. This can make things pretty tough. But it also makes them awesome as I experience the happy moments wayyyy more than I would otherwise, and why would I want that to end?

5. I don’t want to know everything or to stop learning. The desire to learn prompts curiosity, travel, new experiences, new people, new ways to see the world…

6. I don’t want to ever stop taking risks. Because they lead to the greatest discoveries.

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7. I don’t want to ever stop being a dreamer. Because the possibility of making those dreams come true drives me on.

8. And I don’t want to change my past. I don’t want to regret anything. Your past shapes you, but it doesn’t define you. It’s what makes me ME. And I don’t want to change that, not anymore.

Tell me a flaw that you are learning to love…

A CRACKING Weekend

CRACKING? Get it? Yeah… So I started writing this post on Sunday night, I then proceeded to fall asleep and then time ran away somewhere and now it’s Wednesday… So much for a MIMM post with Katie! OH WELL.

So this Easter weekend was definitely full of friends, food, fun and laughter 🙂 I ate plenty of chocolate and un-nutritious food, probably drank too much and did zero exercise. And it was wonderful. To me healthy living is not just about the food that’s on your plate, or the workouts you’re doing – it’s about the mindset, and ultimately your happiness. Sometimes your soul just needs a little lovin’ 😉

Saturday night, Tess, Katie and I had planned to go for a special Easter weekend meal at this great looking bistro Las Pizarras, which has a special emphasis on fresh local food. Sadly we couldn’t get a table (you need to book) so we’re hoping to try again this week. Instead, we went for the cheap Mexican option! The food was okay, nothing special, but it filled the hole! And the bartender’s adorable son (who was probably about 6) ‘bought’ us a free round of drinks – only in Argentina!

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Apologies for the awful lighting in this photo! 

We then headed back to mine to meet all our other friends for previa (pre-drinks/pre-game?/etc.) which is always great as everybody tends to bring new people… That’s something I love about living here – there are always new people to meet! We then headed out to Terrazas to get our dance on 😉

Sunday was a very sleeeeeeepy day of Easter chocolate, films and preparing food for the evening when about eight for my friends came round for an ‘Easter’ meal (not a hugely traditional one…) – one of whom is a CHEF, talk about intimidating to cook for! I made a chorizo and blue cheese risotto with salad, which I served with an amazing PECAN balsamic vinegar – wow. Followed by the classic chocolate crispy cakes (for which I made ‘cupcake cases’ out of tinfoil, rather chuffed with my innovation there – they don’t seem to have cupcakes much here) and Amanda’s gigantic skillet cookie – holy moly. Funnily enough, this was the only thing that I actually remembered to take a picture of…

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I was in a bit of a funny mood pre dinner so took myself up to the roof to watch the sunset and relax for a bit…

photo 5 (4)The ULTIMATE cookie

Naturally, by Monday I felt a bit…like an egg really! But a few days of getting back into exercise (thanks to CrossFit and a killer arm WOD there, it’s a wonder I’m able to type right now) and the usual eats have got me feeling like me again 🙂 helped even further by a haircut yesterday from the fabulous Terrie Orr – check her out if you’re ever in Buenos Aires!

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Monday morning called for a smoothie and café con leche (de soya) for breakfast with some people watching…and leftover risotto for lunch!

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Yup, already back at Le Pain Quotidien for some post CrossFit lunch and snacks (chicken and quinoa salad, soy cappuccino, fruit and natural yoghurt, seeds and honey… aka an afternoon of heaven)

How was your Easter? How are you coping post indulgences?

Old Favourites & New Discoveries

The past few days have been the perfect combination of my favourite treats, beautifully combined with some new finds. That’s something that I love about living in a big city such as Buenos Aires, my neighbourhood feels so homely and familiar yet there is always something new to discover…

A new discovery was an iced soy cappuccino from Starbucks – I love iced coffees and wanted to make the most of the last of the warm weather (so NOT ready for winter…must.buy.a.coat.) but never knew you could get them in cappuccino form!! This was followed by another ‘new’ find, in this country at least, with a trip to Le Pain Quotidien with Tess. It was so funny to go to a café so full of French people in Argentina! I had an amazing goats cheese salad with lots of other bits of deliciousness, including some lovely melon and the café was beautifully decorated for Easter 🙂

photo 4 (6)My friend Katie’s mum has been visiting from the States this week and surprised as all at dinner (at our favourite Mexican, totally forgot to take photos) with Easter treats! Incredible dark chocolate Easter bunnies and little eggs from a chocolate shop near where they live in New York State – a very happily unexpected discovery indeed.

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Yesterday I did what is starting to become one of my favourite ‘go to’ workouts – the bodyweight workout from Will Owen’s Travel Strong – if you haven’t yet checked it out do have a look as it is AWESOME, full of tips for staying fit and working out whilst on the road or abroad. It was an absolutely stunning sunny day, with a perfect cooling breeze, so I incorporated it into a little run down to the park and the ‘outdoor gym’ they have down there… I wish we had more things like this in the UK, I know I’ve seen some in Spain before and I think it’s a great idea to encourage people to be more active and get outdoors. Although maybe we just don’t have the weather for it…!

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I also took a visited my all time favourite café here in Buenos Aires to do some work – Malvón. I probably go there about twice a week so they always recognise me (not sure whether this is a good or bad thing!) and say hello and ask how I am which is really nice – it makes it feel very homely. It was a feriado (national holiday) so they were serving brunch. I tried the Veggie Popover which (to a Brit like me) kinda seemed like a cold Yorkshire Pudding filled with roasted vegetables and cheese, with some baked crisps and hummus. It was nice but definitely would have been better hot and full of sausages and gravy a la Toad in the Hole 😉 Being brunch it came with fresh bread, a corn muffin (also a first for me, a bit dense for my liking) and this fruity thing which was great. And no, I sadly didn’t manage to eat ALL that food! Did try though!

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Happy Easter! Have a lovely weekend!

Do you prefer sticking to your favourite classics or trying something new?

 

{Thinking Out Loud} Sunsets & Easter Bunnies

So excited to finally link up with Amanda today for Thinking Out Loud! Let’s get straight to it.

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1. On Monday I finally went to my second CrossFit class (after being ill last week) which was even better than the first one, especially having only 3 people in the class – so much more room to move! Even if it did mean I felt like a Granny on Tuesday so much so that when I went for a run it felt more like a hobble.

2. I also discovered that I seem to have a fear of going upside down – having NEVER been able to do handstands in my entire life I am now attempting (slowly) to learn at the age of 22…I’ve so got this… But, hand stand push ups? What now? Come again?

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3. Wouldn’t be fun if you could get each of your favourite bloggers to cook for you for a day? I always get such food envy and my attempts are never as good! Or I can’t buy half the stuff I see on American/Canadian blogs…oh the jealousy…

4. Yesterday, after my Spanish class I was thinking about the verb conocer – translated literally this means ‘to know’ but is also used to say that you have traveled to a place, conozco Londres, for example, would mean that you have been to London. Isn’t it so much nicer to say that you know a place when you travel there? I feel it really puts the emphasis on exploring the place you are in and that you should, quite literally, get to know it!

5. The Easter bunny has come early!! Or my Dad sent me the money, I sent him pictures and he told me which one to buy… Same thing right? Must.not.open.until.Sunday. 😀

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He looks like a bit of an angry bunny doesn’t he?

6.  My friend’s mum is currently visiting from the States and seeing the two of them together is making me super excited to see my friends and family again!

7. Speaking of, it’s only just over 2 months until I finish my internship, my dad arrives and then shortly after we go home? What the?!

8. Still not bored of these sunsets though…

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9. My wish list for my birthday (July) and general purchases for when I’m back in the UK is steadily getting longer, and more extravagant… Running shoes, trainers, sports bras, leggings, running tops, a bike (casual), socks (slightly more realistic)… I could go on…

10. My favourite Topshop black leggings are setting to get baggy knees syndrome… If Topshop could open a Buenos Aires store that would be just GREAT, thank you 🙂 (Yes I am incapable of buying these leggings elsewhere, I love them too much.)

Can you do a hand stand push up?! Do you have any clothing staples you can’t live without?

Are we too connected?

I was 18 and fresh out of school when I set out on my first solo trip abroad – 5 months in Venezuela, New Zealand and Fiji. Obviously a complete mix of cultures and ‘development’.

In Venezuela we were mainly living in a small village on the coast called Playa Colorada. Anytime we wanted to call home, use the Internet or just communicate with anyone by means other than face to face conversation we had to get a 45 minute or so bus ride into Barcelona (just thinking of those journeys brings a smile onto my face as I remember the beautiful scenery as the road wove along the coastline whilst the drive was blaring music out of his giant speakers). Here we would go the Internet café to use the super slow computers and yell down the rather dodgy phones at our parents back in the UK. And it was brilliant. No iPhones removing people from conversations, no constant posts on Facebook of our latest escapade, no blogging. Just us. Living in the moment every single day.

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Living in paradise

New Zealand was rather different… I had a local phone (which I regularly left on buses) and most hostels had computers to use. Although I still didn’t Skype home in all 5 months home as that was ‘far too complicated’ for parents at the time…! Still, no iPhones, no smartphones, kind of a halfway house I would say! You could communicate with your ‘other world’ when you wanted to but was only an as and when kind of thing.

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A little different but still it’s own version of amazing

And then Fiji… Here more communication might have been useful as I got very ill with ‘suspected Typhoid’ (something I am still doubtful of) so that was…fun! We were island hoping so there was nada, but on the mainland there was a phone and (I think) a computer to use where we were staying.

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Here I don’t think we even had electricity, let alone wi-fi!

And now? I remember being amazed when I saw my friends posting pictures from far flung places onto Facebook – I believe my reaction was something like ‘OMG you can do THAT now?!’. I admit, I use wi-fi on my iPhone and my laptop everyday. I arrive at a café and I’ll ask for the wi-fi password (she says, sat in a café blogging…). I take pictures and videos and upload them to Facebook or Twitter. I email. I Skype. I iMessage. I WhatsApp. I FaceTime. I blog. It seems like a lot when written down like that, and times have most definitely progressed since those few months in 2010.

Personally, I believe there are pros and cons to this. It is great to be able to easily communicate with home – I want to be able to share my experiences with my friends and family, discuss what I have learned, record my memories, and sort out my plans for my future post Argentina.  It is easy to arrange things with other people out here via free wi-fi, which is readily available in Buenos Aires (and the more ‘touristy’ destinations). When planning a trip I can Google reviews online, book flights and find hostels. There is a reason we live in an Internet age – humans are sociable people, it connects us and makes life a whole lot easier.

But what about when it disconnects us? When I am sat in an amazing location with a group of fascinating people and I am messaging someone in the UK? What about when I am watching sea lions swim in the ocean and seeing it through my iPhone as I record this experience? What about when I am at a concert or a show and it is completely dark, bar the glow of people’s phones? What about ‘those moments’ where I feel so calm and at one with where I am, and then my phone pings because somebody’s posted on my Facebook wall? That’s when I get annoyed and want to give myself a big kick.

Internet and technology are there to enhance our lives, they should never get in the way of us living them. Take the time to switch your phone off, put the camera down, ignore your emails and live in the moment. Your moment, right now.

Do you find yourself sometimes needing to consciously disconnect?

{MIMM} Buenos Aires Food Week

Happy MIMM! I had a pretty marvelous Saturday so thought I would recap it as part of Katie’s Marvelous in My Monday 🙂

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This week is Buenos Aires Food Week – basically a selection of restaurants offer special promotional lunch and dinner menus of 3 courses for a week (although it is actually 2 weeks…)! Naturally, my friends and I went to try it out. One of my friends here is at culinary school (a very good friend to have) so he and his girlfriend looked through ALL the menus online and picked the best for us! And off we went.

We went to Club 31, which is the restaurant at the Buenos Aires Grand Hotel. From the offset the staff were warm, welcoming and pretty attentive – something which can be pretty rare in Argentina, you often have to be sat waving your warms in the air to get served… It’s not the waitstaff being rude, more just a cultural thing I think. Anyhow, we had chosen to go at lunch time for a late 3.30pm meal – slightly less choice but half the price. The menu was 3 courses with 3 options per course for AR$140 (not including drinks, cover charge or tips), this translates to about £8-10 depend on which exchange rate you go off… Pretty impressive! Returning to the UK in July is going to be a SLIGHT shock I feel. Naturally, being my indecisive self, I had studied the menu in advance so was already super-excited to order and eat!

After ordering we were each bought a rather fluorescent orange looking sparkling drink, which upon tasting was actually a rather nice cocktail of some sorts. I didn’t drink mine though as I am trying to avoid alcohol until I am fully better and ordered a fresh grapefruit juice instead which was delicious.

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First up – I chose the Burrata which was basically fresh mozzarella wrapped in Italian style ham, with a small salad, an incredible sweet grilled tomato and a light balsamic dressing. The mozzarella was delicious smothered on top of the selection of breads we had on the table. Overall this was the perfect starter to keep me going until the main course without overly filling me up.

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Next, the main attraction (I say that, in reality for me that would be dessert). This was the Sorrentinos de Cabra – they were basically goats cheese and lamb stuffed ravioli (with a mini pie version on top? It definitely looked like a mince pie to me) all on a base of some sort of roasted squash, with a tomatoey sauce. Heavenly.

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So the picture’s a bit rubbish but I was too excited to try that hard… PUDDING. Chocolate Foundant with mascarpone. Yes yes yes. Enough said.

After eating we all lulled about in our armchairs and chatted for an hour or so. That’s something I love here, you can sit in a restaurant or café for as long as you want, regardless of when you finished eating, because you are ENJOYING yourself and there is simply no rush.

That evening we all went round to one of my friend’s apartments where we watched the Beyoncé documentary (in awe), ate some more (one of those must.eat.all.the.foods.cos.my.appetite.is.crazy. days, I didn’t stress or worry, I just went with it and enjoyed) and then talked until 3.30am about women’s rights and everything under the sun. A perfect Saturday.

Have you had any special meals out lately?

Sunday Summary

I had hoped for this Thursday to be my first participation in Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud but Wednesday night found me in bed with severe stomach pains, dizziness and generally not good! And, alas, there was no blog writing. (A trip to the doctors and some meds later and I seem to gradually be on the mend!). Nonetheless, I still wanted to share my thoughts on this week, so instead I have created my own ‘for one week only’ Sunday Summary – let the randomness commence 😉

1. Last Saturday, much to the bemusement of my doorman, I went for an AWESOME run in a thunderstorm! Naturally I got completely drenched – one sweet lady offered me her umbrella as we were waiting to cross the road, I think it was a little late… – but it was brilliant! Longest run of Buenos Aires yet 🙂

2. Whilst on said run, I realised that the weird gym that I run past a good few times a week is actually a SHOP. Explains why there is never anybody in there working out… (I just thought they were all really lazy…)

3. Saturday night saw a trip to Spanglish, a language exchange night here with the same set up as speed dating. Each table has an Argentine (boy OR girl) and an English speaker, you have 5 minutes speaking Spanish (or Castellano), 5 in English and then move tables. Admittedly the conversation is quite basic as it is just the standard getting to know you stuff but it’s still great practice, a fun way to meet all sorts of new people and certainly builds up your confidence speaking Spanish to strangers. One guy I met there had even built part of the walkways at Iguazú Falls which I thought was pretty cool!

4. The other day I watched ‘Four Weddings & A Funeral’ for the first time in forever. I had forgotten how funny it is! I was in hysterics!! Classic film.

5. When I arrived at the office on Monday morning the block in which my office was situated was completely closed off with police riot vans everywhere… My first thought was that there had been a murder! (It was the riot vans okay!) But actually (I think…) a building had fallen in and after a quick chat with the police I was able to pass through to get to work – an interesting start to the week to say the least!

6. On Monday night I went to my first ever CrossFit session! I was TERRIFIED beforehand as I am not nearly as strong as I used to be… But it was incredible, and I didn’t stand out as the weakling as I had feared. I think that maybe Argentine CrossFit is a little different to that in the States/Europe (not that I have anything to compare it to, just from what I’ve read and heard) as there is a lot of focus on technique, which for me is great right now. I loved it as it had the atmosphere and buzz that I loved about rowing, but without any of the pressure or stress. I had hoped to return this week but getting ill ruined those plans, I am hoping that I’ll be able to go next week.

7. As a present to myself I purchased these amazing leggings from Nike (sorry for the awful photo) but disaster – the have a hole in them and no more in my size in the shop! The guy there was super helpful though and hopefully he’s going to get some sent across from another store… I want to try out my leggings dammit!

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8. 10th April (Thursday) saw the second paro (national strike) in Argentina since Cristina Kirchner has been in office. The strike lasted 24 hours (and was pre-planned) as workers protested over wages, soaring inflation and taxes. It was really an eerie feeling in Buenos Aires that day – no buses, no trains, no subté (subway), no domestic flights, lots of shops/restaurants closed and so few people… I think this picture of the usually congested 9 de julio in Microcentro pretty much sums it up…

The image is taken from this ‘day in pictures’ series.

9. On a more lighthearted note, this week is Food Week in Buenos Aires (HELLO). Lots of restaurants are participating by offering 3 course lunch or dinner meals at a reduced rate. On Saturday my friends and I went to Club 31 at the Buenos Aires Grand Hotel for an incredible meal – more on that later 🙂

10. So the days are getting shorter. The weather is getting colder. Leaves are turning and falling to the ground. Inside is becoming all the more cosier and appealing… Christmas must be soon right? Yes I am feeling very confused!! Southern hemisphere (newbie) problems…

Have you re-watched any classic films recently?

What’s the most random ‘police encounter’ you’ve had?!