Thursday, November 15, 2012

2012 South America Adventures: La Boca and my is it real or memorex experience

I’m back in my home away from home neighborhood in Buenos Aires  I really do love the apartment that I chose for my trip and I plan on doing a review on it when I return home.
Last Saturday before I left for Patagonia, I had quite an experience. I mistakenly thought that the Fiera de Mataderos was happening, so I make my way there to find out that it is only held on Sundays! Oh well, I decided to go to my back-up plan and that is to visit the famous and oh so colorful La Boca on Caminito Street.

I found La Boca to be very colorful (quite touristy) place, but rich in Argentine history. There are hoards of tourists, locals trying to sell tango poses with them and several dancers performing for their audiences dining at restaurants along the main drag.  This seems to be a living, breathing and lively museum, filled with displays such as cartoon like people made of paper mache, fake hanging laundry and other cool displays to show us how life was like for the residents who immigrated to this neighborhood from countries like Italy and Spain. The immigrants who came here to settle were so poor that they couldn’t afford to buy paint so they used the left over paint from the ships of the nearby port. I actually really like the colorful building.

After browsing the various shops, I decide to head back and caught a taxi. I made it back to the apartment okay and even found a nearby bnk with an ATM machine. It is located at Plaza Italia and it is only a few blocks away. After my successful withdrawal to replenish my supply, I then head back but decide to stop off for some ice cream first. When I gave the girl a 100 pesos bill she immediately told me that it is a fake. I couldn’t believe it. The other staff came over and he compared a real one to the one I had and asked if I knew who gave it to me and the only other person who handled my money was the taxi driver. When I gave him two 100 pesos he returned one of them to me because he had no change which at the time seemed odd to me but it just didn’t register. I didn’t have enough to pay the 25 pesos and he finally said that’s okay. At the time I thought “how nice” of him! Duh! I’d been had. Now, mind you I had read about this scam and I still fell for it hook line and sinker. Other travelers warn to have small bills to give to taxi drivers for this very reason. The problem is that many places don’t seem to want to take the large 100 pesos and the ATM only gives us 100 pesos denominations. It’s funny but I told this story to a fellow traveler whom I had met in El Calafate and she said that’s why she lies and tells the vendors that all she has is 100 pesos because it’s so hard to get small bills, let alone coins for the bus. I really don’t want to lie but I’m going to have to if I want to have small 20 or 50 pesos bills with me for when I opt to take the taxi.  But hey, as long as I'm okay and I wasn't harmed,  I'm not going to stress over $20 dollars which is what the exchange rate is for 100 pesos.  I actually told a store owner my story (again) and he said one of his customers had it done to him twice and by the same taxi driver.  Yikes!

I really love my neighborhood a lot, so here are a few images . . .

On this street art, doesn't the crates of beer bottles look like they are part of the scene. :)

And here are some images of La Boca . . . .

Soccer fans start at a very young age . . .

And right across from Caminito Street is the port.

Next up, El Calafate in Patagonia and my All Glaciers and Perito Moreno Glacier tours . . .


  1. You have such a great attitude about the scam. Sometimes we let it eat at us and it can the rest of our vacation. I'm glad it was *only* 100 pesos.

    Also the pictures are great. I can see why you love your area. Looking forward to hearing about Patagonia.

  2. What a cool, colourful place, Kathy! Your photos are fantastic! I admire your attitude towards the scam - as Marta says, you're so wise to shrug it off and not let it bother you too much. I'm also glad that it wasn't too expensive for you!

  3. I was so annoyed when I was scammed in Venice but like you, I was glad it was for a relatively small amount. Travel can be such a weird adventure!

    Your photos are fantastic. I love seeing your neighborhood and La Boca. The beer bottle crate photo is very cool!

    Thanks for the great post!


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.