Exploring El Caminito in La Boca

My friend Ale picked me up on his ever-dependable motorcycle that he proudly named “Titan” at the port area and started riding towards an artsy street called “El Caminito” in La Boca. “Hold tight, we got a lot more to explore!”

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Riding Titan with Ale.

A few minutes later, we reached La Boca. El Caminito in La Boca is one of the main attractions in Buenos Aires, an oasis of colorful buildings in the middle of the city. This is a tiny little area only a block square smack in the middle of the ghetto barrio. I came to see the cheerful colorful houses, live tango, and the art scene.

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This lane boasts a thriving street with peddlers selling art, buskers playing music and stalls offering trinkets of every variety. Caminito is the work of the local La Boca artist Benito Quinquela Martín. In 1960, he painted the walls of what was then an abandoned street and built a makeshift stage for performances, and it quickly became a haven for artists. With its cobblestone roads, colorful corrugated-iron houses and artists’ studios, Caminito sure sounds great on paper.

Unfortunately, these days it’s an absolutely rampant tourist trap, full of touts, hawkers, hustlers, overpriced knick-knacks and bland food. Paid 4 Dollars for an empanada! This is the sort of place many people avoid like the plague.

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There’s lots of open-air tango on display to entertain the patrons at the outdoor cafes, which is fun if you haven’t seen it before.

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Live Tango

Today, La Boca remains a rough, working class and downbeat neighborhood, despite the hordes of tourists who descend upon its attractions every weekend and most weekdays too.4447

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Nowhere else in Buenos Aires looks like this.

 

 

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Bucket List Update (2005 – Present)

1. Travel to some 60 countries around the world!

I’ve been to 62 countries altogether in 6 years.

I made my map from here

2. Learn a new language
Studio l’italiano ma l’Italiano è una lingua bella ma difficile.
Pomalo Srpski.
Hablas Espanol pero poquito.

3. Try out a new profession in a different field.
Would love to wait tables on a cafe I will own some day.

Photo Credit here

4. Achieve my ideal weight.
I need to gain a little more. Maybe around 5-10 lbs.

5. See the Angkor Wat ruins in Cambodia.
I DID.

6. See the Pyramids of Egypt.
I DID. (photo)
7. Learn a new sport.

8. Resign from a job you don’t like.
🙂

9. Pursue your passion.
Traveling, check! Painting, singing, photography, writing – check, check, check and check!

10. Start my own business doing something I love.
I’d love to have my own art gallery cafe someday. We just need cash to run it. And a place to build it.

11. Achieve financial abundance with my passion.
Let’s wait for my tiny little art cafe.

12. Identify someone who has inspired my life and let him know how much he has inspired me.

13. Be a mentor to someone.

14. Skydive somewhere in the world. It won’t matter even if I’m 80 years old.

15. Climb a mountain. Climb more mountains!
I did, in Sapa, Vietnam and in Sagada, Bontoc.

16. Sleep on the beach, under the stars.
Sihanoukville, Cambodia with Valerio.

17. Give a heartfelt surprise to someone.
I actually gave my mother a heart attack when I showed up one day at home after 9 motnhs of being away.

18. Make a difference in someone’s life.
Done. And I still continue to do it.

19. Perform a kind deed to at least 5 strangers without expecting anything in return.
Done.

20. Write a journal.
DONE

21. Write a journal about something that means to me.
Still on progress.

22. FLY ON A BLIMP!!! Overlooking  Bagan (in Burma)

23. Sing my favorite song in an audience.
I DID. Every KARAOKE night I’ve got the bar full-packed, standing room only, whenever I sing Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart.

24. Offer my service to a humanitarian cause.

25. Make friends with at least 5 strangers on the airport during long lay-offs.
I did!

26. Experience a sunset.

Sunset in Uluwatu, Indonesia

27. Experience a sunrise.

Bali at 5am

28. See the Northern Lights.
I DID! We were sailing the Scandinavia, and I saw it! The skies were green!!! It was awesome.

29. Witness a solar eclipse.

30. See a shooting star.
I DID. In Lombok, Indonesia. And also one in Uluwatu, with Valerio.

31. I want to plant my own tree and watch it grow.

32. Own a pet in exchange of Paul, the Siamese cat.

33. Do public speaking in front of 10000 people.
I DID…actually with 1500.

34. Send postcards to friends abroad.
Did it in Laos.

Photo Credit: Ivan and Djae

35. Grow hair until waist!

Almost there.

36. Learn wine appreciation.
Thank you, Sommelier friends. If it weren’t for you guys, I wouldn’t know that mixing a red wine, white wine and a bottle of beer is a bad thing to do.

37. I want to go on a blind date. There is no need. 🙂

38. I want to study Psychology.
I DID. But I was too lazy to finish another year.

39. Learn to play a new musical instrument.

40. Win a BINGO.

I won a Nikon SB-80o on my very first bingo game onboard.

41. Learn TANGO. Actually, make it – learn to DANCE first.

42. Dance on the streets of Buenos Aires like a local.

43. See the end of the world, Ushuaia.

Photo Credit here

44. Go on a road trip. Camp-out. Sleep in the forest.

45. Go backpacking across at least 10 locations.
Hanoi, Halong, Sapa, Luang Phrabang, Vientiane, Bangkok, Siem Reap, Pnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Ho Chih Minh with Valerito.

46. I want to pack my bags and set off for a random location with no itinerary planned at all.

47. I want to go to India.

48. Go swimming with the dolphins.
I did in Mexico.

…and then I kissed it. 🙂

49. Do a performance art in front of an audience.
DONE.

50. Own a Lubitel 166 UNIVERSAL.
I got one from a thrift shop in Estonia!

51. Live in a different country for at least 6 months.

52. Get featured on a newspaper.
I did.

53. Plan a dream home.
Jogjakarta. I saw it. It just needs a little TLC.

54. Whip up the best meal ever for a loved one.
My Filipino beefsteak I cooked for Valerio in Jogja.

55. Learn how to bake.

56. Quit smoking, when I say I stop, it should be forever.

57. Practice Yoga 3 times a week. 1 hour a day.

58. Learn how to drive a moped.

59. Fall asleep on grassy plains.

60. Be a vegetarian for 21 days – straight.

61. I want to make 1000 origami cranes. And be granted a wish by the real crane!

Photo Credit here

62. I want to be able to paint large pieces again.

63. I want to do an exhibition in a nice, tiny art gallery somewhere abroad.

64. I want to do a fund raising using my photographs I took all over the world.

65. I want to go to Morroco.

66. Experience an OBE.

67. I want to put my self in an Ashram in India.

68. I want to get a palm tattoo.

69. I want to get closure on all my hurt, grievances and unhappiness of the past.

70. I want to bury the hatchet with all the people I have conflict in the past or now.

71. I want to do something really crazy and out of character. HUGE LIST!

72. FLY FIRST CLASS!

73. Visit a volcano, climb a crater.
– I DID when I was in Iceland.

Akureyri, Iceland

and this:

Dieng Plateau, Indonesia

74. SEE ICELAND! Go to Reykjavik. Listen to Icelandic music.
– I DID

75. Be a member of Couchsurfing.
– I am a proud member.

76. Fly in a helicopter.

77. Take a really good portrait of a Sadhu in Nepal.

78. See Nepal.

– Flight is booked! -4 days from now as I write it.

79. Cartwheel!

80. Read a book in Italian. And summarize it in English.

A PARALLEL TEXT BOOK is the answer!

81. Gain enlightenment.

82. See the Taj Mahal.

83. See the Mona Lisa in Louvre. Too stereotype, eh? WHATTABOUT, take a photo of the Mona Lisa inside the Louvre and let the guards run after you?

84. See a real elephant.

85. Ride an elephant.

Luang Phrabang, Laos 2012

TO BE CONTINUED…