New Year’s Eve 2018 in Buenos Aires

I have to admit, while I enjoyed last year’s festivities in Leon, Nicaragua, New Year’s Eve in Buenos Aires sounds cooler to me. 🙂 The last couple of days before New Year’s Eve in Buenos Aires were hot and humid with temperatures peaking in the mid 30s C (90s F). A cool front came through however and cooled things down. The skies were almost clear for the super red blue full moon. In the little research that we did into New Year’s Eve activities here, we were told not to expect too many people. Apparently Argentinians like to spend New Year’s Eve with their family. We learned that rooftop parties were a good way to see the fireworks but our hotel is low and has no roof access as far as I can tell.

Our tour guide from a few days ago mentioned that a few blocks behind the Casa Rosa we would find Puente de la Mujer. That bridge is a good spot to view the fireworks. We were also warned to plan in advance for anything you might need for the evening’s festivities. A quick visit to the local supermarket confirmed that. The produce and deli sections looked like a mob of shoppers had cleared out most of the options.

A Late Night Walk Across Buenos Aires

It was only 23 blocks (about 2.3 kms) but it seemed a bit surreal. The normally busy streets were almost empty for most of the way. It seemed most people had already gone to where they wanted to be for the evening. We pressed on, retracing the course of a free walking tour that we took a few days ago. I hope to get a blog post about that tour posted soon.

The route we took was west along Av. de Mayo, from the Congreso de la Nación Argentina to Casa Rosada. About half way in between the two sites Av. 9 de Julio cuts across. We were told they razed two city blocks to make it the widest avenue in the world. It may not hold that distinction any more, however it is wide. One time it took us 3 light cycles to cross it. Lucas looked at it as a challenge and did get across in one light cycle. Did I mention he has taken a liking to cafe con leche? Just what he needs. Something to make him more energized.

 

Close, But Not Close Enough

As we got closer to the waterfront we encountered more people heading the same way. That was reassuring. Things looked and sounded more festive when we got close to Johnny B. Good, a restaurant and bar with live entertainment. At one point during the evening we saw a long conga line snaking its way through the place.

Along the waterfront there were hundreds of people hanging out and there was a steady stream of people trying to find “the” place to view the fireworks. We found a good looking spot with an ubobstructed view along the railing right up against the water. It was still quarter to 12:00 but there were fireworks going off further down the waterway. Because of trees and buildings we were not getting a good view of these far away fireworks.

Finding The Best Spot

Forming our own little conga line, we held onto each other and joined the stream of people heading towards the fireworks. As we got closer to the Puente De La Mujer it got more crowded but we did manage to find a spot that wasn’t under a tree or have lights shining into our eyes. Even though it was several minutes to midnight, fireworks kept being launched a couple of hundred meters away.

Suddenly the crowd started counting down “cinco, cuatro, tres, dos, uno” and cheers erupted all around. I looked around, taking in the revelry and celebrations. The fireworks started being launched with a bit more intensity and the crowd responded. I remembered to take out my camera to record some of the fireworks and aimed it at the sky. I commented on how were were at a safer distance than last year in Leon when we were seated a dozen meters from where they were being launched. Thankfully this year’s fireworks were not accompanied by a loud siren the whole time.

Fireworks, Up Close, Again

Almost as soon as I mentioned that we should be safer than last year, there was a thump a dozen or so meters from where we were standing. The glow of a launched firework rose from the direction of the water just beyond the railing. After a few seconds, when apparently it was at a safe distance, it exploded overhead. This year the fireworks were launched just as close to us as last year. In addition, they were exploding so close overhead that we were being showered with bits of ash and debris. Sydney picked a little piece of one off her and kept as a souvenir.

A scarcity of taxis and cash in pocket meant we had a long walk home. I was amazed at how many young kids (and their parents) were out a 1:00 AM. Not just out, also setting off some seriously powerful fireworks of their own. Karen and Lucas nearly jumped out of their skin a few times on the walk home as large explosions rocked the otherwise deserted streets.

Finally at about 2:00 AM we made it back to our hotel and our welcoming beds. Next hear I expect to be back in Calgary for New Years. Hopefully it won’t be as ridiculously cold as it was this year. And I hope 2018 is a great year for us and all you!