Monday, 7 July 2014

So what now?

After the high of being in Brazil for the group stage of the FIFA World Cup, the last week spent in Buenos Aires and Montevideo has very much been at a slower pace.

With my whole trip based around being in Brazil to cheer on the boys in Green and Gold (Australia, not Brazil) and with just one month left on my trip, I was a bit worried that I'd be a bit "over" the travelling by now. While it is definitely true my journey has peaked (you can't really top watching the biggest event in the world in the country that not only loves it more than anyone else, but has a well deserved reputation for being able to party) my trip is far from over.

For a start, the World Cup is still on, and fortunately enough for me, the country I'm in at the moment, Argentina, has a very good shot at winning it. That means that World Cup fever is alive and well, so while I may no longer be in the host country, I am still feeling very much a part of it. You can't go ten feet anywhere in this country without seeing Messi's face on a billboard, statue or packet of chips. You see his famous jersey everywhere you go too, on men, women children and also dogs.

Argentina fans in Plaza San Martin ahead of the clash with Switzerland

The people here are convinced their team has enough to get it done and with the chance of a nationwide party, I'm hoping they at least make the final - a sentiment I wasn't able to express while I was in Brazil.

All four teams left in the cup have a good chance of winning. I definitely feel for the people of Brazil with their superstar, Neymar, out with a cruel injury. The chance to play for the World Cup on home soil is a once in a lifetime opportunity (if you're lucky) and it has to hurt him to not be able to get out there. The Brazilian fans were such great hosts while I was in their country, so I'm hoping they at least make it to the final game.


Meanwhile, the progress of Holland to the final four proves Australia were without a doubt going toe to toe with a world class team. To date nobody has bettered the two goals that Australia scored against the Dutch in the group stage.

While I'm favouring the two South American teams in the semi finals, I'm genuinely just hoping for two good, clean and fair matches. It would just be a bonus if diving superstar Arjen Robben were sent home.

Messi statue in the "La Boca" neighborhood

Aside from the World Cup though, I've easily stepped back into regular backpacker mode. Buenos Aires and Montevideo are two beautiful cities with a lot of history and culture and its been great exploring these cities and finding some fun outside of football for the first time in a while.

Anyone who knows me, or has read this blog will know I'm a big fan of trying the local food while travelling. While the food in Mexico was among the best I've ever had, the rest of Latin America failed to live up to this level. There were some good dishes here and there, but for the most part, it was endless rice and beans until I got to Brazil and was treated to the delights of their form of barbecue. Definitely a highlight.

Argentina though, is known the world over for two things - red wine (specifically, Malbec) and beef. These two, aside from going together so well, are among my favourite things to consume, so of course I've taken full advantage of my surroundings. The good news is it lived up to all expectations.

Steak and red wine in Buenos Aires

So while it may seem as though there is not much left of my trip, I've still found plenty to enjoy after my time in Brazil came to an end.

Of course, there are three more games to go to round out the World Cup, and on those days, I'll be right back in to football fan mode. Just maybe with a nice steak. 

No comments:

Post a Comment