19.10.2007 - 23.10.2007 25 °C
It was the moment i had been waiting for for two weeks, when we arrived in Tierra Santa in the north of the city in the early afternoon. Though I can never claim to have had the most saintly of intentions when I went, I couldn't have guessed how entertaining our visit would be. It is after all, a theological theme park, a notion perhaps steeped more in kitsch than genuine religious reverence.
We were greeted at the entrance by life-size figures of animals, palm trees, shepherds and oddly, fairies. The fun only increased when we entered the park and ascended an artificial mountain to behold the crucifixion scene, all painstakingly recreated in fibreglass. Below us spread a fibreglass metropolis designed to represent an ancient city in the Middle East, setting the stage for the biblical re-enactments to come. We learned that Jesus conceivably used a whip to expel the prostitutes and money-changers off the steps of the temple, and later suffered the same punishment at the hands of the Romans prior to his martyrdom. Other religions were also honoured, such as Islam and Judaism, while even Gandhi had a little alcove in a corner. The most impressive sight was La Resurrección, featuring a 50 foot Jesucristo rising out of the artificial mountain every hour to the tune of Hallelujah and rapturous applause from the visiting church and school groups.
We were present for the Miracle de Creación, which came complete with lasers, smoke machines and a Spanish voice over. Thankfully the school kids stopped screaming after God created light (bulbs) and rolled the fibreglass animals out on rails. I soon came to realise, as we exited the park, that I will probably be spending my afterlife in purgatory, an even more daunting prospect considering I never had previously believed in its existence.
The weekend seemed to only feature nightclubs, sleep, drinking and probably plenty of bizarre moments which seem to escape me right now, but I'm sure to have enjoyed. Ever have that feeling? Somewhere along the way Adam left for Australia, and in an unconnected incident I broke my previous record for 'Biggest and Juiciest Steak Ever', one that possibly left me almost a kilogram heavier. As the weekend became Monday, so sleep gradually took over until it was all-consuming; and with the weather slowly getting warmer, it would be prudent to heed previous self-advice and begin the diet.
I was finally ready for a brief foray on Tuesday night, this time to Puerto Madero. This area of the city was once destined to become the city's port, but was closed in preference to the current port, a couple of kilometres or so north of the city centre. Puerto Madero fell into disrepair and disrepute until the 1990s, where a gradual revamp has seen it transform into one of the city's trendiest (and expensive) areas. Harbour cranes, relics of the past are lit up at night, standing guard over the channel which runs through the middle of the suburb.