6th November 1832

Buenos Aires
Spent the day in shopping & in gaining information relative to the geology of the country. I trust when the Beagle returns for the winter to the Rio Plata I shall be able to make some long excursions in this un-picturesque but curious country. Buenos Ayres is an excellent place for making purchases; there are many shops kept by Englishmen & full of English goods. Indeed the whole town has more of an European look than any I have seen in S. America. One is called back to the true locality, both by the Gauchos riding through the streets with their gay coloured Ponchos & by the dress of the Spanish ladies. This latter, although not differing much from an English one, is most elegant & simple. In the hair (which is beautifully arranged) they wear an enormous comb; from this a large silk shawl folds round the upper part of the body. Their walk is most graceful, & although often disappointed, one never saw one of their charming backs without crying out, "how beautiful she must be".

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