I’m ever so grateful for exploring the Patagonia region and I know one day I’ll turn to those breathtaking peaks, but in all honestly after weeks of bone-chilling coldness, I was ready for some sunshine.
Originally Ryan and I planned to visit a few Argentinean cities on the way to Buenos Aires [Bariloche, El Bolsón, Mendoza], but when acquiring bus prices we realized we could not afford. For a 24hr bus to Bariloche about a third of the way to BA it would cost us $150 each. Absolutely insane. Due to this country’s always rising inflation and recent highway taxes Argentina may have the priciest buses on the planet! We wanted to hitchhike but that meant patience and the possibility of getting stranded in the cold. We didn’t have a tent nor sleeping bags nor cooking equipment so in the end we opted to pay $205 to fly from El Calafate to Buenos Aires.
We rarely time our adventures right. We arrive after a music festival, after Caranval celebrations, in off season, etc, but somehow we managed end up in Buenos Aires on the perfect weekend. Revolución de Mayo celebrates the beginning of Argentina’s independence and its first government. 200 years later it has turned in to a weekend to support political parties and demonstrate Argentina’s top exports. Just across from our hostel, the holiday set up a free festival full of local eats, music, handicrafts and more for all the public to experience. From Friday to Monday we spent hours wandering the streets, listening to great bands, drinking $3 bottles of wine, and we even had the opportunity to hear President Cristina Fernandez speak that finished with a fantastic firework display.
While hiking to Machu Picchu via the Inca Jungle trek [link here to this adventure] we made friends with three Argentinean brothers who made us laugh to the point of tears everyday. We couldn’t wait to spend time with them in their country and we were luckily enough to see them a few times. Fernando picked us up from the airport upon arriving and even when our flight was changed to the farther airport outside the city he still refused to allow us to take a cab. That Friday night they invited us to their home in the Palermo neighborhood and cooked a vegan meal especially for us. We ate, drank [wine, beer, Fernet, and scotch], caught up, and went out for a night of salsa. The guys had me spinning and laughing on the dance floor for hours and even though we might have been the worst dancers in the club and we had the most fun. That Sunday I met Fernando for a kayak trip on Río Tigre. Their family belongs to a rowing club where they store kayaks and can access the river at anytime. It was a splendid escape from the big city and we chatted as we rowed through back waters and inlets of the river. And for our final night with the three stooges we caught a live Peña show shared beers and said our g’byes. The last night before leaving we met with Ignacio for a late night meal and a final farewell. Writing this makes me miss them more and I hope we reunite sooner than later.
[us entering Machu Picchu after a long, wet sunrise stair climb]
Before coming to South America, I made Ryan promise we’d catch a proper fútbol match. While in England I had tickets to a game, but I had the shit luck of strange, strong winds that resulted in a postponement. I had to find a way to a game in Buenos Aires and I refused to pay $100 for the tourist package. Thankfully our local friends shared River Plate’s [one of BA’s team] website where we could join the club to gain access to tickets. In the end we paid $35 each in the stands with the passionate fans and even got our own fan cards with our names printed on. It was an incredible experience and although we never actually sat, and we weren’t allowed to drink, we fucking loved the energy at the stadium. We laughed and cheered for River Plate and pretended to sing the chants with our neighboring fans. When our team won we continued to sing with shit grins on our face and we all exited the stadium applauding. A true South American tradition that I’m beyond happy to have enjoyed.
After two weeks, it was time to say g’bye to BA. We laugh that we stayed so long because it was too expensive to leave, but thanks to a bit of research I found where the locals book their buses and we ended up with a 24hr bus ride to the northwest desert of Argentina for half the price most tourists pay. So cheers to a wonderful time in a lovely city with great friends, but onward we go to the sun and the sand.
[fierce Boca kitty]
[Bond Street, a open mall filled with tattoo and skate shops (Ryan’s dream) where graffiti is allowed on every inch of space]