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Each journey begins with a single step... Two kiwis escaping from the island to explore strange new worlds and boldly go where thousands have gone before... . .

Buenos Aires, Argentina

ARGENTINA | Friday, 13 November 2009 | Views [491]

another park in Bs As, the jacaranda trees make a carpet of purple on the ground. One of Carols favorite colours

another park in Bs As, the jacaranda trees make a carpet of purple on the ground. One of Carols favorite colours

Cost pp: bus to Buenos Aires semi-cama 4 hours 51p, remember to take plenty of coins when you head to BA if you are planning to use the local buses. BA is very short of coins and it is almost impossible to get change by buying something small from a shop. You can change a 10 note to get some coins at some banks, you just have to find the right one.

We arrived in Buenos Aires around 3pm on Friday 13th and in celebration the skies opened and all the water that ever was stored in any cloud anywhere descended on the city. We caught a bus outside the terminal to our couchsurfing home it was full of people and we were trying to peer out fogged up windows in obscured light to see street names and numbers while it negotiated streets that were now rivers and entered rushhour traffic. As is the norm, the people on the bus rallied to our aid and made sure we got off at the right place, the driver was not in the mood nor really able to be helpful with all that he was dealing with. At the end of the ride we got off the bus a couple of blocks early because it was faster to walk the traffic was so clogged up. We arrived at Tolgas place around 6pm, usually the ride would take 35 minutes with no traffic.

Our host is from Turkey so Carol got to have a great reminise about that country and her travels there. We were given a room with double airbed and introduced to French couple who live there and another traveller also staying. 

Buenos Aires is huge, like Mexico City is huge, but worse because the metro only goes a short distance and the buses take a long time to go relatively short distances and only take coins which no-one has. You end up having to buy small items you don't want in order to get change and shopkeepers go out of their way to organise things so they don't have to give coins as change. It's a mess really. We had tried to be prepared as we had been forewarned and had been saving up the smaller denominations but didn't realise the problem was only with coins so didn't really have enough for more than a day. 

We spent our time going to see the Museum of Natural Science, the Cemetario de la Recoleta which is so huge that at closing time Kent could not be found and a search had to be launched! Evita is buried in this cemetary which is full of huge sarcophagi like a mini city. Also markets where we saw local caballeros galloping horses down a street to capture a small ring (see the pics), similar to our club rally weiner snatch but at a faster speed...

Buenos Aires is full of lovely parks, we didn't have a problem with smog, and walked very late at night through the downtown areas with no problem. For the locals the evening starts at 10pm and finishes around 3am, everyone is out and about all night every night on the buses. You can manage this if you have a sleep from 2 - 5 pm in the day, although we have had this all the way through Argentina and Chile we still can't get used to the shops not being open then.

It was great staying with Tolga as he was a mine of information and took us out to places as well. We wanted to head to Uruguay next and found a travel agent who offered ferry tickets at 41.5p, at first we thought this was wrong and must be USA$ as the usual price is 135p but he rang and checked so we bought our tickets to cross the river mouth to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay for a very small price indeed!  


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