Home > Uncategorized > Buenos Aires: Aug 18 – 23rd

Buenos Aires: Aug 18 – 23rd

Aug 18th – The bus on the night of the 17th was an experience to say the least.  It worked out to be one of those situations where time just didn’t work out.  From station to station is was roughly 9.5 hrs, so getting a decent sleep seemed all but impossible.  When we got to the bus terminal we felt like getting a bit of sugar in us, so Paul opted to go on and grab a milkshake while I watched the bags.  After he came back I decided I’d go for an ice-cream, as it worked out to half the price of a coffee (figure that one one)… What’s more surprising was it was a huge 3-scoop ice cream cone for roughly $1.50 Canadian.  To bad for me the bus pulled up right when I was finishing up scoop 1 of 3, so I had to turf the rest of the cone into the trash right in front of a starving stray dog.

Now boarding our bus was even better.  We looked at our tickets and found the section we figured was the seat number… (the only possible number that matched up)… The problem was two shady looking dudes were sitting in our spots.  Now we weren’t sure if the bus was one of those “South American Free-for-all” buses or not.  We didn’t want to just sit in a random seat, because that would be more confusing/embarrassing for us English Speakers if we were sitting in someone else’s seat.  So Paul opted to do the safe bet and as the conductor-dude to show us our seats.  Sure enough it was the seats the shady-looking-dudes were sitting on.  They were clearly sitting there because the seats were right above the stairs, so they had the most leg-room on the entire bus.  The problem with this was it made us look like “tattle-tales/Snitches.”  Normally no big deal, aside from the self-confidence right?…. Wrong.  As soon as the guy’s got up we saw one of the dude’s had one one eyeball… To go along with his “im-a-badass-who-will-murder-you-right-here-and-now” look.  So we nab our seats and immediately me and Paul turn to look at each other and discuss how I will likely be the first one killed, as I was the isle sleep.  Then of course me being a Canadian had flashbacks of the Beheading on a Greyhound Bus in Winnipeg a couple years back… Sweet dreams Ben!

We got into Retiro Bus Terminal in Buenos Aires at 06:30.  It was the start of a bad morning for us.  We lined up for 15 mins for a taxi, and it was finally our turn to have a lame driver.  The guy got out of the card and was smoking his cigarette so fast it looked like he was about to have a panic attack any second.  Now “Mr. Scattered” didn’t seem to pleased when we told him to pop the trunk so we could throw our big bags in the back.  It was an effort to get the bags to fit, but Mr. Scattered insisted his technique of SLAMMING THE TRUNK on our bags would eventually crush them in there and allow the trunk to close… In these situations it’s best to stand back and let Idiocy run it’s course.  So I let him have his minute of slamming before I thought it best to step in and tuck the straps in allowing the trunk to close: Bad call Benito.  Mr. Scattered was still busy slamming.  I saw the trunk coming, so was lucky to pull my arm out of the way as the trunk was slamming down.  The unlucky part was I wasn’t able to get my hand out.  The trunk slammed right in between my thumbnail and my thumb’s knuckle.  The sad part was Mr. Scattered not realizing he had nearly busted my thumb, but rather assuming that it was just the trunk continuing to not close.  Finally we got it closed and I resisted the temptation to remove the cigarette from his mouth and stick it up his ass.

After a 5 minute drive the crap morning continued when we arrived at our hostel: No checking in until 14:00.  We were just on a long bus so wanted a shower, so this really sucked in the fact our hostel was like a tall hotel without communal showers (in-room only.)  We basically had to lounge around for that 7 hours and do nothing as we had most of our bags still with us.  Paul ended up staying up for the entire bus ride so he was even more bothered by this as he really wanted to sleep.  So when 14:00 rolled around we both showered before Paul headed to sleep.  I basically kicked around the hostel and the main street: Ave Florida.  It was a good location for the hostel as it was the main tourist walkway of town and right in the center of everything.  None the less the day turned into an entire waste.

Aug 19th – This morning I woke up and decided to get the main site out of the way right off the bat: the Recoleta district… Specifically the cemetery and the grave of Eva Peron.  Come 11:30 Paul wasn’t up and I wasn’t gunna stick around so I opted to head there solo.  It was a quick 25 minute walk from the hostel, past a ton of shops.  The cemetery was quite the site.  It seemed a mix of Italy with it’s own little twist.  Italian in the sense they erect rather large statues on a lot of their graves.  Unique in the sense they have a lot of plaques on the graves, and the buildings are (for the most part) above ground, and rather large.  It seemed like a lot of money went into the graves.  Marble buildings, they could almost be considered tombs.  Alot housed entire families.  The cemetery itself was sprawling.  Most people of course congregate to the grave of Eva.  It wasn’t in itself all that stand-out in terms of architecture (plain black), but had a bunch of plaques around the entrance and flowers covering the door.  The good thing was there wasn’t too many tourists in the sense I had a good 5 minutes with just myself in front of the grave to take pictures.  The problem with that of course was I was solo and there was nowhere to place my camera to set the timer… So I had to do a bunch of self-shots.  Around the cemetery it was also tricky, as wherever possible I tried to place the camera down and set the timer to take pics.  The problem of course a lot of the times these “resting-spots” for my cameras were graves, so I had to a – accept the fact that being somewhat disrespectful was necessary, and b – try to do so without anyone seeing.  Anyways a lot of the pictures turned out okay:

Statue

Big tombs

self-shot

Eva

Outside Eva's tomb

Looking up at how high the graves go

Nice touch

Huge door

Rocky tomb

Once the cemetary was explored I headed to an art-gallery across the road.  It was free and didn’t have alot of stuff in it, but it was a good was to kill a little time:

After heading back I began a search for a place to get a haircut.  My hair was at the point where I could no longer style it and it was getting really annoying, so I was somewhat desperate.  I walked into a place, and try to ask for a cut (via gestures of two fingers snipping) “masculino” …. That didn’t work to well, as the lady couldn’t really understand me (how is that incomprehensible???) so I asked “habla englais?” and she walked me over to a guy cutting an old lady’s hair who was evidently the only one who knew english.  He asked me if I wanted a cut right now (for 50 peso’s)  and I said yea, so he told me to have a seat.  I assumed this cool somewhat young guy (important in the fact I wanted a sort of fauxhawk) was gunna finish up on this old lady and cut my hair.  So I sat down then all of a sudden heard footsteps coming from upstairs… Down came my barber: A really chunky mustachioed dude, with hair poofed out like Einstein… He even had this funny looking sash filled with various scissors.  He was sipping this silver goblet of something… Well I guess it won’t be as bad as that time in Bangkok I got my haircut by a ladyboy (oddly enough the $5 haircut from the ladyboy was the best value/quality haircut I’ve had in my life.)  Thankfully he knew English so I got a somewhat decent haircut for the money (albeit patches of different length hair.)

After getting back Paul and I hung out before I chilled.  Paul had bumped into Coco and Charley (who we were planning on meeting in B.A. anyways) so we had a couple drinks in our hostels bar with them while discussing our plans and deciding to do dinner at an Indian restaurant.  It turned out to be a really good meal, albeit quite expensive (80 peso’s each)… All in all it was worth it since we were all craving Indian food.

Before dinner

Aug 20th – This morning we woke up and had made plans with the girls to head to the district their hostel was located in (San Telmo) to explore that and go look at the Harbor district (Peurto Madero.)  We had another British girl from the gals hostel come with us for the day.  First stop was the San Telmo market, which turned out to be a sort of second hand shop of western goods.  It tried to convey an “antique-feel” but to me it seemed like second hand clothes donated from western countries, where the goods were trying to be sold back to westerners.

After this we went and sat down for lunch in the middle of a plaza.  The restaurant brought food out while everybody sat at tables and watched some tango.  Steak and Red Wine, it was a real traditional outing.  After this we headed to the port  where we walked alongside the water and grabbed an ice cream.  We cut back up in front of the pink presidential palace and Plaza 25 de Mayo to get some pics before splitting up and agreeing to meet up to go out for the night.

Tango

Puerto Madero

Pink Palace (I know...It sounds dirty)

Puerto Madero

The 5 of us at Puerto Madero

We opted to head on this night party our hostel offered called “The Crazy Train.”  What sold us on it was this goofy etremely giddy Argentian guy at reception who kept saying “It will be crazaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!” Then promptly flailing his arms around in the air while dancing and clapping…

This is the kind of crazy party we were after.

So we all met at our hostels bar (fusion) where we had some drinks before we were meant to head out at 22:30.  All of a sudden we looked over our shoulder and a lingerie type of model competition was starting up.  Out popped some girls in skimpy outfits strutting up a make-due-runway in the middle of the bar.

Yes.. This crazy train thing looked good…

…Sadly enough only 3 models in the guide ushered us out saying it was time to take taxi’s to the club (called “hummer”)… Everyone who was on the party list boo’d him, while those in the bar laughed at us.

Hummer cool looking but we were kept in this upper section away from the locals.  Me and Paul hadn’t eaten yet so for us this was more us trying to chow down as much pizza as we could without looking like idiots.

After this was the legit “Crazy Train”… Music blaring we were ushered upon two train-like vehichles covered in lights.  Here we were given weak vodka+organge juice mix while we lsitened to Spanish music and tried to dance.

A pack of cougars were on board, and they were on the prowl.  Things were all fun until the oldest one (you could call her a granmother) GRABBED the party leader and started attempting to stick her tounge down his throat.  At first everyone burst out laughing assuming this was all fun…

…Then this persisted for a good 45 seconds, with various attempts, and it started to worry us all, so we all turned and looked away.

After rolling through the streets we arrived at our club for the night: Club Asia.  It was pretty busy, and decked out to give a Buddhist ambiance.  It was kind of a let down as the club was a bit of a sausage fest.  What really ticked us off was there were 2 giant bars, but instead of having a couple “pay-points” at each bar, they had 1 till, and EVERYONE had to line up.  It took ages to get your drinks.  We ended up staying here until 03:45, where we caught a cab home.

Having a laugh on board the Crazy Train

Me pulling an Idiot look

Crazy train

At Club Asia

Aug 21st – Paul had given me explicit instructions not to wake him this morning.  I had originally planned to sleep in but we had been forced to switch into a 6-bed dorm the day before, and sure enough someone was ridiculously loud early in the AM.  So once I was woken up I couldn’t get back to sleep.  Me and Coco decided to head out and check out the colorful district of La Boca.  So I walked the 30 minutes to her hostel.  We were joined by the other British girl again, while Charley decided to stay back.

The Boca was really nice.  Again we had lunch at a outdoor cafe were we watched some more Tango.  We basically walked around here for most of the day taking pictures of the buildings and buying whatever souvenirs we fancied.  We got back to our separate hostels to find out Paul + Charley had met up and gone to the Cemetery for the day and had already ate.  So I went out and grabbed some Burger king at 23:40, 20 mins before closing time of midnight.  Me and Coco went and walked around the city until 04:00, while Paul went out to a club again and Charley hit the hay early.

Aug 22 – Today was a rather quite day.  Paul didn’t get in until 08:00 and was really tired/sick, so he gave me cash, and I headed off with Coco and Charley to buy our bus ticket to Mendoza for the 23rd.  After this Charley headed to La Boca, while Coco went to the cemetery, and I went to Mall Pacifico, and bought some more souvenirs.  After that I hung with Paul at the hostel for the rest of the day where I currently sit.  It will be an early night as we have a 07:00 bus to Mendoza (15 hrs), so we’ll probably just shower and pack our bags.

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