The longest day

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

 › entry 7 of 27 › view all entries

And it really was.  It started with a bus'ride to the Auckland international airport at 1.30a.m. on 31 August where we waited for three hours to board our Aerolineas flight to Buenos Aires.

I{ve already added all this yesterday but the internet crashed before the blog uploaded so I lost everyting and this is the truncated version!

The Aerolineas flight was unpleasant - something like 11 or 12 hours long starting at 440 am ish and ending at ... 0050 am 31 August.  We were fed breakfast soon after takeoff and then got absolutely nothing - no drink, water food or snacks until about an hour before landing.  Janneth ended up asking the flight attendant for food as we were starving after about 8.5 hours.  Future note to self: don{t fly aerolineas.  Apparently they are notorious for flight changes and delays (now they tell us).  Anyway, after the very long and boring flight - did I mention there was no inflight movie?  I was so disappointed as I{d expected we{d get two for the length of the flight.  The armrest radio thingy didn{t work and as a lot of people were sleeping and the cabin was dark I didn{t feel it was polite to turn on the overhead light to read.

Before we left Auckland we dashed (iuf you can call catching Auckland bsues dashign) into Manukau City Mall to grab some reading material - good decision

Back to the point.  Buenos Aires is not exactly beautiful but definitely exciting.  We were politely but forcefully swindled on arrival at the airport by a very nice man who took charge of our bags, dashed off to the airport exit and then wouldn{t let us get ont eh bus they{d loaded our bags on until we tipped him.  No wonder people think New Zealanders are friendly - they just don{t expect to be paid for helping somebody out!  The bus then hurtled at breakneck speed into central BA (it was about 2am by this point) where we were deposited at Hotel Presidente, paid for by Aerolineas.  After snatching some sleep for five hours or so we couldn{t miss the opportunity and set out for some shopping.

BA is noisy, traffic-mad, polluted and exciting.  In spite of the fact that I was still reeling from culture shock (yes even at this tender stage of the journey) I really enjoyed the few hours we had in teh city and wouldn{t mind going back.  The shopping was amazing.  You start walking in any direction from the hotel we were at and there are just hundreds of tiny little shops that all sell the most amazing stuff.  I succumbed to immediate temptation and bought some awesome leather boots.  People come out onto the footpath to try and call you in to their shop and always offer you a discount to persuade you to pay cash instead of with credit card.  It was a beautiful sunny day and went really quickly.

I had to be back at the hotel for pikcup at 5pm to be taken back to the airport and at that point I left Janneth and Scott (wasn{t seeing them again until arriving in Colombia).  Fortunatley I was still traveling with some Australians who were also going to Lima with Aerolineas.

We trundled back to the airport (rush hour traffic) and of course our flight was late leaving again.  Same airline, after all.  Anyway, on arrival at Lima (which was approximately 11pm 31 August) there was no happy little Tucan man to pick me up (I had been hoping).  I was wavering on the edge of bursting into tears at being all alone in a strange country with nowhere to go and people waiting to swindle me at every step when this lovely lady asked me if I needed help.  Turne dout she was with the airport tourist services and she bundled me into a taxi, escorted me to a hotel and arranged for a nother taxi to pick me p again the next morning.  I had to pay about 200 soles for teh experience and to get about five hours sleep.  Scary.  I was thinking as the taxi left the airprt that really they could be taking me anywhere and I was puttin ga lot of faith in the lady{s ID badge which said she worked for the airport.

Sleep at approximately 1.30am 1 September.

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