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Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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This past weekend I went to Mendoza to relax and get out of the city. Don´t get me wrong, Buenos Aires is great. It just becomes a little tiring and hectic after a while. A group of us decided to put our long weekend to good use in the mountain town and do some outdoor activities in the clean air. One of the first observations I made whenever we arrived at our hostel was how nice and helpful the people were. We were there about 2 hours before we were actually supposed to check in. Granted, the guy could have been a complete jerk and made us leave until everything was ready, but he was really cool and let us have some café con leche and medialunas while we waited for them to clean the room. We sat down in the living room and watched t.v. and relaxed after our long bus ride. We noticed a board on the wall with a bunch of activities to do in Mendoza. Almost immediately the guy came over and let us know that if we had any questions or needed any help with anything, he would be right at the desk for us. Of course we had a lot of questions about cost, risk, times, etc. and he answered all of those questions and even gave us advice on what would be the best options for the amount of time we were there. Not only this first day, but everyday we were there, he always had helpful advice to make the most of our time in Mendoza. Without him, we wouldn´t have been able to do half the things we did! I will say that one of the guys there wasn´t very good with advice…but I guess everyone can´t be perfect! Not only were the hostel workers very helpful, but pretty much everyone I met was very polite and had good advice. Some people we staying in the hostel from South Africa, Holland, and England. They were all very sweet. They gave us advice on other places in South America and we gave them advice on Buenos Aires. Actually, the 3 people we met from England are arriving in Buenos Aires on Wednesday and we´re going to meet up with them and show them around the city. This all just shows me how wonderful traveling is. I think travelers are a very special group of people. Once you´ve traveled for more than a month out of your home country, you can belong to this group. You realize what it´s like to be stereotyped, to have to get around using a foreign language, and you learn how to get along with just about anyone. To get by, you have to share your experiences and ups and downs with people along the way because that´s just what travelers do; we help others in need. I´m proud to be a traveler!
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This past weekend I went to Mendoza and one of the things that really stuck out to me was Argentina´s public transportation system: My first observation is about the amazing transportation that Argentina has. We already have found out that the Subte and public buses are amazing (if you know how to use them). You have to be a little more careful with the taxis, but there are definitely very plentiful here. The new form of transportation that I discovered this weekend was the omnibuses and sleeper buses going long distances. I was very impressed! I have never ridden on a Greyhound bus in the United States, so I guess I can only compare my experience with what I´ve heard from other people about US public bus transportation. I thought the seats were very comfortable, the dinner was good, and the price is unbeatable. They left and arrived at exactly the time they stated. Granted, they could have used a heating system, but once you´ve been through it, you know to wear a few extra layers. I also enjoyed how they stopped and gave us breakfast in the morning. While I´m on the topic of public transportation, I´d like to point out the two great experiences we had with two local Argentines on the way to Mendoza and on the way back. On the way there, a lady sat next to Vickie on the bus and was very cordial and sweet. She spoke a little bit of English so with our little bit of Spanish, we could talk to each other pretty well. Lynn was also with us and she had a great conversation with the woman. On the way back, I sat next to a very nice man from Mendoza. Of course, while having dinner he pulled out his Coke bottle that had been filled with wine and exclaimed, ¨I have to have wine with all of my lunches and dinners!¨ He was great. We talked for a while (with his very broken English and my slow Spanish) about everyday things. He gave me his coat to keep me warm on the cold bus. When we were leaving, he had written down his name and email address on a piece of paper and he told me to keep in touch. What a nice guy! That just shows two things right there: most people in Argentina are nice and helpful and I think more people speak at least a little bit of English than they let on…