December 17th, 2008 – by: Dreamer16
17 December 2008
Arriving at Buenos
Aires was kind of crazy and frustrating. Nick´s
checked baggage was at the Guatemala
airport, but mine was sitting in Argentina for those few days. So
when we got to the airport, I had to search all around for my bag and it was
behind an unmarked door in the middle of nowhere. TACA has a new office and
they hadn’t bothered to put up any signs yet. I had to run around back and
forth asking people where to go and it was very difficult to find, but when i
finally found the right door, my bag was right behind it and i was soooo
happy! It was a little beaten up, but fully intact and still had all its
The next step was figuring out how to take the bus. Bus 86
goes directly from the airport to the hostel. However, obtaining Argentinean
coins is a big problem. My cousin warned me about change being difficult to
come by in Argentina,
but I didn´t think it would be this bad. I had plenty of Argentinean pesos with
me, but didn´t have any coins. We went to get on the bus, and it drove off
because we didn’t’ have coins. So i had to go back to the airport to the
currency exchange. They had no money! Unbelievable! They told me to go outside
...where there’s a bank but since it was 7:45am of course it was closed. Then i
went to a cafe so get change. He wouldn´t give it to me. When I asked, he hugged
his little money box as if I were going to steal from him. Then i asked if i
bought something would he give me change and he said no. So then I went to the
newspaper stand. I pretty much got the same response. I went to buy a newspaper
and she would only give me bills back. I said i needed change and she kept
telling me she didn’t have any and that i should to go to the currency
exchange. She wouldnt believe me when i said they had no change either. So then
I tried the last little shop next to her and bought a small package of gum. The
only change the lady would give me was a 50cent piece. She said she didn’t have
change either. I was at wits end and asked the security guard what to do, he
told me my options, which i told him i had already gone to all those places.
and i was told the bank wouldnt open for another 2 hours. i wasnt going to wait
2 hours to get 2 dollars in change. that is completely ludicrous! so then i asked
a traveler if he had change. he didn´t but i gave him my money to buy a
newspaper and since the lady was pretty sick of me for standing there, she
finally gave me some change. with 2 dollars in change, i thought i had enough.
so i went back to the bus stop, and when we finally got on, i figured out we
still didn´t have enough change. the bus driver seemed irritated, but then i
handed him a 2 dollar bill and he gave me coins to put in the machine. at this
point i was incredibly frustrated.
we rode on the bus knowing that the ride should be and hour
and a half. there was so much traffic! seeing the different sites made me feel
better, but all we wanted was to find the hostel and get beds. we took out
nick´s travel guide and figured out where we were on the map and fortunately
got off the bus at the right time. making sure nick doesnt strain himself, i
carried both our packs, while he carried our smaller backpacks. It was 60 pounds for me, but the
weight was distributed very well, so i could get by walking a few blocks.
We arrived at hostel de granados in san telmo. It took 2 hrs
15 min to get there on the bus, but we were so glad to make it! we went to bed
right away, and i slept for 5 hours. I was so glad that i carried ramen noodles
all the way from belize,
so i ate dinner without having to go out. i made some extra for nick for when
he woke up. nick said he was feeling better. he truly believed his antiparasitic
medicine was working. On the bus, he said that his liver didn´t hurt, but he
had a stomach ache. He saw this as good news because he knew that the stomach
ache would go away.
The hostel was very nice. Free breakfast at the cafe right
downstairs and all the other usual amenities. Also, we paid the few extra bucks
for air conditioning! it felt so good! A lot of the other travelers speak English
and so does the front desk. Oh and we had a small veranda adjoined to our room!
18 December 2008
Nick and I rested in the morning, but had to set out to run
some errands. I navigated us to the camping stores where we bought some gas. I
also bought a Salomon backpack which I really needed since my college backpack
was painful to wear.
On our way back we ran into Florida Street. In the evening the street
comes alive with artisans selling their crafts. We spent a long time walking
down the busy street and it wasn’t long before Nick engaged in business with
one of them. We sifted through some stones and Nick picked out one to have a
ring made out of. He watched while the Colombian artisan skillfully macromaed a
ring. We also came across some street tango and sat on the sidewalk to watch
the free show.
After setting down our purchases at the hostel, Nick and I
decided to treat ourselves to dinner after our rough few days of traveling. We
walked quite a ways to a local restaurant recommended in Nick’s Lonely Planet.
When we got there, it was teeming with locals. We ordered some bife de chorizo
accompanied by red wine and melted our stresses away.