Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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La Boca

Villazon to Buenos Aires -1,873 km, £ 35.00

The bus was a bit better than the Bolivian ones, but still pretty low spec - particularly when staring down the barrel of a 24 hour journey.

The bus seats seemed to be divvied out in sections. I was in the gringo section that comprised me and a French girl who spoke perfect English. Bien. Next to the gringo section was the whiny little kids section. Not so bien.

The televisions actually worked so I got to see A-Team, Avatar and some crap Spanish film set in Iraq that had no real storyline aside from people being shot, blown up or stabbed.

After about 28 hours we finally arrived in BA.

Graffiti - Saint Valentine
I headed to a hostel with the Frenchster - no rooms. Another hostel, again no rooms. Finally a place with one room - I parted ways with Frenchster and took a taxi to another part of town to find a hostel there.

The first place I came to claimed to be full, but I asked again, ‘Don’t you have anything?’.

‘Well… actually there is a two person room, if you are ok sharing with one other’

‘I’m okay with that, but are they?’

‘Yes, in fact they want, so they pay less..’

We wandered down the corridor to see the room. The door opened to the stench of sweat an alcohol. A grizzled forty-something man with red eyes was staggering around the room. Not a man you’d want to be alone with.

The reception guy took a look then said ‘If you can wait a few minutes we may have another room for just you, if you prefer…?’

I did indeed prefer that to a potential alcohol fuelled bum-rape so ended up with my own room for about twenty quid.

The cemetery

Finally settled, I had just travelled 4,181 km (2,597 miles) in five days for a total of £ 44.45. I’m not sure if I mentioned why I was doing this, so here goes…

The lovely Irish girl and her friends were travelling to the salt flats, then BA, Igassu and Rio. I’d said that I’d catch up with her in BA, though to be fair I only had a 1986 copy of a Bolivia guidebook (which I hadn’t paid much attention to) so didn’t really fully understand the distance involved in getting there when I opened my big mouth. Either way, the mission was now accomplished and I’d got there a lot faster than the two speccy, Scottish, guitar-wielding twats I’d met who were walking 500 miles each. Dah-dan-dan.

Fat tree-friend

So I headed out to meet her in, unsurprisingly, an Irish bar. We ate, unsurprisingly, beef.

The next day we headed out to the main cemetery, quite a beatufil place (if a bit morbid) and it also contained the grave of Evita. Worth a photo. Then it was time to say goodbye to the lovely Irish girl a second time as she headed to Igassu.

The next few days in Buenos Aires were not particularly cultural and revolved mostly around the joy of not being sat on a bus, the joy of alcohol and photographing interesting looking graffiti.

I’d met a hilarious Ozzie in the hostel. We met Frenchster for a drink, then headed off to find a club. We failed, locating only some fairly empty bars but still ended up at the pizza shop near the hostel at 3.a.m. chatting to three local drunks.

Though generally affluent, BA still has the old South American slum and ting.

It was one of those ‘we don’t really speak much of each others languages, but because we’re drunk we’ll give it a go’ conversations. It turned out that the group was a 47 year old woman (she claimed 42, but her brother grassed her), her brother and her son.

The woman kept talking to me in fast Spanish then motioned for me to give her my hand. I was expecting a palm reading or something (not that I would have understood it), but she just held it and started rubbing it seductively.

Her brother was translating.. ‘ she says in your eyes…you two have a connection..’ etc. but he was a bit of a piss taker so I couldn’t be sure that she wasn’t just recommending a hand cream. Either way the food was ready so I took my hand back.

Then it got really painful. As me and Ozzie walked back, the woman came and looped her arm around mine and started gesturing for me to go with her somewhere, chatting a lot of Spanish at the same time. Her son then tried to peel her off me, whining ‘Mom, mom, what are you doing, you are drunk..’ Poor kid.

So after I’d pounded her silly on his spiderman duvet… I jest, readers. I exited quickly from the takeaway, leaving a young Argentine to argue with his horny mother.

The next day I planned to go to Fuerta Brute - a crazy theatre performance. As I sank my third beer at about two in the afternoon I realised that that was unlikely to happen. The afternoon continued in the same way, the most interesting conversation that I thought I was having lost something of it’s comedy value as I realised that when the two Swiss girls in the hostel said they ‘got fucked by monkeys’ they just meant ‘fined by the police’.

Me and Ozzie then went to a Columbian guys flat to drink absinthe, then out to some pubs. A good chance to learn a bit of Spanish, but not much happens on a Tuesday in Buenos. The next day I moped around with a hangover, although I did manage to book-swap for a Lonely Planet South America guide - a mere six years old. Back of the net.

Frenchster had told me about Florianopolis - beaches, sun and surf. It was pissing it down in Buenos and I was now the only person left in the hostel, save an old dude who had lived there for eight months! Plus I was getting sick of eating beef all the time. Time to get on another bus…

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La Boca
La Boca
Graffiti - Saint Valentine
Graffiti - Saint Valentine
The cemetery
The cemetery
Fat tree-friend
Fat tree-friend
Though generally affluent, BA stil…
Though generally affluent, BA sti…