So finally we arrived….
ARGENTINA. BUENOS AIRES.
And X-mas without snow for me is a bit…. pffffffffffffffffffff… having christmas without Santa. Anyway. I guess we ve just grown up.
So Buenos Aires. Meeting with Gigi and Gabor at the hostel. Pick up the walking shoes and lets get out.
Streets. Squares. Big… Massive… Huge… Nice… yeah…. but honestly? Exactly the same like i see Budapest – our capital. Big massive buildings with a bit chaotic traffic.
Newest cars next to the ones from the 50s…. cool really.But i do believe, we had just too big expectations about this city… and its kindof normal at the end of the story.
Does not have any big “central point”, the metro lines do not really cover all the turistic places and the bus system seems pretty rough (however i love these oldscool machines).
The first day after lots of walking we discovered Palermo – with lots of beautiful gardens… and it was really nice (thinking to my Mum in the middle of the rose garden) but we still dont understand why it was the “MOST IMPORTANT TO SEE” in Buenos Aires.
Next day we did the plan : La Boca. Well… that is AMEZZZZING. Unfortunatly massive crowd of turists watching fake tango having fake sangria in every corner…
But the place still has its very unique atmosphere with all the colors of rainbow. Was rare walking in “dangerous” streets outside of Buenos Aires for a minute and reach this spot just one block behind full with all the gay massive turism we hate by the way.
That was all… Packed our stuff and get out of the hostel (which have a hole in the middle, or saying better, has no roof on the top letting the heavy rain inside to our doorstep… funny.
NIGHTBUS TO CORDOBA
Amazing experience…. We all hear stories about how dangerous it is, that road-pirates stop the bus and rob everything u ve got. Well… in real life its nothing like that. Crazy like hell – but because its soooooooo chaotic and unorganized – i mean the f*ckin bus station…. i tell u the truth, even in Bangkok was much more organized – however its much more bigger…. anyway.
We got to the Terminal like 3 hours before – and we almost missed the bus. How? Cause it came later, they didnt announce it, it didnt appear on the screen and finally the final destination (which was on the ticket: CORDOBA) was something totally different. Get in. Huuuuuh….
Bit exhausted, Gigi is still breathing heavily and pretty angry. Cause we did asked everyone around about this bus – i went twice to the ticket office – and I DO SPEAK SPANISH, and they didnt tell me a sh*t. Gabor was running up and down asking all the bus drivers about their direction. Crazy. But…. how can it be better?
Gabor has friends who were telling nice stories about sleeping buses here – that there is a stewardess, they give u food and water, a blanket etc etc…. cause u pay 51US dollar for a 10 hours trip… So we had nothing with us. No food, no water – no warm clothes. U wanna guess… we did not get anything. NOTHING. It was f*cking cold (stupid aircon) and we stopped in every hours to pick up some new faces in the middle of nowhere. Was a bit hard to sleep. Again, a new experience.
Did i mention new experience?… The story of my bank card? Hehehehe…. worth it. Just to prepair yourself. I am here basically without money.
We planned with the guys not to have a lots of cash on us – obviously. U hear again a lot of stories about how unsafe is South America. So we got some cash and the rest on debit and credit card. I brought my spanish debit card (Santander, this brand exists here as well) thinking that it works easier….. and SURPRISE!!!!!! It is not working at all! I MEAN – AT ALL!!!! NO SYSTEM CAN READ IT – NO SUPERMARKET, NO RESTAURANT, NO CASH MACHINE, NO BANK…. so i am kindof f*cked . We are hoping that this is happening just in Argentina cause of the financial crisis they have “at the moment”…. Luckily my friends card can work SOMETIMES – NOT ALL THE TIME. Once the debit works once the credit. We are hoping that in Chile we will be able to accumulate a massive amount of cash to keep us alive in Peru and Bolivia. Fingers Cross Please. :)
And another funny story about money…. cause we did bring USDollars here with us. And i did ask on the airport where can i get better rate to change money… the answer was obviously “in the center”. OK COOL – so lets jump in the center looking for a “Change Office”…. and looking… and looking… than keep looking for a bit more (and i am talking about Buenos Aires right now)… finding a BIG FUCKING NOTHING. Ok, lets try in Banks, bit worse rate but we need peso anyway…. Banks are in every 10 meters, every corners and on the top of each other. BUT THEY DONT DO FOREIGN CURRENCY!!!!!!!!!
wHAT tHE f+CK¿?¿?¿?¿?¿ Well…. lets take a deep breath. We saw 100of blogs and read lots of Lonely Planet…. but nobody ever mentioned anything about this fucking money and card issue!!! But to have a mistery twist in our hectic story…. after a massive dinner we had on one of the nights – Gigi was really keen on to buy a packet of Marlboro gold… but we did not have enough peso and the little chinese lady did not accept dollars…i didnt realize but a man was standing next to me on the door and when we were going to turn our direction home… he told me to follow cause he knows a place to change money. Was dark.
I followed him – Gigi and Gabor followed me in a distance… I went in a shop (Buenos Aires is full with shops “KIOSK” which sell nothing… pretty interesting) where 2 old women were sitting next to a standing man. Was asking about the dollar-selling stuff… the old lady was starting to moan… the man asked me “how much”, i had no clue should i say more or less…. so first i said a couple of dollars to buy cigarettes… then he said mínimum 100dollars. And he gave me a pretty good rate (13peso for 1 dollar) so deal done. I followed him in dark narrow street – waited him outside and i was richer with 1300 peso at the end of this night. Lucky Gigi, was smoking her tabacco with a big smile on her face swallowing some hardcore Malbec wine before having sweet dreams.
ARRIVING AT CORDOBA.
Its officially Christmas. We arrived in the morning. With doubts. Lots of DOUBTS. We got too many warning from Friends that Cordoba is ok… but does not worth more than a day. But X-mas crossed our plans – the buses not going and coming – everyone is having fiesta…. so we sticked here for 2 days. Lets see how can we survive…
After arrive we left the backpacks in the Hostel to take a walk around… was thinking to prepair for the 2days fiesta – when all the shops are closed and get some food and drink ahead. After a couple of minutes on the streets…. we all (3 of us!!!!) ended up with a massively sad conclusion…. Cordoba is a gipsy city. All the shops and streets are the same – selling dodgy chinese bad quality stuff.
And the streets were flowing by thousands of people in the morning of Christmas – guessing was still looking for presents and discounts. But dodgy everything. Couple of traditional – historical buildings, churches are looking nice – but they get lost in the rest of the oldschool blocks of flats everywhere. We are just soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo disapointed – that i hardly can find words. Well… another experience.
Lets try to get out the best of it! We bought a couple of beers and food to chill in the hostel thinking to going out a bit later… well, a couple of hours later the city was a real ghosttown. Not a single person was outside (except one street full of black people trying to sell their dodgy plastic chinese stuff at the last minutes) not a single place or shop was open. The whole picture was SPOOKEY enough to get back to the hostel before dark.
Could manage to get some empanadas and a beautiful wine for our “X-mas dinner” on the rooftop terrace… chilling a bit then go to sleep. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA – was thinking US!!!! To sleep? We were soooooo wrong… but soooo wrong!
The guys in the hostel was thinking a bit different – so just chucked a couple massive big fish on the BBQ turn up the music (when i say turn up – I DO MEAN TO TURN UP FUCKIN HIGH) and let it on till 8am in the morning. U can imagine. We did not sleep. Gigi was dressing up at 5:30 moaning heavily that “I CANT STAND ANYMORE, I GO AND CALL THE POLICE” :))))))
Finally when we all “got up” around 10 oclock – both agreed that the only reason to let them do this – was the very very very good music they ve been shouting out so loud. :) Was thinking to ask for the playlist. :P
NIGHTBUS TO MENDOZA
After chilling the whole 25of Dec in a sofá writing this blog (CORDOBA WAS CLOSED LITERALLY) we arrived to the bus station much more earlier, like 4 hours before the bus arrives. We were just too bored to stay in our ass at this weird hostel watching those weird faces. So we ve been thinking, that after the first “accident of the bus terminal” at Buenos Aires we are going to be well prepaired and get on the bus easily at this time.
We asked our “ticket seller office” about the station where the bus arrives, the final destination whats gonna be written on the bus, the company whats gonna be painted on the side of the bus etc etc…. so everything, EVERYTHING. We prepaired blankets for the stupid cold aircond and we did eat before not expecting any bites and stewardess. And we were waiting…. waiting and waiting… The terminal was full with poor abandoned dogs – we became friends with some of them…. and the time was arriving 21.00…. and the bus is nowhere. We forced us to keep calm – the bus will come. It didnt. We ask bus drivers, traffic managers, everyone we found… no answer. We were waiting… the bus is one hour late by now.
Finally i went to the “main office” to ask *how much more do we need to wait, and where is the f*ckin bus by the way*?¿?¿?¿? The lady said with the biggest calm on her face: “she had lost the bus, having no clue where it is”. Oh, there is another bus at 23.10 but…. where did u buy your ticket?¿ OOOOOH, ON INTERNET¿? Well, sorry, we can not change it for the next one. Only thing you can do is go back, wait and pray for your bus cause nobody will refund your money. – And she turned around and left me there.
HOGY BASZODNATOK MEG MIND TI BUDOS ANYASZOMORITO VEN FASZOK ES SZOPJATOK KI AZ OSSZES GECIT A NEMLETEZO FARKAMBOL TI SEMMIREKELLO LUSTA NEMTORODOM PICSAFEJU ROHADT BUDOS CIGANY NEPSEG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*
*fuck off basically with the beauty of the hungarian language.
I mean can u believe this? We are all experienced and well prepaired travellers, but this is a situation u just can not see ahead. And its not your fault. This lazy country with its careless society deserves everything whats happening here at the moment talking about financial situation, political, industrial, market or labour…
So we took a very deep breath and starting to prepair to spend the night in this shitty station…. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR….
And the biggest miracle has just happened…. the bus arrived. One and a half hour later, the “disappeared” bus finally stopped and we jumped up with the worst emotions could a person possibly have about Argentina. Lets see if Mendoza can save the situation…. fingers cross.
to be continued…