Buenos Aires is everything that everyone raves about and more. It’s a big city, with even bigger character. After the 52 hour bus ride up from Ushuaia, we stumbled into Terrazas Estoril hostel on Avenida de Mayo smelling the worst I’ve smelt in a long time but feeling like heros.
Our dorm room was a small dome room on the roof of the hostel. There was a pool just outside the door… a very cool blow up baby pool. I immediately loved the hostel and the city.
My first morning I went down for breakfast and to my surprise, everyone looked up and said good morning… perfect. A really friendly hostel that happened to have a lot of solo travellers who wanted to make friends, exactly what I like. Buenos Aires has an absolute wealth of things to do, see and experience, you can completely immerse yourself in the culture. We were lucky to have been in Buenos Aires over a weekend, and I learnt that the best way to get a feel for Buenos Aires is to put one foot in front of the other. Our first two days were spent walking around the city and checking out markets on the warm summer afternoons.
On the Sunday afternoon we sat on the roof top of the hostel with a bottle of wine, dangling our feet into the baby pool . We were joined by two guys, each at different times and each travelling solo. As the evening wore on and we were joined by more people it occurred to me something I love about travelling and had taken for granted. When you meet new people it’s entirely different from normal life. In normal everyday life you meet a new person and one of the first questions you ask is “What do you do”? How do you contribute to society? What is your worth? When you’re travelling it’s entirely different. The first 3 questions you ask everyone and get asked every time you meet someone new are:
“Where are you from?”
“Where have you been?”
“Where are you going to?”
And sometimes “Can I come too?”
It’s refreshing… it’s comforting. Life means something different for a little while, it holds an entirely different perspective. That night a group of seven of us went out to dinner together, five people from different parts of the world who I hadn’t met before that night. When did you last do that in everyday life
The following day we found a free walking tour which showed us all the sights of Buenos Aires, accompanied by a great history lesson. We spent the late afternoon strolling around parks and visited the most unique cemetery I’ve ever been to, which also happens to house Eva Peron. That night we all went to an outdoor club that operates on Monday nights only, it’s main draw is a live drumming band. It was incredible. We met up with some others from the hostel and by midnight there was a long table of us having dinner together in a small restaurant.
The next day we headed off to Uruguay for a few days by the beach, which deserves it’s own blog.
We arrived back in Buenos Aires three days later. There was no space in our previous hostel so we checked into Milhouse Avenue Hostel down the road for one night. We arrived at midnight, still not feeling too good after a big night out the night before, straight into the middle of a party in the lobby of the hostel. I headed straight for bed, reminiscing of the hostel Terrazas Estoril where I’d have preferred to have been. I made it to my room and met one of my room mates, a lovely 18 year old Australian guy who told me that he’d met so many ‘old people’ travelling and couldn’t understand why they weren’t at home settled down. These ‘old people’ as he called them were all around the age of 26. I wonder how old he thought I was. I imagine that when he reaches the ripe old age of 26 he may have a different perspective…
After a big day I finally passed out in an insanely hot dorm room on my top bunk bed. At about 4am I was awoken by a guy trying to get into my bed. I screamed, waking up most of the dorm. A very drunk guy was leaning over me trying to wake me up to let me know that the bed I was sleeping in was actually his friend’s bed, and I’d be asked to leave soon. In my half asleep state and coated in his alcohol breath, I was completely confused by this… I’d been given this exact bed and it had not even a sheet on it. So I mumbled to him that he should tell reception, rolled over, and promptly passed out again. Funnily enough he never did go to reception and his friend never did come for his bed. Really not the type of hostel I was in the mood for.
Leaving Buenos Aires I was a little sad to go. I could have spent a whole lot more time in this magical city, there was so much more to discover… but the road beckoned.
I had feeling deep down that things were not over for me and Buenos Aires, I’d be back some day…