A day in mini Buenos Aires

Trip Start Sep 19, 2009
Trip End May 19, 2010

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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wow, what a different experience it was being on one of the famed Argentine night buses! We had paid a very small amount more for "cama" service, rather than “semi cama” (which we are used to…). I was hoping to be able to lie down flat but that was not the case, however the seats were much wider, we had a pillow and a blanket, dinner, breakfast, coffee and champagne…..much more my kind of travelling!!!!

We arrived into the massive BA bus terminal and spent probably about an hour and half finding a combination of information, a ferry office and a left luggage depot!! Originally, we were thinking of catching the ferry to Uruguay. However, the times of the overnight buses were more convenient, so we dumped our heavy bags at the terminal and headed by foot into Bs As. Ben spent the day showing me around his old haunts - we even managed to get into the building of his old flat and right up to his front door, although he did however conveniently forget you need a key to get out, so were stuck for about 15 minutes waiting for a resident to release us!! After experiencing my first taste of Dulce de Leche ice cream (this would certainly not be my last!), and being shown all around the district of San Telmo (where we would be staying the following week), I was very excited that we would be coming back here so soon after. First though, we needed to head off to get yet another stamp in our passports and tick off the final new country we would be visiting in this continent…

So, night bus number 3 in 4 nights, but this time the seats did almost lie flat. Although at first terrified when upon boarding the bus the driver took our passports and threw them to one side, it turned out when we crossed the border at 3am he sorted out everyone's entry and exit stamps while we slept on board, awesome!!

At about 9am the next morning, here we were in yet another capital, Montevideo. We checked into our hotel, where 2 lovely old ladies enthusiastically ran the hotel! We had to wait for the room to be ready, so headed out for a walk and some breakfast before a quick lie down – something we hadn’t done in nearly 72 hours! This turned out to be a bad idea. Ben had been complaining of back pain for the previous few days, however when this time he physically couldn’t get up from the bed we realised he may actually have quite a problem…  I actually tried to pull him up, which ended in yelps heard by probably the whole street! After extensive research on google (yes, I am sure all you doctors are cringing on reading that…) we read that exercise was better for it than lying down, so slowly Ben worked out a way to get up using 4 pillows and very slow movements. Eventually, he was up, and we headed out to walk all around the city and buy a big packet of extra strong pain killers!

We spent the early part of the day walking around the old historic centre. The city is quite impressive, and not dissimilar in style & layout to Buenos Aires itself – it is easy to see why they are compared so regularly. There are a lot of very grand colonial buildings, although some certainly in need of a lick of paint – a bit of restoration work, and this could be a city that gets a lot more attention from tourists than it does currently… The highlight of this old town area without a doubt was the Mercado Central, a big indoor collection of steak restaurants. Structurally, it reminded us a little of Borough market; it was almost like an old open-plan warehouse, built around the centrepiece of a big clock. We (obviously) stopped here for lunch, sharing a massive & excellent steak that was cooked on a huge barbeque right in front of us. The hustle & bustle of this place was amazing!

The latter part of the day was spent in the newer section of the city. It is mainly based around one street, which is full of shops & cafes – and has a few very impressive plazas. We also walked down to the coast to get a good look at the River Plate, which surrounds the city centre. After a lovely dinner near the hugely impressive Plaza Independencia (and a break for some more Dulce de Leche ice cream!), we headed back to our hotel. We finished the day getting some good photo’s from the roof of our building, getting a good look at the city lit up after dark.

Despite only having a day in the capital, we felt we had gotten a really good feel for it – which was lucky, as the next morning we were off to our next destination, and heading for the beach!
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