Rosario, on the Parana River

Trip Start May 27, 2008
Trip End May 18, 2009

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Where I stayed

Flag of Argentina  ,
Sunday, June 15, 2008

I managed to arrive at the BsAs bus station (El Retiro) with my big suitcase on wheels and a day pack.  It was a little confusing to get to the right platform and board the correct bus, as the announcements were made in Spanish, which were totally uncomprehensible.  I did find the platform, and waited until I saw a bus arrive in the right slot (there were many,  many buses coming and going) and at the right platform.  I found out quickly that we were expected to tip the men who loaded the luggage onto the storage section of the bus.  It was very evident by the scowl on their faces, and outstretched hands after they loaded your bags if you weren´t quick with the pesos!

I arrived in Rosario after a somewhat short bus trip on a beautiful Argentinan bus from BsAs, although the trip was filled with adventure.  The road blockades (convoys of farmers in their trucks and commercial truck drivers) were prevelent at the overpasses on the highway.  The highway was completely blocked, so our driver had to go off the pavement onto the median and travel the grass under the overpass.  This blocking several times enroute to Rosario. 

When we arrived, finally, in Rosario, I took a cab to my hostel, but it was filled, and there were no beds left even in the dorm.  There was a Che Chevez concert that was to occur, which had filled the city with revelers.  I asked the taxi driver to take me around, and no hotel, hostel, whatever had any openings.  I instructed the driver to return me to the bus terminal; I figured I would take a bus, ANYWHERE, and return the next day.  At just about the time I got up to the ticket window, ALL of the ticket booths closed; the bus union had decided it was too dangerous to drive, so they shut the whole system down in and around  BsAs and Rosario!  It was getting late, so I joined about 250 other travelers who decided to hunker down on the cold, concrete floor, and spend the night there until the buses started running again.  This particular station does not have walls on both ends, enclosing the building, so it was a windy, cold night, there on the floor.  I had been told that there would be beds available the following night, so I just consoled myself that I had a free night's lodging.  I did discover that I would not die and blow away by sleeping on the floor in the bus station. 

Sometime later in the morning, I took another taxi to my original hostel, and was able to secure a bed.

Maybe I should elaborate at this point in time about my sleeping arrangements.  A hostel usually has private and dorm rooms.  Obviously, the private rooms are more expensive, and generally are used by more than 1 person traveling together.  Dorms are filled with bunk beds (usually), and sometimes restricted to same gender, but usually not.  Yes, you will sleep in a room filled with people you don't know, and maybe never even see.  They can not be there when you go to bed, and be there when you wake up.  Or, vice versa, be there when you go to bed, and gone when you wake up.  Generally, the hostel has internet, a collective kitchen, TV, DVD player, and sometimes, clothes washing facilities (by that, I mean a washboard sink).  Hot water in the bathrooms (outside of Argentina) is a plus, and often as not, the shower water is heated electrically.  By that I mean there is an electric business there by the showerhead, and somehow or other, it heats the water coming out of the shower head.  (I just don't want to go there, and I cringe to think about the electricity and water comingling).  Generally speaking, there is no other hot water anywhere to be found. Usually there is some kind of communial room, be it the patio for eating, drinking and barbque, the "T.V" room, or whatever.    But planning excursions and finding dining partners is best done in the hostel community room, or patio.

Other places to sleep are: residencials, hospedaje, pension, and others.  Sometimes you can stay in the owner´s house, and have use of the kitchen, community T.V. room, etc.

I hope you don't think less of me, because I am about a 50% dorm sleeper, because generally I travel solo, and don't want to pay the expense of a single room.  If I am so lucky as to have traveling mates, we share a room.  There have been times that I had my very own room solo, but these are usually when I am staying at a hotel instead of a hostel.  The downside to hotel staying is that there is no communial meeting places with other travelers, and can get a little lonely.  On the other hand, it is easier to study Spanish and work on my computer.  Less distracting this way.  But nobody to cook with. 

Rosario was stricly a dorm stay, but quite afew fellow travelers were staying at the hostel, so we spent some good times drinking a little Mendoza wine around the kitchen table.

Rosario is a city that is located on the Parana River, which hosts a bunch of barge traffic.  It has a georgous river walk that extends, it seems, for miles.  Great restaurants, some serving fish, abound, and some are situated on the River Walk.  Rosario has it share of churches and outdoor bazaars. 

Currently, a contract has been let to build a new super, duper monotrain from BsAs to Rosario, continuing to Cordoba.  I would like to return to see that, and maybe ride it on the return trip.



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