Day 1 of South America (Must-stay-awake!)

Trip Start Apr 15, 2011
Trip End Feb 04, 2012

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Friday, May 20, 2011

I arrived in Buenos Aires safe and sound this morning.  Flight was uneventful.  This time I had a free seat next to me (score!), unlike Both legs of my London to Aus flights so was able to stretch out and actually sleep. 

Today I decided to forgo the tourist transfer bus into the center of town and opted for the normal bus.  Whilst all the other tourists were dutifully lining up to pay 36AR$ (that's Argentinean Pesos), I jumped on the bus with the locals and paid only 2AR$.  Funds were partly a factor (I over spent a wee bit in Aus) but I also preferred to take the normal bus with normal people.  People who actually life and work in BA instead of foreigners who are being fleeced by exorbitant airport transfers, well, because most people don't know any better.  A bit like getting on a picadilly line tube instead of taking the heathrow express.  The local bus did take an AGE however, nearly 2 hours from leaving the airport were as the tourist transfere bus takes about 40mins.  I did get to see a lot more of BA on the way and I'm pretty sure I was the only tourist on the bus save for one other guy with a backpack who got off half way there.  I spent a long time having no idea were I was and hoping I'd recognise something from my map eventually.  I found the street we were on, then realised we were still 'off the map', only to loose it again when I wasn't paying attention and the bus turned a corner.  I had a small eureka moment when I found our location on the map, right around the same time I discovered I Could reach the bag of almonds in the bottom of my back without having to take everything out first . . . 

I'm currently staying in the San Telmo area of BA.  Its know for being vibrant but a bit edgy, especially after dark when you have to take extra care when out and about.  I saw a bit of that on my afternoon ramble in search of lunch.  People collecting the recycling out of bins to sell and areas with mattresses where a homeless person had set up camp or groups of slightly menacing looking 'I'm going to cross to the other side of the road before going past them' men.  There is some very interesting examples of street art in the area but I was only game enough to get out my camera to take a couple of shots, paranoid I've still got that fresh off the boat look to me and loath to flash my camera and make myself even more of a target. 

I am desperately trying to stay awake at the moment but the jet lag has
hit hard.  I'm debating wether to give in and go for a nap, but if I do
that it will be dark by the time I wake up and it'll mess up my sleep
cycle even more (I left Sydney airport at 10.30 this morning and I got
into BA at 10.45 this morning. . .

Tomorrow I shall explore properly and hopefully I can bully my brain into doing some more Spanish language teacher research as I'm still keen to start something on Monday only that's just a day and a half away now.

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