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Trip Start Sep 12, 2011
Trip End Dec 20, 2011

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Saturday, December 3, 2011

We flew from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires which was a welcome change from the bus. Ushuaia has a small modern airport and it took approx 4mins to check in, go through security and arrive at our gate - I wish it was always like this! We stayed at a different hostel from last time. It was totally unassuming from the outside, they usually are (normally just a door with a small sign which you are lucky to even notice.) Anyway inside it was pretty cool. No frills of course, but it had alot of character and original features like tall ceilings and long windows with stained glass. The corridors were all outside with colourful tiles, which gave it a sort of Morrocan Riad feel.

We shared a room with two guys - one of which started to get ready to go out just as we were going to bed at midnight. I still canīt get over the fact that bars donīt open until midnight and clubs until 2, it is a nightmare trying to get a drink around here in the evening. In fact, this trip has highlighted how bad our drinking culture is at home. People just donīt drink that much here, we havenīt seen any drunk people.

The most common method of drinking here is for people to share a 1 litre bottle of beer. Usually, its only one, in a minority of cases it may increase to 2 liters. Its a really good way to drink as there is no competitive element which often results in speed drinking and you only drink enough to feel more chatty and relaxed without straying into the "Im talking shite" zone. The best part is that you get no hangovers. This is definitely the way forward when it comes to drinking! (CL)

Anyway the other guy in our room was in to tai chai or something, I kept catching him standing on one leg! One thing I wonīt miss when I get back home is sharing a room with strangers. If you think about it, the only other time you might do this in your life is if you were staying in hospital, a military barrack or in prison! The worst is staying with other guys....being greeted with strange hairy man ass every day takes its toll!

First things first, we had to run the gauntlet at Retiro bus station to collect the bag of stuff we had left in storage earlier in the trip. Part of us had resigned to the fact that it may not be there anymore or if it was, it might be significantly lighter! When I say storage, we handed it over to a wee guy with a few shelves in what is notoriously the least friendly bus station in Argentina! However, our judgements were proved wrong and we were re-united with our bin liner and my goodness did it feel like xmas! I had three more items of clothing to add to my miniscule repertoire..who would have thought a white t-shirt, cardigan and shirt could bring so much joy. We dodged the ghetto folks and made our way out of the bus station, chuffed that we had escaped with our goods!

A sunday in BA is the day to go to a district called San Telmo where they have a huge antiques market, so thatīs what we did. It has a real bohemian feel to it, with local artists selling their crafts along old cobbled streets lines with cafeīs,restaurants and tango bars, there are even pop up street bbqīs,obviously! This is the BA that I imagined and I am glad we found it.

It was here that we also came across an amazing old Parilla restaurant which felt like it had been around forever and never changed! They served up fantastic meat at dirt cheap prices. I had beef ribs and Craig had a tBone steak that was so big that it didnīt fit on the plate...and it cost just over 10 pounds for both, bargain! Needless to say a meat induced coma followed.

That evening we were reminded of the madness that is BA when the local Boca football team won and the city went crazy! It sounded like every car on the road was beeping their horn, flags waving everywhere and impromtu street parties....and it was a sunday night no less!

BA felt a bit different this time, rather than finding it intimidating, I liked the buzz and energy it had. It seemed prettier too. Maybe it was because it felt more familiar 3rd time around and maybe we were more relaxed into Argentine life! After spending so long in the wilderness of Patagonia testing the survival skills, I hate to admit that there was something reassuring about being somewhere with a pharmacy and a knew you werenīt going to starve and that you could get medicine! GL
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