Don’t Cry For Me Argentina

Trip Start May 04, 2011
Trip End Feb 20, 2014

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Where I stayed
hollywood suites and lofts
What I did

Flag of Argentina  ,
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I got hardly any sleep the night before our flight to Buenos Aires. Up at 4am for our flight at 7am. The taxi trip was an experience and a half. No seatbelts and whipping down the deserted freeway at 120 kph in the morning darkness. My sore throat has migrated to my nose and it is running like a tap. I feel ok, just annoying. The others later told us that everything in La Paz was closed on Sunday for the election, so we were very glad that we looked around the city and did a bit of shopping on the Saturday. Most of Sunday was spent in transit. Our flight to BA was via Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Full-on immigration and customs with Interpol checks on every passenger, hand-luggage inspections and body pat-downs. Arriving in Argentina there is a "reciprocity" fee for Australians, USAmericans, and Canadians because we all charge Argentineans a fee to enter our respective countries and so this is their equivalent. Bit childish, but amusing – there goes $100!

It took us a while to work out the taxi process from the BA airport...u have to pre-pay at a counter inside. As we scooted along another freeway without seatbelts, it was instantly apparent that BA is much more advanced & wealthier than any of the other Sth American cities visited. But there was a very thick layer of fog/smog which we were later told was caused by volcanic ash blowing up from Chile. Very limited visibility. Our hotel is in Palermo Hollywood, which is one of the social suburbs similar to Leederville. Self-contained loft apartment with balcony overlooking the suburbs towards the coast and a fantastic shower that is perfect following the crap showers we've had this trip. Lots of restaurants on every corner and I was looking forward to a jacuzzi/sauna session, but ran out of time.

Did some shopping in the many malls, got my haircut (very violent process, he cut my neck!) and just soaked up some sun and relaxed in the Spanish influenced culture for the final moments. Much warmer here than Peru or Bolivia, but still only low 20's. I could have spent more time in BA, not a great deal of sights to visit, but there is a good vibe to the city and lots of different districts to explore. It is the airport hub of Sth America, so it’s likely that I will pass thru again in my lifetime and at least I know what to expect. On my final night, we headed out to a dinner and Tango show that included hotel pick-ups so that was really helpful. Great food and good entertainment with a sleek production and some incredible dance moves. A couple from our tour group were in BA at the same time and we met for lunch in the CBD on my final day and had another great steak with a couple of the local beers (Quilmes). Easy to get around on the comprehensive subway network, although each train we caught was way overcrowded.

I am typing this while on 9 hr stop-over in Johannesburg. Watching planes take off and land. They have renovated and expanded this airport since the soccer world cup last year and it is heaps better and bigger, so the long lay-over is not so bad. I’ve done a bit of duty-free shopping at the 'Out of Africa’ store which has to be one of my fav stores in the world. Just a couple of hrs to go until my flight to Ghana and the end of another break! It was a busy break and I’m actually looking forward to the routine of work, eat, sleep. Lots of experiences to reflect on and I will probably look at my photos and think “wow, we did that?!”. I’m glad that Melissa and I didn’t kill each other. I am not the easiest person to travel with, but I think Melissa and I make a good travel team. Gracias South America!
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