08 July 2014

Getting Somewhere | South America 2013

29 December 2013 

Let's keep some perspective here. Yes, I was sans cash (or sin dinero for the locals), but I was still spending a summer afternoon in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I had a lot for which to be thankful, and we had already wasted a good amount of time. So Ang and I left the blessed, credit card accepting, air conditioned food court to see some sites.

First stop: Buqebus. 

Buqebus is a place where people book boat trips from Argentina to Uruguay - and I imagine to other places as well. It's huge and (from where we stood) looked like a well oiled transportation terminal. There were confusing lines and employees who weren't too friendly. There was even a (closed) money exchange area. It all seemed very big city and normal. After finally getting in the right line, we waited.

The goal was (of course) to book a trip to Uruguay before we left Argentina. It seemed like the equivalent of going to Canada from the United States, and therefore too simple to skip. The line moved slowly, and there was only so much people watching that could be done. The wait gave me time to take out my Kindle. It gave Ang time to really think about our options.

It turns out Buqebus is not the only ticket giving game in town. There was another agency that - despite booking space on the same boats - was at least half as expensive. It seemed like it might be too good to be true - the same boats leaving at the same times taking the same trips at half the cost. But Ang's had the research that said otherwise and honestly we were ready to actually start our trip. At that particular point we had been in South America for more than 24 hours. And though we had eaten (thrice), seen an old friend and made a new one, we hadn't done much else. So we welcomed the option that got us to stop queuing and start seeing.

Puerto Madero
The Buqebus terminal is near Puerto Madero, which was on the list of places to see and made a really good place to get our tourism show on the road.

There really isn't that much to say about this moment of our trip. We were finally relaxing into being on holiday. We were in Argentina and at that moment I was grateful for all the decisions in my life that had brought me to that point, or port. 

I imagined there were cool, refreshed people watching
from the windows and laughing at us.
I can say it was extremely hot. So. Hot. I think it hit 99 degrees every single day of our trip. So get used to seeing a lot of my miserable face in these photos. I do not do well in the heat. I live in San Francisco. I dread the 15 or so days a year that we get actual hot weather. I just don't see the appeal of being hotter on the outside than I am on the inside. South America in December is not my happy place. But I am nothing if not a trooper.
Trying to look comfortable.

The Visitors' Center.
(They told us the only open Western Union
was in a Wal Mart in some other city. We tried.)

Metal bar sitting in the sun all day? Let's lean on it for pictures!
Puente de la Mujer

These kids were living the dream.
We walked down the port until just beyond Puente de la mujer. I was pretty sure I was following in the hallowed footsteps of contestants from The Amazing Race. I swore up and down that there had been a challenge involving Puerto Madero and the visitors' center / construction crane. But I never found proof. I can't say I've looked too too too hard. But I did look. And I've since looked again only to yield the same results. Oh well. It was a special place and I felt special being there. I say that's enough.

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