South America on a shoestring

Travel time: June - December 2004  |  by Rob W.

Back in civilisation, Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, July 20 - 22

Arriving in Buenos Aires felt a bit like getting home... after a long time in noticeably less developed countries than my own it came as a bit of a shock to be in a city that to all intents and purposes could be in Europe. While it´s dreadful to say it, I´d not found the Peruvian or Bolivian girls very attractive so it was a pleasant surprise to see a hot blonde as the first girl I saw in Argentina, at Ezeiza Airport. I checked into the legendary Millhouse Hostel on Av Hipolito Yrigoyen (book in advance it´s always full) but as I was shattered after getting up early for my 2 flights to BA with Lloyd Aereo Boliviano I decided the best thing for it would be to get a nap. When I finally thought it might be an idea to see a bit of the city as I was on such a tight time frame I headed out into the street, only to bump into the brother of a friend from home. I´d known he was in Argentina, and given as everyone has a Lonely Planet it wasn´t too much of a surprise! Thus I had a companion which I was happy about as I didn´t fancy a return to solo travelling just yet.

I couldn´t decide if Buenos Aires looked more like Paris or London to me, but it certainly had the air of a grand European city. The only exclusion to this is the banks which are still covered in graffiti and boarded up after the economic crash. Walking around the city centre I felt they were the only reminder that I was not in a highly developed Western country. As opposed to the rest of my trip I was now able to go to supermarkets, get metered taxis, buy sandwiches in packets, and generally feel like I was pretty much at home. This isn´t normally something I look for when I´m away though, but Buenos Aires had the charm to make up for it. I enjoyed a couple of quiet nights out there (which is not in keeping with the spirit of the place at all, I know!), and took in the Recoleta Cemetery which is a strange but pretty rewarding tourist attraction, and the Boca Juniors stadium tour which is well worth the entrance fee if you speak Spanish, and probably so if you don´t. Looking round the Bombonero I vowed to come back for a game before I headed back to England in 5 months.

Much as I liked BA it was time to head up to Florianopolis and get started with the reason I was in South America in the first place, to learn Portuguese. However as the Welsh will tell you there´s always time to fit in one more small and dull country, so I decided to take the route up through Montevideo. (Please don´t send me Wales related hate mail, I´m only joshing with you!)

Buenos Aires - the good

  • home comforts

  • Millhouse Hostel - fantastic, and a pretty girl on reception!

  • Boca Juniors stadium tour

  • Pints of lager, real pints, in an Irish pub

  • The women

Buenos Aires - the bad

  • Perhaps a little too like home after the experiences of the past 2 months

  • The Falklands War protest in the Plaza had a distinctly anti-British tone to it

  • The accent... I thought I spoke Spanish until I got to Argentina

© Rob W., 2004
You are here : Overview The Americas Argentina Back in civilisation, Buenos Aires
The trip
Backpacking in South America then 5 months at uni in Brazil, despite the fact I don't yet speak Portuguese. Bum.
Start of journey: Jun 12, 2004
Duration: 6 months
End of journey: Dec 24, 2004
Travelled countries: Peru
The Author
Rob W. is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 17 years.