We got to the airport (the one that we arrived at) and scanned the departure board. Not only was our flight not listed but neither was the airline! We went to the information stand to find that we were at the WRONG AIRPORT. (Andrew Edit - Bear in mind this maybe amusing now but after 4.5 hours of sleep and still probably drunk it wasnt that amusing at the time thinking we had missed our bargain basement flight). The actual airport that we should be at was in fact right back on the other side of town, near the hostel, one hour away. We got a taxi with little hope of arriving in time so on the way we planned what else we should do in Buenos Aires for the next couple of days. The traffic, sods law, was absolutely jammed all the way up Av 9 de Julio towards the Obelisk and we considered just getting out and giving up knowing that we were within walking distance of the hostel. We chose to stick with it and got to the airport eventually about 20 minutes before the flight was due to leave. Shocked that the check in desk wasn't closed we checked in and after paying for our checked in baggage we legged it to immigration. Of course there was only two officers there and one was busy arguing with a family in Spanish who were being refused entry. Afew calls came over the speaker system that we couldn't understand and we began to panic checking other peoples boarding passes over their shoulders to see if they were on our flight. We were rescued in the end by a staff member who had come to find us. We ran through and got on the waiting bus and then waited and waited and waited. A few other stragglers arrived and then we were driven to the plane about 10m away. (Andrew Edit - Whilst it seems a difficult thing to turn up at the wrong airport we arranged the bus through the hostel who I think keen to get us on their minibus didnt ask where we were going to so it didnt click with us there was more than one, I'm digging a hole I know but there are big sugns in the hostel saying 'Getting to the airport is easy just book today!' We didn't even think there may be another airport.)
The flight was fine and Andrew even managed to get some sleep
. We touched down in Montevideo, Uruguay at 10am thirty minutes after leaving Argentina, an hour on, and as our bags were checked straight through to Brazil we got some money out at an ATM and with 6 hours until our connection to Rio de Janiero we got the bus in to the city. On the journey I was reminded of the Philippines being on a bumpy bus with all the windows open and curtains violently flapping against our faces - but this time without the power ballads being played full blast. We spent a while wandering around the streets looking at the beautiful crumbling architecture and the strange people (check out Spiderman). It was an extremely hot day so we went in search of some shade and found ourselves in Plaza 25 September which was lovely and leafy so we caught our breaths there and people watched for a while. Next was on to the Market Puerto which we had heard about being a superb lunch stop - unfortunately it was a bit too expensive for us so we just salivated around all of the stalls which had roaring flames licking at barbecues stuffed with all types of delicious looking meat.
We caught the bus back to the airport and had a McDonalds (ouch) as it was cheap and we were starving. Then we sat in the departure hall and watched about three episodes of The Apprentice that we are catching up on from home. Our flight was on time, and we were this time (nice change) and it took about 3 or 4 hours and then we were in Brazil - our third country of the day
. We touched down and it was teeming down with rain ground staff even met us off the plane with umbrellas. We haven't seen rain like it for ages. Getting through immigration was a bit of a chore, we weren't given all the correct paperwork on the plane and when we got to the airport they didn't have any either so we had to stand to the side and wait for more of the slips while everyone else came through looking us over thinking that we were going to be given the plastic glove treatment or something. Our bags were the last on the baggage belt and they were soaked but we didn't have time to worry about it as our airport pick up was waiting for us. After enduring a scary ride to the hostel (I don't think we did less than 100kms/hr even around corners) we arrived, checked in, got our linen and then made up our beds we were asleep by 2:30am.
We were both feeling a bit dodge when the alarm went off at 6.45am, lack of sleep, red wine and red meat had taken its toll on us yet again. We quickly packed the bags, we had neglected to pack up the clean washing yesterday, and stumbled down to the lift to get down to reception for our 7.20am airport pick up. While we were waiting people were still trailing in from the night before and a girl asked Andrew "is that beard a November thing?" The beard has really taken on a identity of it's own, everybody seems to LOVE it here. Still not too sure myself - especially as Andrew refuses to even trim it as he's dying to get some wax shaping going on! Oh my. So anyway the bus arrived half an hour late but we still had plenty of time just us and another couple on the bus so we had room to stretch out and rest our eyes. We confirmed with the hostel again what to do when our bank card arrived, however we found out afterwards some issue over local taxes had meant it had to be sent somewhere else so the cashcard is playing a bit of catch up, we have a redelivery pencilled in for a few days time so heres hoping