Carnival and no sleep
Trip Start Oct 28, 2009
61Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Francisco picked us up in Buenos Aries and brought us to his house in the suburb Eschobar. We pitched our tent in his backyard which had remarkably soft grass!
Friday night we took a bus to Gualeguaychu a vacation spot for Argentinean´s but for us it was the spot of carnival. There we pitched tents in his cousins yard, it looked like a mini campground there with all the tents. It was Francisco, his friend, his brother, his cousin and a few nieces and nephews..always need some kids around, and Sean and I who traveled from BA. Argentinean style we did not go out into the town until after 2AM. The town was mobbed, streets filled with people partying. We eventually found our spot and sipped beer until the wee hours of the morning. We headed over to the bridge of the river in time to see the sun rise, as well as a lightning storm in the distance
The next morning was bad because the sun was up and hot by 9AM baking our tents to the extent we could not sleep. So we sat around, in a sleepy stumper, with mate to help keep us functioning. A trip to the big river, Rio Uruguay was planned for the afternoon. We stopped for BBQ needs and made the 40 min or so drive out to the river. This was the scene of scenes. Access to the river is through a campground that was jam packed full of tents and people. When we got to the river I couldn't help but laugh, I have never seen anything like it. It reminded me a bit of spring break, but family style-well south american family style. There were hundreds, maybe a thousand people fighting for a spot on the tiny beach or in the river. We eventually found our group and joined them, then the BBQ group left and cooked our lunch, or dinner or whatever it was at that point...all I know is we were all starving! After a dip and people watching on the beach we headed to the lawn and grubbed on BBQ. The weather had turned, not cold but not roasting hot either. It rained for a bit. Sean and I had to get back to the town to get ready for Carnival so we got a ride with Francisco´s cousin. Francisco, his brother and friend stayed to party at the river. After a way too short 45 min power nap we got ready for carnival.
Carnival, Gualeguaychu 2010-
We walked to the stadium it was held at
I don't really know how to describe it- its everything I imagined! except it was not in the streets, it was in an outdoor stadium. A isle in the middle provided the road for the performers, dancers...whatever you call them to do their thing. There were feathers, next to nothing costumes, glitter, beautiful beautiful people singing, dancing and the occasional drummers. Each group had its own theme, most accompanied by an over the top theatrical floats. It was so exciting! The energy in the crowd was unreal! I have nothing to compare it to! I love carnival and the excitement that it offers.
Late night after we sadly left the stadium because the festivities were done we wondered to town. We had plenty of boozes in us so the lack of sleep did not phase us. We wondered around looking for the perfect spot- then decided we liked where we were the night before. En route to drink ordering we heard the guys calling our names
The next day the weather was cooler so we were able to sleep in a bit in our tents. Our bus was not until 10 that night so we headed out back to the scene of scenes at the campground and river. Francisco met up with the girls he had been hanging with the previous day- letting him chat them up we read and slept the afternoon away...afterall Its hard to holler when you have to pause and translate all the time!
It all ended a little dramatically, transportation wise. There were no taxis to get us to town to catch the bus back to Eschobar. We waited in line for the bus to town but it was cutting it pretty close. Francisco or his friend were always off looking for a taxi and naturally when one of them was gone the bus showed up. Sean and I got on the bus, the guys...and the girls...stayed behind. We got to the station with 5 min to spare and caught the bus back to Escobar. So tired we passed out on the bus and god knows how, Sean woke up at the stop we had to get off at- ran off the bus and made it! We took a taxi back to the house, which was a mission because he did not know where the street was, and eventually put our tent up and slept...hard!
Francisco and his friend took the 4AM bus back and we reunited with Francisco in the afternoon.
Our last night in Escobar we went out to a parrilla with Francisco and his brother. Basically a BBQ- not any BBQ! The people in Argentina are famous for their BBQ´s, the coals, the patience, and the cuts of meat...it is truly an experience not to miss while in Argentina...luckily Sean found some people to experience it with! I had a platter of BBQ veggies, the boys had the biggest platter of meat I have ever seen!!
We caught the bus back to BA- well I did. Sean did not make it but we met up in the city. To spend 1 night before our bus to the south...Pategonia here we come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!