Tango, exloring and retiring the bikes

Trip Start Oct 16, 2012
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Trip End Apr 20, 2013


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Flag of Argentina  , Capital Federal District,
Saturday, April 20, 2013

We managed to get an early start, quickly have breakfast, pack up and be on the bus for 7am to get back to Montevideo. To get the midday ferry, we needed to be on a bus for a few hours, then get on a local bus across the city, before re-assembling our bikes and then cycling to the ferry terminal. Thankfully it all went smoothly and we arrived at the terminal with lots of time to spare. We soon had ferry tickets in hand and proceeded to get our passports stamped out of Uruguay and back into Argentina. It couldn't have been easier, as both consulates where at the same desk and they just passed our passports across. We even had time to enjoy one last coffee in Uruguay before riding our bikes on board the boat. The ferry took three hours and we were pleased when we could finally see the big, tall buildings of Buenos Aires ahead.

The arrival into the city was also easy, as we were waved passed the customs offices and easily navigated through the city. We had booked a hostel on the internet and were really pleased to see that it was a lovely place to be. The staff were really friendly, there were lots of facilities and many westerners were staying there.

Throughout the time we spent in Buenos Aires the sun was shining and the skies were blue. It was such a contrast compared to the coast of Uruguay, and we tried to make the most of the last bit of summer that Kory will see for a while. We walked along the pedestrian shopping streets and snapped pictures of lots of the important buildings, such as the cathedral and the treasury buildings. As we walked around the cathedral we wondered if the new pope had spent lots of time there, as the current pope is Argentinian. There were photos of him everywhere and the locals seem really proud of him.

The main commercial area was filled with people rushing up and down the streets in suits and business attire. It seemed so different to the pace of life that we have experienced in most of the other places that we have been to recently and it seemed quite over-whelming. Everyone was pushing and shoving to rush to their next meeting.  Whereas Kory and I were usually just ambling along looking for something to eat.

We spent one day going to the Boca area, which is the site of a massive football stadium and also a really touristy area. There are cobbled streets and the houses are all painted in numerous bright colours. The pedestrianised streets are filled with artists, painters, jewellery makers and sellers and many other people trying to make a quick dollar....well actually Peso, but you get the idea. The main reason that we wanted to go was to see some tango dancers. According to our guidebook the Boca area is the home of tango and it is a national identity for some people. As we walked along the streets we saw numerous dancers, who would dance together and then offer to dance with you to teach you some moves.  As Kory and I both lack any coordination we decided to take a seat to watch them, in the hope that they wouldn't pull us out of the crowd.  We enjoyed a nice lunch in the sun, whilst watching the street performers dance together and show off their moves.

Another major activity during our stay was getting the bikes ready to fly back to Canada. This involves taking them apart, cleaning them and covering any areas that may get scraped or stressed during the flight. That is the easy part. The more difficult part is getting the bike boxes and all the cardboard and plastic that we need to be able to do the job. We spent at least a couple of afternoons going around all of the bike shops trying to get the things that we needed. It has been a really easy job in the past but the bike shops in Buenos Aires were tiny and didn't keep anything for longer than they needed to. However, it did allow us to walk all over the city and explore lots of the streets. Finally we were able to spend some time getting the bikes prepared for their journey home, much to the amusement and interest of the staff at the hostel.

Then all of a sudden it was time for us to get ready to leave, as our adventure was completed. I booked a flight to Ecuador, to attend a Spanish language school for a while and Kory was ready to fly home to work for the summer season. Naturally it wasn't going to finish that easily though, as the taxi that they sent to take us to the airport was too small and we had to take separate taxis. It looked like it was going to be a difficult journey to the end, but thankfully the airport staff were kind and charged us very little to transport the bikes on the plane (only $50 or 30 GBP per bike).
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Comments

Natalie on

I am going to miss these updates :) Looks like a beautiful city.

Dave and Doreen on

Pleased to hear from Mum and Dad all is well with you and that you have met some nice people in your new location. We enjoyed all your travel news. Thinking of you. Keep in touch. Love, xx

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