my first week in argentina

On January 12th, I arrived in the large and hot city of Buenos Aires. That means that this site has now become a travel blog. On my first day, when I walked into my room at the hostel in San Telmo, I ran into Gabe as he was starting his day. We soon met up with Smiley and I spent most of my time in BA kicking it with the two of them. mi primera semaña en el sur hemisfero...
a rooftop view after a rooftop barbeque at the home of other wesleyan grads

live music in the streets of San Telmo

That´s Andy in the foreground, Gabe yawning and Smiley in the background with a large metallic flower - that closes every night.

Gabe in Smiley´s apartment with his brand new travel guitar

Traffic was held up by striking farm workers whom I guess were demanding higher wages. Meanwhile, I was on my way to a farm to work for free. Ugh. The bus ride from Buenos Aires to the mountains was painful. It started out at the biggest, most crowded and sweatiest bus station I had ever seen in Buenos Aires. I had reserved a full bed (It´s like flying 1st class I was told) on a bus to Barriloche. The trip was supposed to take 19 hours to get there plus another 2 hour bus ride to El Bolson. In my section of platforms, the electronic board said that there were 3 different buses all going to Barriloche leaving within 6 minutes of each other. I had asked a guy with the bus company if an earlier bus was mine and he explained that there were lots and lots of buses going to Barriloche. I met some young folks with camping gear from Buenos Aires who were on the same bus as me. Then, a guy announced that our bus would be leaving from platform 37. So, we stood next to platform 37 and waited. Meanwhile, other people were loading up on other buses to Barriloche but I trusted the announcement, the electronic board and the porteños (locals from Buenos Aires) and figured that they knew what they were doing and that I would follow their lead. Well, that was stupid. Our bus left and I had watched people board it while I stood there and waited. The guys of the bus company insisted it was our fault. So, we ran upstairs to the ticket office and I hopped on a bus 45 minutes later - a bus without fully reclining seats and that took 26 hours instead of 19 with lots of stops in small towns across the country. One advantage of this bus was that I got to see local farmworkers burn tires...

Traffic was held up at maybe half a dozen of these points. The men would hold traffic up for 10 to 40 minutes and then let one lane pass. The farm workers who were striking were not hostile at all. I guess they just wanted to interrupt traffic and they smiled as we drove by.

Ah. The mountains. Getting to the mountains after being in Buenos Aires was a relief. This is Lago Epuyen with Quiln? and Dalia in the foreground.

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