Buenos Aires, Argentina 2013

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December 22nd 2013
Published: December 22nd 2013
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We arrived in Buenos Aires around midday and first impressions were not good, the bus terminal and surrounding área looked like a slum, with rubbish and wild dogs everywhere. We jumped in a taxi and as we got into the main city centre we realised the city was actually really nice, with beautiful high rise buildings, it seemed like a European city such as London. After checking into the hostel we headed to the infamous Florida Avenue to change our dollars to Argentinian Pesos on the ´black market´. There were so many random people in the Street shouting ´cambeo´(change) and offering a variety of rates much higher than the oficial rate. We ended up getting 9.7 pesos to the dollar which against the oficial rate of around 6 pesos to the dollar gave us a financial boost. We followed one guy into a building, past a guy on the door and into what looked like a cheap post office counter, however we changed the money without any problems and went on a walk around the city for a few hours. The more i saw of the city the more i began to like it. That night we headed out for an Argentinian steak seeing as that is their speciality. The steak was incredible, i had a 400g rump steak which was huge and came with chips and wine which cost not much more than a tenner! Absolute bargain! We then headed to the other Milhouse Hostel (Milhouse Avenue) as the party was there that night. Me and Freeman played beer pong and the crowd soon gathered to watch. We smashed Colm and Dan and were then challenged by two American girls that kept adding new rules to suit them and we lost by a cup, devastated! We then all headed to a club but they didn´t allow shorts so me and Freeman had a long, annoying, drunken walk back to our hostel.

The next morning we had put our names down for the La Boca tour but as we hadn´t paid they sold the ticket to other people. Not to be deterred we joined forces with two Brazilian girls and a guy from the US and decided to do the tour ourselves. We went into HSBC to get some change for the bus and everyone laughed at my expense as i walked up nice and confident with ´Hola, como estas´ (Spanish for hello, how are you) but followed that up with a dodgy foreign accent of ´can i have some change please´(definitely not Spanish at all.....) Anyway, we got our change and caught the number 64 bus to La Boca. As soon as we got off the bus the appeal of La Boca became evident with the colourful buildings, street music and restaurants with Tango dancers outside. The weather was amazing as well, hot and sunny. We had lunch and then walked up to the Boca Juniors Football Stadium, had a walk around their museum and then did a tour of the stadium itself. The stadium was old school with steep terraces, standing áreas and high fencing all around the pitch to keep the fans off it, this would definitely not pass the H&S for football stadia in the UK! That night it was our hostels turn to host the party, we met an American guy in our room called Colton and asked if he wanted to come out with us and his response was ´hell fucking yeah! I´ll jump in the shower now´, legend! Before the party started we had two Tango teachers come to the hostel to give us a lesson. Freeman had a kip but i got involved, learned a few steps and it was actually really good fun. After that we had a couple of cheeky vodkas in the room and Adam from Derby brought in some JD so we were all on our way and then partied downstairs in the hostel for the rest of the night, not getting back to the room until 6am.

Feeling worse for wear in the morning a few of us headed to McDonalds and then went shopping. I purchased some dark blue chinos, the smallest size they had was a 28" waist and i could still fit two fists down the sides, looks like i´ve lost weight while i´ve been away! We then walked for hours to find a supermarket as i had done another money trick on a website called Azimo, which lets you transfer money from an English bank account to pick up Argentinian Pesos at a rate of 14.47 to the pound, making Buenos Aires a pretty cheap city! For dinner that night 6 of us lads went to an all you can eat buffet with loads of different meats on offer, it was a bit like Tropeiro back home. After food and wine we headed to the other Milhouse for their party, where we met the two Americans from the first night. We were challenged to another Beer Pong match so got the beers in but they didn´t have a ping pong ball so it turned into a down your pint competition, we all failed miserably and managed about three sips before we all gave up... The girls then asked us to go to the club with them but we were knackered so we just walked back to our hostel. We were so smashed i ended up willycoptering a homeless woman, she didn´t even bat an eyelid!

Hungover again in the morning, i could only manage some fruit and juice for breakfast. A group of us went for a walk around the market which was good, but i managed not to buy any souvenirs as i didn´t fancy carrying them round for another 5 months! I was in a really bad mood all day so when the group all went out for a steak dinner i decided to stay in and do a big workout in the room to try and get rid of my mood. I then got ready and headed down to the bar with Dan and we danced to some cheesy old school classics such as Spice Girls with three Israeli girls and then Freeman and the others arrived from the meal. We all went up to the room to do shots and then headed out to the Terraza club which was HUGE. There were a number of different romos playing different music all connected by a massive outdoor área. I was absolutely hammered and apparently kept doing the Macarena dance to every song and finished the night doing the Sean Paul fist pump in slow motion with my eyes closed. Definitely time for bed, Colton got a taxi back with me and we got back around 6am.

We were supposed to check out that morning at 11am but were woken by the staff at half 11. In our drunken state we were going nowhere so just told them to book us in for another night. Colm then asked us to go and watch the rugby with him so we did that and just chilled out. I used the rest of the day to sort out my blog and finances, then headed to the bus station to say bye to Colm and Rachael and get our bus tickets to Salta. That night a group of us went to another steakhouse and it was quite possibly the best steak i have ever had! We didn´t eat until half 11 at night (the Argentinians think this is a normal time to eat) so got back to the hostel about 1am. Freeman and the others all crashed but i stayed in the bar for a bit chatting to people, three of them kept asking me to go out and i was nearly persuaded, but by that time it was too late and i hadn´t even showered from the night before so i just got in bed instead.

On our final day in Buenos Aires we went to a famous cemetary, where a small plot of land for a grave sells for US $25,000 and then they build incredible graves on top of that! Some must be worth half a million dollars! We then had some ice cream and walked back to the hostel, said our goodbyes and jumped on our 22 hour bus to Salta. Overall Buenos Aires was an incredible city that felt much closer to home than the rest of South America. We had a couple of chilled days in Salta to recharge our batteries ready for Bolivia.

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