Not Spanish, but could be


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South America » Argentina
January 19th 2009
Published: September 30th 2017
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I grabbed some lasagna before boarding the plane - tart, and the spinach had a bit of an odd, medicinal flavour to it. There was a layer of ricotta cheese and ham, and the way the whole thing was constructed, somehow made it jiggly. I found slapping the lasagna with my fork and making it jiggle like Homer Simpson's beer belly to be much more enjoyable than actually eating it. The only thing decent about the lunch was the Quatro, a nice pink grapefruit soda. Light and refreshing, but it left an excessively sweet aftertaste.
Geo: -34.4771, -57.8386

I woke up, grabbed some breakfast, and took advantage of the free internet, before returning to the room to pack up my things. There were two dudes there - inconsiderate dudes, I might add. Claus was still sleeping, and though there was plenty of daylight in the room, they still turned on all the lights, and were playing music and chatting loudly. Maybe they were related to those obnoxious Scandinavian girls from the Punta del Este hostel?

Off to catch the bus for the airport - a hostel worker told me to catch #45, and told me exactly where to catch it. Within minutes, a #45 came by - I asked the driver but was told "Nope, it's the other #45 - a white bus." OK ... along came another #45, but it wasn't white - I asked the driver and was told the same thing again. OK ... I ended up waiting almost 50 minutes, even though the bus was supposed to come every few 5-10 minutes.

I never did see a white bus come by, but still flagged one down every so often, just to check. I probably asked about 6-8 different bus drivers in total, but every time
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The pool at the Hosteling International place - I regretted not booking here once I saw the massive pool that was being used by a number of bikini-clad beauties :(
was told "Nope, it's the other #45 - a white bus." Where the hell is this white bus??!??! I was about to give up and hail a taxi, but decided to ask one more bus driver - it was a green bus, but he told me that yes, he was going to the airport.

I don't think there is actually a white #45 bus that goes to the airport, despite being told that by every driver I asked. The funny thing is that I'm almost certain that several of the airport buses came by, but I just had the bad luck of always flagging down the wrong bus, and probably missing 5 or so of the actual airport buses.

I was told to allow for the bus ride to take 60 mins because of unpredictable traffic, but it only took me about 35-40 to get there. I arrived at the domestic airport, the same one which we landed at after our flight from Mendoza. I chuckled, because I saw the spot where we boarded our bus for downtown BA, when a few of us thought that Buenos Aires was quite pleasant, and not too hot. Ha ha! How wrong were
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Tonight's dinner ...
we? BA turned out to be hellishly hot!

I checked in, and was processed by someone who looked a lot like a Ukrainian girl I once met. I only mention this because the Ukrainian girl was incredibly cute, and the whole Latina factor just took it up to a whole new level. Up into the stratosphere, in fact - very nice!

On board, they gave us a box with a decent selection of biscuits - some savoury, some sweet, some chocolate-covered. On our previous flight from Mendoza on Aerolineas, I stole a copy of their Spanish-language magazine and made a bit of a dent in it on this flight. I purposely avoided Aerolineas for this flight to Iguazu, because many Argentineans told me it was garbage, and instead flew LAN. I didn't steal a copy of LAN's Spanish-language magazine, because I'll have a chance to do that on my return flight.

We arrived in Iguazu and I hopped a shuttle into town - the shuttle stopped at the big Hosteling International place just outside of town. Colin had actually stayed here and told me that it was a really nice place, but felt a little soulless. Anyway, I'd rather be closer to town
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... and tonight's dessert, a few mints.
and not have to bus or taxi in all the time - taxis might be cheap for a group traveling together, but aren't a great option for a single traveler.

Which brings us to Timbo Posada, the place I had booked. It's only got a tiny little pool, that looks a tiny bit scuzzy. The dorm rooms are quite stuffy (it's humid in the jungle!) and the bathrooms could be cleaner, but the place has a neat chill-out vibe, which I liked very much.

I put on my swim trunks with intentions of cooling off in the pool, but upon closer inspection, it looked a bit scuzzier than I originally thought. I considered dipping my feet in the water, but they're all cracked and painful, which always happens when I travel, and I didn't want to risk that dirty water giving me gangrene and resulting in my feet getting amputated!

Instead, I grabbed a spot in the bar/kitchen and read some more of the Aerolineas magazine. The free internet access is a bonus - after checking my email, I noticed an article on the Yahoo Argentina website, "Miss Cola 2009". Basically, that means "Miss Ass 2009", which is an annual competition held
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The Timbo Posada's slightly scuzzy pool.
every year in the Argentinean beach resort of Mar del Plata.

I briefly regretted not going to Mar del Plata instead of Punta del Este, but then realized that had I not gone, I never would've met the Calgary Cuties - a fair trade off, I think! Plus, there was a lovely young lady who appeared to be Argentinean, and was lounging by the pool, and who definitely could have entered the Miss Cola competition, and might have even won it ... did I already mention that I like Timbo Posada?

I can't remember the guy's name, but there was a very friendly worker at the hostel. He was quite interested in your story, and it wasn't just lip service - you could tell that he just loved meeting people from all over. Very helpful, and a good guy - you don't often find hostel workers of that calibre.

Off to do some laundry and for a stroll - I came across a crafts market that billed itself as being open at 18:00, but even at 18:30, there was nothing on display. Puerto Iguazu is a pretty touristy town, which shouldn't be surprising, given its proximity to Iguazu Falls. There
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I was sort of on the English-speaking part of the table with Joris, a guy from Amsterdam (on the right), and two girls from a small town in Denmark, Camilla and Natascha (Camilla on the left in the foreground, Natascha is hidden behind her). They say that Danish is an incredibly difficult language in terms of pronunciation, and we proved that tonight - I mentioned that I had been to one of the Danish islands, but couldn't remember the name, so they started listing off all of them. They didn't name the island, to I went to use the internet to find out what it was called. I told them, and they had no idea where that was - we finally figured out that I had butchered the pronunciation, and that they had actually previously listed off the name, but I couldn't understand what they had said.
aren't any sights to speak of, only touristy shops - nobody really comes here for the town itself; it's only used as a base to visit the falls.

Walking back to the hostel, I heard a lady say in Spanish "I am Spanish!" I hope to hear much more of that in my last few days in Argentina! As I said yesterday - where are all the Spanish women??? Though it was only 19:00 I was starving, and picked up a bunch of groceries to eat back at the hostel. At 20 pesos, it was relatively expensive for Argentina, even though there was enough for tonight and for lunch tomorrow.

Back in my room, I across Simon, a German guy who had been studying Spanish in Chile for the past eight months. Interesting - in two days, I've across two German guys that speak flawless Spanish. Luckily, Simon doesn't seem to have picked up the difficult-to-understand Chilean accent. He said that a bunch of people were going out for a walk and asked if I wanted to come, but I declined, since I had all this food and was hungry. As I walked to the kitchen, I noticed that the lovely
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Enjoying some of those wicked fruit-based shots. The bald dude is Simon, on the right is Mattias, and just behind him is the lovely Sabrina.
young lady from the pool was a part of this group - at that moment, I hated my stomach for betraying me! Blasted hunger! Stomach, I hate you!!! If it wasn't for you, I'd be chatting with that Argentinean girl!

I drowned my sorrows in a plateful of smoked pork and cheese sandwiches. And some peach yogurt. And some banana/pineapple juice. And some mints that the grocery store cashier threw into my bag. But still, it didn't take away my pain ...

I relaxed and continued reading my magazine - there was an article on Malta, another place I definitely have to visit one day. I had considered popping over there a few years ago when I was in Sicily, but it never worked out. It definitely would be great to return to Sicily, and hit up Malta and maybe also Tunisia, afterward. Hmmm ... perhaps next winter, if Australia or Egypt fall through ...

I finished up the magazine, and went for another stroll. Though there isn't much to see, and not many decent areas to walk around town, it was still nice. Sometimes it's great just to wander around a place where you don't know anybody, and nobody knows you
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Standing at the very back of the picture is the bartender, busy making us more of those fruity shots.
- it's really quiet a liberating feeling. Some of my fondest memories of traveling involve aimlessly wandering around places I don't know, down dimly-lit streets, hoping I don't get mugged or stabbed ... ahh ... good times, good times ...

Back to the hostel - some bastard was cooking burgers, and the delicious smell was making me hungry! Some cheap beer and journal writing, and the next thing you know, the whole bar area was taken over by Argentineans. They're a very outgoing people; most of them just met each other, but you'd think they were the best of friends by the way they interact.

It was a bit daunting trying to converse with so many Spanish speakers at once, as there was too much going on. Chatting one-on-one in Spanish isn't too bad for me, but I gave up on trying to follow all the other conversations happening. I was able to chat a bit with the guy next to me, Mattias, who I thought may have been with Sabrina, the lovely young lady from the pool earlier, but turns out she's just here with two other female friends ... ooh ... Sabrina was Argentinean and not a Spanish senorita, after
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Fernet and Coke - nasty! I have no idea where fernet comes from, but you might as well be drinking gasoline. Joris had ordered it and hated it, I tried some and hated it, but Sabrina apparently enjoys it, so she finished it off. I think I know why she liked it - drinking it requires that it passes across her lips, which I imagine taste very sweet, improving the fernet's flavour ... And did I mention she's an artist? Artistic AND beautiful ... ooh ...
all ... but she could have passed for one ...

So far, this hostel has been great - it's got a good vibe and is quite social, but not over the top like some other crazy party hostels can be. Everybody was easy-going and friendly, and the bartender was a great guy - he had spent a good hour earlier in the evening cutting up papayas and melons, and I wondered what they were for. Turns out they were for some wicked fruit-based shots! He kept serving them, even though we never ordered them. I thought that he would charge us, but they ended up being on the house. It was a cool night, since pretty much every person staying at Timbo Posada was sitting in the bar!

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