Buenos Aires, Argentina
After leaving Santiago, it was off to Buenos Aires for a week. Here, I stayed in one of my favourite hostels: Estoril. It was in a decent part of the city, had an absolutely incredible roof-top patio, and was filled with people who enjoyed adventure, the night life, and eating, but didn’t party at the hostel until 6AM–as with some other places.
In Buenos Aires, I did more walking then I have done in any other city. I think this is the only way that the population can remain slender in spite of what seems to be a steady diet of wine, steak, unbelievable amounts of cheese, coffee and chocolate-covered, dulce de leche-filled cookies (alfajores).
The Wikitravel article for the city was filled with great tips, and was so complete that many of the various barrios that constitute Buenos Aires had their own separate pages. During the time here, I was able to meet lots of super interesting folks. Naturally, another Canadian from Montreal who had been on a trip around South America for about 8 months, lots of Germans, and a British woman with ambitions to become a barrister, who introduced me to the Clipper Around the World Race, which I am going to apply to join in 2013-2014.
I could, of course, stay in hotels, but one of the greatest things about staying in hostels is the new relationships that emerge–rare in hotels–and the exchange of ideas that occurs when you’re sharing drinks, meals, and bedrooms. One of the events I got to see with others from the hostel was La Bomba de Tiempo (time bomb), an incredible and improvised percussion concert that featured a couple of separate musical guests on guitar and bass.
After a few days in Buenos Aires, I felt pretty comfortable in the city, had picked up a bit of useful Spanish, and was able to go running in the lovely park that stretches for ages along the harbour. I also decided to take a day trip across the harbour to Colonia in Uruguay, finally filling up the last empty page of my passport.