After traveling 4 hours by bus, followed by a 7 hour wait in the Quito Airport, followed by a flight back to Guayaquil Ecuador, followed by a flight to Santiago, we finally arrived in Buenos Aires... and it only took 25 hours!
Our trip started with an interesting event. Just as we were about to board our LAN flight Cameron`s name was being called by the flight attendents. All they would say is "you have to go with the policia".
With thoughts of ´brokendown palace´ and ´ganga queen´ starting to surface, Cameron nervously went with the police to see what was going on. Fortunately it turned out to only be a routine baggage check that included dumping all of Nicole´s belongings onto a table and repacking with 10 minutes to board the aircraft.
The view of police dogs and SWAT team looking men with automatic machine guns was definitely a sobering experience.
We were very lucky to have been visiting Buenos Aires at the same time as several 1-800-GOT-JUNK? franchise partners and ex-colleagues of Cameron. This definitely helped the budget as we were able to stay at Scott´s place in the swanky Recoleta area of Beunos Aires (very Kits-Yaletown-ish). The traditionally upscale district combines Parisian architecture with trendy highrises.
You can walk the streets for hours and still stumble into new chic and swanky neighborhoods with old heritage buildings and patio cafes. It was fun and relaxing soaking up the culture and exploring new streets.
One of the most impressive sights was the Recoleta Cemetery which includes graves of many of Argentina's historical figures, including several presidents and scientists, as well many Argentina's influential families. The tombs are entire statutes, many at least 15 feet high made of marble and bigger than most Vancouver condos.
Buenos Aires is a very interesting and cool city. Unlike some other South American big cities it is very safe to walk around (even at night), and you feel almost at home. It has a great cosmopolitan vibe about it, very modern and yet filled with history and culture. It is typical to sit down to eat at 10:00 at night, dessert happens at about midnight, then it`s drinks until 7 or 8am. We unfortunately did not indulge in the 7:00 am ritual of arriving at home but the others have proper stories to tell - I´ll leave it at that!
Our time in Buenos Aires basically consisted of roaming the city, eating at resturants and patios, and drinking red wine and beer... I know, tough times!
As great as it was spending time with friends from back home, Buenos Aires does not really fit into the ´backpackers budget´ so we packed up on the 4th day and boarded a ferry to Uruguay. We were very impressed by Buenos Aires and hope to return one day... and thanks again to SH, DL, the Ripper and Bahj for making our brief stay a memorable one (even if you can´t remember it!).