Iguazu Day 3 (Argentina Falls)

I woke up at 7am again today to go to the Argentinian side of Iguazu falls. I was excited for this part as I heard it was much better than the Brazilian side. I met Haus in the main area and we sat down and once again had 2 shitty pieces of toast and half a bowl of frosted flakes for breakfast.

I went to reception to ask about a bus to Florianopolis Brazil for tonight. She informed me that it was Sunday so she couldn’t book it for me and I would have to go directly to the bus station to get the ticket.

I also asked about my missing charger for my camera, I left it in the room plugged in (I mean, who steals a camera charger..?) and it was gone when I returned last night. Nothing had been found. Grr. I think the cleaning lady stole it. It is going to be impossible to find another one down here. But luckily I am meeting with my brother so I will be able to share his.

So I went across the street to the bus station and bought a ticket with Catarinense. The ticket was I think 120 Pesos. It would be a 10 hour bus ride, leaving at 8pm from Iguacu Brazil and arrive in Florianopolis at 10am.

We caught El Practico S.R.I. bus to the Argentinian falls. This bus was only 10 pesos each way and a 20 minute ride.

Now.. this place was fucking AMAZING. One of the most beautiful places I have been up there with the Grand Canyon and Macchu Piccu. It compared nothing to Niagara Falls.

Once we arrived, we paid our 100 Peso entry fee and took “Sendero Verde” (the green trail) over to the main hub. From here, we headed first to the “lower circuit” as we were told to wait until the afternoon to head to Garganta del Diablo which is the main fall.

We saw some fantastic views on the way, this place blew the Brazilian side out of the water. There were way less people, and a lot more trekking in through the woods. The paths were still all paved, but there were less restraints so in some areas you could wander off the paths (probably frowned upon).

There were tropical birds, butterflies, countless amounts of those ant eater things, and fish.


We made our way to Isla San Martin, which is a quick 1 min ferry ride across the river at the bottom of the falls. Here there was a swimming area, a beach, and a fantastic view. I felt so alive when I jumped in the water. The place was perfect.

(View Isla San Martin)

There were a couple trails here as well to climb to the top. Haus is kinda fat so I went by myself. It took me about 40 minutes to hike up and admire the views. There were fantastic views of the falls Salto San Martin and Salto Mbigua. There was some misting so I came back down to the beach pretty wet.

(View top Isla San Martin)

From here, we headed back up and made our way to the upper circuit. It was about a 25 minute walk up stairs and Fat Haus had to take his Fat breaks. Don’t get me wrong the guy was cool but I mean he was 50, not my ideal travel companion I guess.

The upper falls gave a different perspective, not as good I wouldn’t say but definitely worth seeing nonetheless.

(upper falls)

Another 45 minutes or so later we hiked up further to the main hub. We caught a 20 train ride to Garganta del Diablo. The train went really slow.

Here, there was about a 20 minute walk over raised platforms to Garganta. There were giant catfish-type fish in the water, very cool. Probably about a foot long.


Garganta del Diablo itself was absolutely breathtaking. It was so monstrous; so much water. Did I say this place was awesome??

(Garganta del Diablo)

Unfortunately (fortunately?) my camera died here. Perfect timing I guess.

The crowds had picked up in the afternoon here as well and I lost Haus. I had to leave for my bus at 5:30pm so I really didn’t have time to search.

I took the bus back again (they run every 15 mins) after exiting the park.

I packed up my stuff which I had in luggage storage at the hostel. My camera charger had not been found.

I went back into my old room like I owned it and helped myself to some Asian guys baby shampoo to quickly rinse off.

I went to the bus station and arranged a cab for 5:30pm. It would cost 120 pesos but the hostel wanted 150 for it. There were no busses that would bring me to Iguacu Brazil so I needed to take a cab over the border. Also, Brazil is 1 hour ahead of Argentina so I needed the 1 hour for the transit plus 1 hour for the drive plus customs.

The taxi driver wasn’t very talkative, and customs was a breeze, I was pretty used to it at this point. Hindsight if I’d have known I would have done Iguacu falls second so I could have just caught my night bus from there. Or I don’t know if I would have done Iguacu at all. But like Haus said, he is glad he did it because if he didn’t he never would have known what it was like. This is true. Maybe better weather less crowds more sleep and less (preferably no) hangover would have made it a better experience.

Iguacu station in Brazil was small and easy to figure out. I withdrew some money at the ATM (not sure of the name of the $) but I know that it is 2 Brazilian is 1 USD approximately.

It is definitely going to be challenging here, not knowing a single word of Portuguese. I have a phrase book, and I can get by in Spanish, and it seems like the languages might be similar enough that I can get by?? Well I don’t have much of a choice so well see.

I am headed to an area called Barra da Lagoa. It is in Florianopolis and seems to be a long stretch of beach. From my guide book I learned that it should be about 5 miles from the bus station and the state is Santa Catarina which is supposed to be a relatively wealthy area which is reassuring. My brother reserved a hostel for $25/night, I didn’t look into it at all. He is supposed to be meeting me in the afternoon some time, he rented a car in Sao Paolo.

Our return flight is out of Sao Paolo and we have about a week and a half left. I don’t know what my brother has in mind but I was thinking it would make sense to hangout in Florianopolis for a while, then maybe head up to Rio for a while then a couple days in Sao Paolo before our flight out. But of course well see what we learn from other travellers.

Iguazu Day 1 (Buenos Iguazu)

I arrived in Buenos Aires and felt much more comfortable and confident, returning to a place I knew. I walked a little ways from the marina (that’s generally where sketchy cab drivers try to pick up dumb tourists) and caught a cab back to my old hostel, the Milhouse (30 Argentinan Pesos, ~$8 USD).

When I went in I tried to meet up with Jose to book a bus up to Iguauzu. The people at the hostel were being douche bags and wouldn’t let me go in to look for him or put my bag down. So I tried to message him on facebook when I saw him walk from downstairs. He said he could no longer come with me to Iguauzu because he didn’t have enough time since he had to go home now and his flight was on Monday.

So I booked my ticket alone, for $120USD one way to Iguazu from Buenos. This was for a “semi-cama” bus which reclines but not as far as a “cama” bus which folds out to a full out bed.
The full cama didn’t leave until later at night so I didn’t feel like waiting but it was only slightly more expensive. A flight costed around 950 pesos or $250 one way.  It was about 10:30am and my bus was at 1:30pm.

So I headed over to Ritz hostel where I had stayed before and showered/changed/booked my hostel in Iguazu/updated facebook status from the bathroom.

I went and ate at a nearby restaurant and caught a cab to Retiro bus station. I was anxious again because I heard about another Canadian that got robbed there, and the agent that booked my ticket also reminded me to be careful.

It was so easy and not scary this time around, first of all the cab dropped me right at my bus pretty much I didn’t have to walk 5 miles through the enormous station. So I chilled out, with ample time for my bus. It’s always more comfortable being in a familiar place. I double checked with an English speaking Uruguayan who confirmed I was in the right place for the bus.

(picture of bus)

We took the bus company Expresso Singer to Iguazu. The bus ride was pretty bad. It was supposed to be 18 hours but ended up taking 25:

We had barely left the Retiro bus station when the bus pulled over for an hour. We had to change busses (something wrong with the water on the bus?).

I then got seated next to this huge guy and was served a moldy sandwich for lunch. I mentioned to the guy and at a gas station he bought me another one at our next stop which was nice of him. I am sure I am not the only passenger on the 2 story bus that got a moldy sandwich, but they probably just ate it without noticing. Gross.

(picture inside bus)

On the bus I met a guy from Holland who speaks English which was nice. I also met a couple girls from France that also speak English. One of them came across like an arrogant bitch but I guess all the French do?  This is a more “touristy” bus route versus Uruguay so there seems to be more English speakers here.

The bus left at 1:30pm. At around 5am the bus pulled over again. I tried to ignore it and just sleep but eventually the heat and stuffiness became unbearable. When I went outside to see what was going on I heard that the bus had started shaking in the middle of the night. There were only 2 lug nuts out of 10 holding the wheel on, so fucking ridiculously unsafe.


(waiting outside)

The engine also wouldn’t start for some reason, so we couldn’t get our luggage out. A few hours later, people who had carried their luggage onto the bus were able to board a separate bus. An hour later, another bus came and the rest of us got on it without our luggage.

Little did we know but our new bus was going a round about way to our destination. After 25 hours, we finally arrived in Puerto Iguazu at 2:30pm the next day. They didn’t give us any food the second day, so we were starving.  The Dutch guy and me treated ourselves to a nice lunch, coffee, and icecream. The icecream was amazing, I guess I had just chosen the wrong flavor last time. Dulche de Leche I guess is what Argentina is known for and it was damn good. Almost like a creamy butterscotch chocolate.

3 hours later our luggage arrived on another bus.

Shower, clean clothes, shave, and clean teeth- I felt like a new man!

We are staying at Marcopolo Inn Iguazu. It is pretty nice, I haven’t explored the area too much yet. Iguazu also revolves around the tourist industry, with lots of hostels and shops revolving around tourism.

(picture of hostel)


Uruguay Day 2 (Punta Del Este)

I had plans to go out last night with a few Argentinian guys but ended up falling asleep in the hammock.  I kind of regret it but I was so exhausted, I guess from being in the sun all day. But word has it the nightclubs are open 24/7 and people go out from like 2-7am. The beers are 12-14 USD. I was told it is the most expensive place in South America.

I finally got a chance to sleep in this morning. I woke up, sunburnt, and had some hostel breakfast (corn-flake type things with yogurt).

I started talking to some germans that were staying in my room and I forgot how it came up but it turns out my watch had the wrong date. There is timezone 1 and 2 on my watch and my timezone 2 I was using said it was the 10th instead of the 11th. So basically, my bus had left that morning at midnight, so I went online and had to book another ticket ($50 down the drain).

I also commented to a couple Argentinans that the water tasted good, they then pointed out that I wasn’t supposed to drink it (clearly marked sign). Was a little nervous but lady at front desk said its OK if I’m not sick then I can keep drinking it. So drink it I did!

I lazed around the hostel all day until about 4:30 when I had a city tour scheduled. I played a game of volleyball with the Argentinians and they invited me to go with them to some beach down the road but I didn’t really have time plus I was sunburnt so out of commission.

It was tough there, I was the only English speaker I met. Many Argentinians or Uruguayans from a nearby city called Montevideo come there for vacation. Everyone was surprised I was “only” staying a couple days because most of them stay at least a week. I really wish I did have at least one more day though, to see another beach, city, or just relax more I guess.

The city tour was 4 hours long. The guy came and picked me up at the hostel, it costed $30 US. Unfortunately the guide talked very little English so I couldn’t get too much out of what he was saying.

On the tour, I learned that the city of Punta Del Este is actually both a city and a state. Within it, there are different areas. The highlights of the tour were seeing the giant hand in the sand, right by the bus station.

(giant hand)

We also went to Beverly Hills, it is the richest area of Punta Del Este. Really nice houses, that have names not addresses. They are also not built in a typical grid format like a normal city but just random extensions and turns on roads. The guide said that to give an address, you write the bus stop number as a reference, then the road name, then the house name. In the middle of Beverly Hills we also went to a museum, Museo Ralli.

(this houses name is TGIF)

Punta Del Este is not the “real” Uruguay the Taxi driver said who is from a nearby city, it is a fake paradise build on wealth. There are 18,000 permanent residents and over half a million come only for the summer months of December to March. So most of the giant houses here are left vacant most of the year. Over 50% of them are owned by rich Uruguayans and Argentinians. The rest are owned by people from the States, Europe, etc. He said a lot of celebrities live there, he gave Bruce Willis a ride from the airport the other day and saw Angela Joe Lee on the beach. He said celebrities like it there because no one bothers them like they would in the US.

He showed us a crazy bridge in La Barra:


But the best part of the tour was Casapueblo in Punta Ballena. This place was built by a famous artist named Carlos Piez Vilaro. The place was very impressive, build into a hillside over the water like Macchu Piccu. Apparently the guy kept expanding on his house to help inspire his artwork. I wish I knew more information but I couldn’t understand the guide. They have a tour there for US $6 where you can look at his artwork and watch the sun set. Unfortunately, it was raining so we didn’t get to see the sun set but I bet it would have been amazing.

(Casa Pueblo)

(Casa Pueblo Inside)

So after the tour, I kinda caught up with some people I met but had to catch my bus at 12am. I showered up real quick and didn’t realize it but left myself really tight on time to catch my bus.

I walked 10 minutes from my hostel out to the main road where apparently there were no bus stops I was just supposed to flag down a local bus to the station. One just blew right by me, which really sucked because I thought I was going to miss my bus back to Buenos because they ran every 15 minutes plus a 20 minute ride to the station. I started trying to hitch hike (I read in my guide book this is normal, and I saw a bunch of other people doing it). No one picked me up, not surprised (at this point I also noticed a FERRARI in front of a restaurant.. in South America.. WTF??). Luckily, a bus came and picked me up, in less than 10 minutes. The bus costed 36 Uruguayan Pesos back to the station (<US $2) and I got to the station at 11:53pm for my midnight bus.

It was easy to find the bus since the station was really small. But then the bus ticket guy tells me I am not on the list for the bus. He’s arguing with me, over what I thought he was saying was that my bus was supposed to be tomorrow night since the ticket said midnight, but turns out I actually bought the wrong ticket AGAIN. So I bought a ticket for the 11th and the 13th but tried to catch the bus on the 12th. No idea how I did that.

Anyhow the guy let me on, think he felt bad for me.

So after a 4 hour bus ride, where I slept the whole way, we ended up at the station in Colonia (the port city between Argentina and Uruguay) with customs and the ferry to Buenos Aires.

(customs ticket)

The transfer was easier than I thought , and was very modern and organized. Went straight from bus to customs to the boat. I couldn’t believe how big this boat was, it was the size of a small cruise ship, with first class on the first floor and tourist class on the 2nd floor. I slept this entire ride too.

(Buquebus ferry)


Uruguay Day 1 (Bikini Beach)

So I made it! The bus left right on time at 11pm. I didn’t sleep very well on the bus, I kept getting too hot, then too cold. Should have brought a jacket on board. They gave me some alien food and you better believe I ate that shit up.

We rolled up to customs around 3am, and after spitting out something in Spanish the customs guy took my passport. I wasn’t very comfortable with that, but I just followed everyone out of the bus and kept my eyes on him.

It turned out that the guy was collecting everyone’s passports that weren’t from Uruguay so they could get an entry visa for Uruguay.

Some confusing bustling and we were back on the bus. We got to Uruguay around 830 am, it was 1 hour ahead of Buenos (3 hrs ahead of EST).

The bus station was fairly small so less intimidating. I knew that I had to change my money there, so I changed it over from Argentinian Pesos to Uruguayan Pesos. The exchange rate was 20:1.  It is weird because for example my “$25” taxi ride to the hostel actually ran up at $500 Pesos.

I arrived at the hostel, checked in, and immediately wandered out to “bikini beach”.

Apparently it is famous but I have never heard of it. I strolled around, swam, bought a soda which was 100 Pesos, or $5. Fucking rip off. Not a very nice beach; water was brown, overall by my standards I was not very impressed. Everything is so expensive here, apparently it is one of the most expensive places in SA. Small thing of 50 spf sunscreen was $50 US, large beer $8, 20 min taxi ride from airport $25.

I came back to the hostel (El Viajero hostel), met some people, everyone was just chilling. Laziest place ever. Hammocks reggae pool, everyone was just lounging all day.

I am the only person not from Argentina or Brazil here that I have found. So I am getting a lot (too much) spanish in.

I booked a tour for tomorrow, to that giant hand thing, and tour of downtown. I have to get back to Buenos to meet with Juan for our trip to Iguauzu falls so I have to leave here on Thursday. Since the night bus I took on the way here leaves at 9 I don’t have time to catch it. With some trouble, I managed to book my trip home on the Buquebus website.

I catch a bus at midnight on Thursday to Colonia, which is a small city across the bay from Buenos Aires. The bus ride is 5 hours then a 1 hour boat ride from there to Buenos. Since I took it at such an off time I got it for 250 Pesos, the same as I paid for the 10 hour overnight bus.

When I arrive back in Buenos at 730am, I am going to book the night bus. I won’t need a hostel since I will be sleeping on the bus again but I will probably try to shower there and stuff, store my stuff in my friend’s rooms.

Buenos Aires Day 3 (ferry to Montevideo)

Phew long day.
So I woke up this morning, in my new hostel, called Ritz hostel on the corner of 9 de Mayo and Avendida 9 de Julio. I got a bed right by the door to the balcony. The traffic was so loud since we were on the corner of 2 main roads. I nodded in and out between like 6 and eventually got up at 10 am, felt pretty groggy.
When I woke up my new friend Jose I just met was gone, he had gone to the embassy to get a new passport. So I kinda bummed around and felt alone again, the people there weren’t very friendly, they came in a big group and didn’t seem interested in meeting anyone. Then there were a couple older couples.
So my plan for this morning was to figure out what to do next, I was pretty much done with being in Buenos Aires. So I started searching online for ferries to Montevideo, Uruguay. Montevideo looked like it was on the way to Iguazu falls, my next destination. However, I was informed that on the busses from Montevideo to Iguazu falls you have to do a bunch of transfers and its easier to come back to Buenos and catch an overnight bus from there (16 hours).
The website was in Spanish, and I didn’t really know what I was doing about Uruguay. I went to the front desk and they offered some help, but not enough. I was trying to figure out what to do with myself.
I had been intending to do the city bike tour, so feeling discouraged I decided I would look into Uruguay later and deal with the bike tour for now. I asked the front desk at Ritz and they said that the bike tour was 200 Pesos ($50 US). After deciding that the new hostel sucked, and reluctant to do a bike tour with the people there, I headed back to the Millhouse where everyone was friendly. The Millhouse said the bike tour was 100 Pesos so it was a no brainer. I signed up, and also asked them about Uruguay. They sent me to a travel agency next door.
I was feeling a lot better about things, had already met a couple people going on the tour. The travel agency gave me some good information, and told me that there was a new bus line (El Condor- La Estrella) that left at 11pm tonight that would bring me straight to Punta del Este non stop.This was awesome because I really didn’t want to deal with a ferry to Montevideo, probably have to kill a day in that city, then a bus to Punta del Este, then do it all in reverse. Instead, I get to sleep on the bus (9 hours) and go straight to my destination.
I heard/read about Punta del Este and basically it is a nice beach/party area. So I am just going to chill out there. Pretty pumped to be in a new area and feeling pretty confident about this whole travelling alone thing. Although it is so much better to have someone else with you, it makes you feel much more secure (and in reality, I am sure you are).
The bike tour started at 2, and I was really glad I did it. After the tour guide made sure we all had our bags around our handle bars so people couldn’t grab them, we were on our way.
There was some interesting information, like that Avendida 9 de Julio is the widest road in the world (its probably 25+ lanes wide).

(crossing avendia 9 de Julio)

We saw the newest area of the city Puerto Madero which every building is 10 years old or newer. It is also the most expensive area of the city, the guide said rent can be 7-8k USD per month! We also went to La Boca, a touristy destination with really colorful buildings and shopping.

(La Boca)

I would like to head back there at some point. It gave me a better idea of the city, it is definately nicer overall than Lima but we rode through some sketchy areas as well, abandoned vehicles left on the side of the road with windows missing, trash everywhere, etc. We had to cross some major intersections on these ghetto ass bikes there must be a good amount of accidents on those tours.

I had to leave the tour and run to the travel agency to grab my tickets before they closed at 7, and I just made it.
I went back to my hostel, and Jose was there. Turns out he has to leave the country on Monday, so we made plans that upon my return to Buenos I will ride up with him to Iguazu. It will be good to have someone to travel with (especially since he is fluent in Spanish).
I met up with a few other people in the hostel, and we were going to go out to eat, but I had to get ready for the bus. I packed very carefully and thoroughly, I was nervous about the bus station and finding my bus.
I left them and went and ate at this awesome pizza place I ate at with Jose yesterday by the McDonalds off of 9 de Julio called Gran Pizzeria Del Ray. I brought some extra for the bus ride. It would be much quicker than sit down and happy hour beers.
I had no problem catching a taxi and getting myself to the station. I practiced some spanish with the driver, he was going on about whores or something the whole time.
When I got to the station, I realized I only had a 100 Peso note and the driver didn’t have change for the 30 Peso drive. I told him to please wait and I went in to get change. No one one wanted to give me change because they thought it was fake. Finally I got a vendor to give me change thanked and tipped the driver for waiting then proceeded to try to figure out this maze of a bus station.
The place was enormous, and I was definately nervous. I definately do not agree that my Spanish is an 5 or 7 out of 10 those girls must have just been drunk. I kinda managed to read my printed ticket and found the counter, who sent me to another counter. They scribbled some shit on my paper, they were not very patient with my poor excuse for Spanish I was trying to spit out. I found the terminal for my bus, loaded up my luggage, and with some trouble found my seat. I immediately felt relieved, secure, and no longer vulnerable for the time being.
The station wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, I mean besides the stray dogs running around the station and some trash, it wasn’t too bad. Seemed pretty organized. I was pretty proud of myself that I recognize the announcement that my bus had changed gates from 67 to 68.

I am sitting right now, pretty souped that I got the best seat on the bus! its a double decker bus, they have “camas” (beds) that fully recline. I got a full dinner on the bus. I am in the top right corner with full views in front of me. They are the same types of busses I rode around in Peru so I am pretty familiar with it.

So… 9 hour ride.. got my mp3 player fixed so souped about that as well. Got my hostel booked in Punta del Este. Feeling pretty good right now, feel a lot more at ease now, got my “home” for the next 9 hours. Only question now is crossing the border, I don’t know how that is going to work.

Buenos Aires Day 2 (Shaving Cream Scam)

Today I woke up around noon and just chilled downstairs for a little while, talked with some other travelers. My Brazilian friend Gustavo invited me to go with them to the markets so I did that.  We got some icecream, it is supposed to be really good here I didn’t think it to be anything special.

We checked out the presidents house, pretty uneventful day.

The hostel was full, so I had to move to another place down the road. This place is much more low key, not as easy to meet people, so I swing by the other hostel tonight.

When I was waiting to ask about the rooms, two travelers came in that just got robbed. One was from Canada who I have been hanging with today. He was at the main bus terminal and some guy sprayed shaving cream on him. Another pretended to wipe it off while a third grabbed his bag with $1000 cash, passport, laptop, everything.. he didn’t have a peso to his name. Apparently it is common, he said there were 15 other people in the station that had the exact same thing done to them.

So I took him under my wing, and am spotting him til he gets money from the embassy tomorrow.

I spoke to some Australians who said the main bus terminal is super sketchy, and after hearing Juans story I am kind of nervous. I have to catch my bus there up to Iguazu falls.

I asked about Uruguay today at the hostel, I was thinking I would go there and catch a bus from there but apparently its a longer bus ride with transfers and makes more sense to just do a round trip ferry ride to Uruguay. It is supposed to be about a 45 min ferry, and then to get to this beach town Punta del Este is another 4 or 5 hours bus ride.

So I am leaning towards doing that, probably stay here one more day tomorrow. Planning on doing the bike tour of the city.

Goddamn.. just got word that the two girls we went to the market with today got their wallet stolen.. we couldn’t find them toward the end because they went to the police station..

Buenos Aires Day 1 (Lujan Zoo)

I passed the fuck out last night, I was so exausted, despite the constant slamming of the dooor from late night partiers. Apparently everyone parties until sunrise. I woke up about 10am Buenos Aires time, which is 2 hours ahead of EST.

When I woke up there were only two people left in my 8 bedroom mixed dorm so I got up. I got breakfast, and was a little apprehensive about meeting people. But it was really easy, right away I met a kid from Texas and he asked me if I wanted to go to this Zoo. My other options were the hostel was doing a tour to some local markets, and someone else was going to some pretty area in the city. I opted for the zoo because he said it wasn’t like a regular zoo and you could get really close to the animals.

So after some cereal with warm milk, some down time, and a quick stroll up and down the street, me the Texan and a Brazilian left for the subway.

We took about 3 subway lines then had to catch a bus. It took us a while to catch bus #57 in Plaza Italia, and when we finally did we still had to purchase a ticket. The language barrier was a little tough, I need to brush up on it. But we finally caught the bus. It was a 2 hour bus ride and we finally got to the Lujan Zoo after crossing under an underpass and a short walk on the road.

The zoo was pretty cool; at first all the animals were sleeping but as the day went on they woke up. There is a rumor they drugged, but I don’t know. It was pretty touristy, we were allowed to go in the cages and pet the animals and get pictures with them.

We got to feed an elephant and a bear, I don’t think you can usually do that in zoos?

There were baby tigers there too that we got to hold

oh yea and a rode a camel

pretty badass.

So after we had some dinner (with some American girls we met at the zoo) we went back to the hostel. I was excited to go out last night, so  I went pretty hard.

The hostel I am staying in is called Millhouse, and there are two of them, one down the block from the other. They alternate having parties and the party was at the other hostel last night. I was told about the redbull vodka special (28 Pesos for 2 half cups of vodka and a redbull, $7US). So needless to say after I pounded these I was well on my way to a good night.

We only had an hour to drink before the hostel closed, and I was bombed by the end of it. But everyone was going out to a club after, so I had to run back and grab some pants and money. I was informed to use a certain ATM so I didn’t get fake bills. After grabbing pants we missed our shuttle there and me and the two guys I went to the zoo with had to catch a cab. The cab driver brought us somewhere random in the city, and we grabbed a beer. We then had to catch another cab for another 50 pesos to bring us to the club.

I have never seen anything like this place- the girls were ridiculous, the club was absolutely enormous. I would estimate there were 3-4000 people there. The drinks were expensive even by US standards, 25 Pesos for a beer. I immediately lost everyone I know and continued to get hammered amongst thousands of strangers that I couldn’t communicate with. I managed to strike up conversation with a couple of them (the girls were really stuck up and I had a conversation regarding this with a local). It was really good to practice my spanish, because so many people speak english here, and when I am drunk it just flows. I made a couple girls rate me on my spanish, one gave me a 5/10 and another a 7, not too bad!

So as I stumbled out of the club a 6am in a near blackout state, I tried talking to some guy I don’t remember what I asked. “No hablo espaniol”. So I said english?? Turns out the guy was staying at the same hostel as me, my luck! So we caught a cab back and I passed out.

Woke up at noon today, still drunk. Tried to book another night, but the hostel is full and same with its sister hostel. Sucks. Just starting to get comfortable here and meet people. And on top of that the bike tour I thought I was going on at 2 isnt until tomorrow. So I gotta figure some stuff out, I might just try to crash on the couch here? Pretty grimy.

I spoke with my brother I am not meeting him in Iguazu falls anymore, so I have some more time. I am just going to go with the flow I don’t know how long I am going to spend here. Wish  I could stay here again.

My Trip Begins! (What to Bring South America)

After frantically trying to finalize the loan on my new house, as well as tie up loose ends with the business, I finally am on my way!

I packed light this year because I brought too much stuff last year; also I didn’t want to check luggage (and didn’t need to) because I didn’t have too much stuff and didn’t want to pay the checked luggage fee on american airlines four times, and instead I used that $100 to buy a new backpack.

I packed very tightly and used that waterproof compression sack I got last year; believe it or not that sack has 5 t shirts, a wind breaker, a long sleeve shirt, 5 pairs of socks and underwear, a sleeping bag, and a couple other things.

I also opted to bring a netbook this year, to document my journey. I left my phone at home as it wouldn’t work here anyway and all I used it for was the wifi anyway.

It was a long trip here. Didn’t sleep at all from the 8 hour flight from Miami, and when I finally got to Buenos I had to wait like an hour for a bus, then like another hour for a transfer. The hostel is huge, and its basically a club right in the entrance. I stayed in last night because I didn’t get in til like 1 am and was exausted. The city seems pretty nice, not as bad as Peru. There is some trash and stuff but everything seems pretty legit.

Here they use Argentinian Pesos, the exchange rate is about 1:4. Seems like everything here costs about the same as home but I have been told Buenos Aires is expensive. I was charged a $140 fee to enter Argentina which I wasn’t aware of, sucks.

Two of my roomates got bitten by bed bugs and are leaving. The hostel is pretty gross, smells bad. Not what I was expecting from online reviews. No AC, very hot and humid. I will stay tonight for the party then I am out.

Tomorrow I think I am going to tag along with this kid from Texas and go to a zoo, supposedly its really dangerous and they want to have it shut down. My other options were a city bus tour or a market so I don’t know don’t think I’m going to stay very long.