Buenos Aires, Argentina: Day 1
As always, day 1 in a new country is errand day. I got off Busquebus Ferry from Montevideo at the port in Buenos Aires. The cost for the ferry ride while cheaper than a flight by about $100USD, was expensive because I wanted a direct ferry i.e. I didn’t want to have to do a portion of the trip by bus and a portion by ferry. The price was affected by this decision i.e. My ferry ride was a whopping $120 USD. There are much cheaper ways to do it if you have the time and are trying to conserve money. Busquebus is the only that is direct though so keep that in mind.
First order of business, per usual, is to locate a decent hotel in a popular area. This is a much more expensive way to visit a city of course as you can stay outside the tourists areas or get an Airbnb which is significantly cheaper; however, for me when I first touch down in a new country and particularly in a big city, I like to get my bearings, see how things are done, practice the language, and get any outstanding work out of the way. In this case, I stayed at Own Grande Palermo which cost $150USD/night…YIKES! That may not be a lot for a hotel in the United States but that is high for me and here – even for BA which is a very expensive city especially in Palermo but it is likely where outsiders are best situated.
BA does have an excellent subte (underground metro) and bus system to get you anywhere you need in the city and, as always, I highly encourage your use of public transportation. And, of course, you should practice the language. For me, I spent one whole day without speaking English! I am so proud.
So back to the errands – Argentina SIM card was first and it was not very easy but it is close by. Avenida Santa Fe is a few blocks from Own Grand Plaza Hotel down cobblestone and tree lined streets. When you get to Avenida Santa Fe you will find all the shopping possibilities, the metro, more buses than I’ve seen before, grocery stores, restaurants – whatever you want you can get. The SIM card was a process though because, for the first time in my travels, I was unable to buy one from the internet/phone service provider itself which is very strange. I went to Movistar and they sent me to 3 different places to buy the chip. I found it at a bookstore. Then had to find another store to cut the SIM card into a nano for my iPhone. Movistar didn’t even have that capability. Then to another few stores in order to buy credit but no luck there. Finally, I was instructed to use a kiosk or machina. It was a strange but a very efficient way to add credit for data to your phone. 200 pesos later I was armed with Internet and ready to go. Can’t believe I did all that without using English once…may have played a little charades once or twice but whose counting.
Second job was to replace my Gopro Hero 5 also known as mí novio if for no other reason than because he traveled everywhere with me, let me talk to him for hours and remembered everything I told him and followed all of my commands…what more can a girl ask for! This was yet another daunting task but a good opportunity to see BA, interact with the locals, and, again, practice my Spanish. Unfortunately, after 6 stores with no luck as they all only had the 4, I found one. I was so excited until I found out that the camera by itself is over a thousand dollars in Buenos Aires and the prices of all electronics everywhere in Argentina are ghastly. Don’t shop in Argentina is the lesson here. Get to Paraguay or, in my case, head towards Santiago de Chile. The clerk said I can get a new 5 for $500USD in Santiago. We shall see.
Next was food…not any food but Argentina carne asado alleged to be the best cut of beef I’ll ever have. Unfortunately, like in lots of other countries, dinner doesn’t start until 8:30 or 9:00 p.m. so nothing was open. Sometimes you can get lucky though as I did. The restaurant across the street from Own Grande Plaza Hotel had the best gnocchi ever (even better than Italy). I had no idea how popular pasta is here given their love of carne but they love it and they make it well.
After some work I climbed into my comfy bed for some shut eye but as luck would have it, I caught a cold or flu bug somewhere along the way so not much sleep…probably from that public transportation I’m always encouraging ya’ll to take 😉
That’s all for now. With love from Buenos Aires.