Bussing Buenos Aires Stylee

In Argentina, bike, Buenos Aires, Sud America, travelling on April 20, 2010 at 3:17 pm

So been in bs as for about a week and i’ve got a week more booked in, then off to Bariloche and Mendoza for a week each and then off to Iguazu.

Buenos Aires has a certain style and grace, reminds me of those photos you see of Havana, a bit worn at the edges, but still able to charm you. The meat here as expected is spectacular, the hostel I’m staying in had a BBQ, sausage, chicken and beef, with an egg potato salad and a green salad to cut the protein. All of them perfectly cooked and flavour filled, filling my belly with meaty goodness.

Right now its the middle of their Easter holidays they have Thursday and Friday off, and a lot of porteńos have fled the city for the weekend. Avenida de Mayo where I’m staying was a ghost town on the Friday when I actually managed to drag myself out of bed and take a walk down the street to get some cash out. For your information Argentina has a cash shortage, literally no more money is being produced, so making change is vital in this town as if you try to break a 100 pesos note at a kiosko or with a cab driver they will just shake their heads and get the stroppiest face on you’ve ever seen, supposedly cabbies will drive you round looking for change, and running up the meter if you try to use a big note.

They do love their dogs out here, and men on rollerblades and a handful of leads can be seen taking dogs for walks up and down the city. The rumbling growls of dogs confronting each other can be heard constantly. You can also see the dogshit laying like smelly, slippery landmines across the pavement. So many dogs, so much mess, so little clean up.

I’m trying to be on the bike as much as possible as I didn’t spend anytime on it in new Zealand apart from a brief jaunt out to ben’s place and around Wellington harbour. The bike of choice here is the beach cruiser, you know those curvy framed schwinn monstrosities, not sure if they have a geared rear hub, but they definitely have a coaster hub, as they all seem to ride them brakeless and freewheel. You see them all over, as well as low end mountainbikes, and cargo bikes.

Took a bus after a failed jaunt to a hip hop club on aràoz which had a London sized queue out front. The buses here are privately owned and run, bit are cheap and plentiful and of you can speak Spanish will get you round the city with pesos to spare, but they are fast and militant and their drivers are on the clock. None of that waiting for everyone whose been waiting to get on, if the driver wants to leave he pulls away and closes the door, even if your still waiting politely to step up and pay. They will pull into the kerb with no warning at the merest hint of an outstretched arm. Think of them as big bus versions of the black cab and you’ll be getting a rough idea of what it’s like to travel on one, a rollercoaster of a back and forth with a driver with hair trigger feet on both the break and the accelerator.

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