While Dave is slaving away at his class from our little apartment in the boring, upperclass, commerical neighborhood of Belgrano, I decided to venture out. As it turns out Buenos Aires is not know for beaches unless you want to travel down to the sardine-like craziness of Mar del Plata just south of Buenos Aires. You have to go north to Uruguay to find decent beaches, so I hopped on a ferry to Colonia, Uruguay, took a bus to Montevideo, another bus to La Paloma, et voila, 7 hours later I was on a beach.
It wasn't an original idea. Every porteño and his sister is here, especially on the weekends, so I found an overpriced hostel ($25 dorm bed) right on Balconado beach in La Paloma. But I ain't complaining. A lot of people here, but plenty of space also, and it has been sunny and hot as hell. As I lay in the 90F heat and realize it is the middle of January, as an Alaskan I almost feel guilty. Almost.
At night I feel like a backpacker all over again hanging out in the hostel meeting other travelers. Reminds me of the "backpacker life," which to be honest appeals to me less and less these days. If you skip back a few pages you will see the lengthy travels- up to 8 months- that I did while living out of a backpack. It is an incredible life style, but at times a little indulgent while being a little wearisome. I
hung out with a new group of traveler friends, a Scottish chiropracter, a young English couple who met up traveling, a lively Americanese-speaking Uruguayan, two Swiss girls on vaction, a German who has been living and working in Buenos Aires, a cool Canadian guy who is doing all of South America. Most of them took time off of work and life and are traveling all around South America for 4 to 6 months. It is the fraternity of travelers; everyone back home tells me how much I travel, when I am around people like these I realize how LITTLE I travel.
Hearing them talk reminded me of the daily delimas of a world traveler: should I get to Brazil through the Uruguay border or head over to Iguazu Falls in Argentina and then to Brazil? How long is the bus to Florinapolis? Are there any hostels with available beds in Punta del Diablo? What will I have for lunch? I wonder how long laundry will take at the Lavanderia? How is that internet connection down at the cafe? Is Paraguay worth seeing? Do you know where I can get cheap suntan lotion? Should I walk into town for lunch or lay on the beach awhile longer? How much are surboards to rent? The two ATMs in town ran out of money- where do I get more cash? Where can I get a Visa for Brazil? Do they have cold beer here?
As you can see, difficult delimas. Most travelers only have a general idea what they are doing and take it day by day. It is the way to travel for sure. But sometimes a person needs something more concrete, more challenging, more productive.
I'll let you know when I find that. But for now I am catching up on updating after my trip to Iguazu Falls which was absolutely amazing. Will post pics very soon. And, oh, yeah, I also have to find a place to buy a pair of pants.