Archive for December 20th, 2009

Argentina Wrap Up

We spent our last few days in Argentina chilling out in Buenos Aires.  Several people had mentioned a drum circle concert that takes place every Monday night, so we grabbed our friends Dave and Brian from Punta Del Diablo, piled into a couple of taxis and headed to ‘La Bomba’.  The show was very cool…about 15 local drummers, a few horn players, ‘magic’ cookies, and really huge beers.  You can check out some videos of the drumming on our flickr page (um, once we get it uploaded).  After the show, we wandered around aimlessly for about an hour trying to find the ‘after party’ with no success, so we called it a night.

Kelly, Dave, and Brian at La Bomba with their big beers

 Our last  in evening in Buenos Aires, Kelly and I went to a cheap local parilla for dinner with our new Irish friend Ashlyn and than headed back to the hostel where Kelly dominated at some beer pong.  We planned to have an early night, but it didn’t exactly happen that way.   Many drinks were consumed, dancing to obnoxious eighties music definitely took place, and Kelly may or may have not groped someone on accident.  

Kelly smackin' it at beer pong

Last night in Buenos Aires

Of all of the countries on our trip, we will have spent the most time in Argentina, so Kelly and I left feeling like we really got to know the place, although there is still so much to see and do.  This country is absolutely amazing and we cannot say enough good things about it.  I’d have to say that Argentina was one of the countries I was looking the most forward to and it did not disappoint.  

The landscape and weather 

The landscape in Argentina is extremely diverse…it has it all.  Tropical and desert-like areas in the north near Salta and Iguazu, the Andes mountain range lining the west of the country, flat plains along parts of Route 40, and the amazingly beautiful lakes district and wine regions.  Kelly and I experienced all four seasons from hot and humid to freezing cold and snowing.  We wish we would have brought some warmer clothing, but made out ok. 

The people 

Most all of the locals we met were friendly and helpful (with the exception of the Andesmar bus company staff).  Of course, we still got the annoying cat calls on the street from the local men (even WORSE than Costa Rica) who we found to be somewhat aggressive, but that’s the machisimo culture for you.  

We met more Americans than we thought we would and met a ton of Israelis, Aussies, Brits, Irish, and Canadians, and a few people from Sweden, Norway, and Belgium. 

The food

 Steak, steak, and more steak.  We got some amazingly cheap dinners…our last steak dinner in Buenos Aires cost Kelly and I less than $20 total, including a bottle of wine.  Other than red meat, we ate a ton of empanadas, milanesas (a thin cut of steak that is coated in bread crumbs and fried),  pasta and pizza.  For breakfast, all Argentineans eat is bread or croissants with dulce de leche (ie. caramel spread).  Kelly and I were so excited when we actually found a place that served fruit or cereal.  The food is great and cheap, but by the end of our time here, we got tired of red meat, pasta, and dulce de leche.  One thing we noticed quickly is that there isn’t a ton of variety in the restaurants.

 The booze 

This was probably our favorite thing about Argentina…the red wine is ridiculously fantastic and cheap.   A really good bottle of red wine may have cost us three or four dollars.  I cannot begin to guess how much red wine we consumed while we were here.  The beer was typical lagers…Quilmes was our beverage of choice.


Accommodation ran us about about $10 – $17 per night, per person.  As previously mentioned, food and booze were super cheap.  We took mainly buses everywhere we went, which ranged in price, depending on the destination (I think the most expensive bus ticket we had was close to $100 one-way).  The buses in Argentina are super nice…(almost) fully reclining seats, blankets, pillows, food, movies, and toilets are all on board.   Tours that we booked ranged from $20 – $60 per person. 

Other random thoughts 

–      On several occasions when Kelly and I were at a restaurant and we would order something (like a Coke for instance), the waiter would tell us that they didn’t have that particular thing, and then 5 minutes later, we’d see the waiter bringing said thing to another patron.  It made no sense.

–      Also when you are at a restaurant, the waiter does not bring you the bill…you have to ask for it.  If you wait for him to bring it to you, you will literally be sitting there all day.

–      There is such a thing as too much cheese on a pizza.

–      Argentineans eat dinner at around 10 at night and don’t go out to bars or clubs until around 2 a.m.  As you can imagine, Kim did not adjust well to this schedule.

–      Fried eggs on burgers and sandwiches is an amazing idea.

–      MC Hammer pants (aka it looks like the person took a dump in their britches) are extremely popular here amongst the ladies.

–      Have you ever had mate?  It is a leaf from the yerba plant and is sort of like green tea (the taste is much more bitter though).  Everyone drinks it in Argentina and Uruguay.  You basically put a bunch of the ground leaves in a gourd, add hot water,  and pass it around to your friends to drink.  Kelly and I really got a kick out of seeing some one carrying a baby, a suitcase, and a couple of grocery bags, while still managing to hold onto their mate gourd and thermos.

 Now onto Chile for a week…

Read Full Post »