Our first stop heading north to Buenos Aires was Camping Hain in Tolhuin. We only stayed for one night, but couldn’t resist leaving our mark, happy to be in such good company.
The next days were long stretches of highway, many podcasts, and a few nice views.
Frankly, one of the only attractions to visit on the long road to Buenos Aires is the Magellanic Penguin colony with a staggering 250,000 breeding pairs.
We stopped in Mar Chiquita just north of Mar Del Plata and spent a couple of days curled up in a hotel while George got some play time in the waves.
In Buenos Aires we scored a sweet little apartment and thank goodness. There was an overwhelming amount of stuff to unload from the truck and a very important game to watch.
There were mixed feelings (trepidation, relief) as we drove up to the Port of Zarate. It would be a nice change to forget about parking and truck security, but putting Vida on the ship was also marking an end to our trip.
The handoff process was disarmingly easy. We kept waiting for the ball to drop. It never did. The port officials gave us a lift back to the front gate and called us a cab. Fingers crossed that the truck would make it back to the US in one piece.
Buenos Aires is such a vivid city. After so much remoteness on our trip, we needed a reintroduction to city living and the BA was a tonic for any anxiety we may have had. We explored the city over the course of a couple of weeks, absorbing the culture, food and street performers.
I imagined tango to be something like salsa. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Tango is passionate, intimate and quite slow at times which made it completely engrossing to watch. It felt more like a manifested connection between the dancers rather than a dance.
As we strolled and biked the city streets, George and I daydreamed of an extended return trip to the city to fully immerse ourselves.
Again, our timing could not have been better. We handed off Vida just in time to enjoy the city-wide carnival festivities. The city had decided to decentralize the entertainment. Many neighborhoods set up stages, and groups of musicians and dancers make their way from stage to stage. Although it was hard for George and I to understand, we’re told that many of the lyrics contain subtle and some not so subtle political rhetoric.
Staying true to Latin American carnival tradition, spectators cover each other with spray foam. For the most part, we left unscathed except for the small boys that opened fire on us to their parents delight.
Joining hordes of local fans, we snuck in a trip to Monumental de Nunez stadium to watch local heroes River Plate take on San Lorenzo (another neighborhood in BA). We were told by our guide to cheer for the River Plate for safety’s sake. Fine by us. The Argentines are a passionate bunch. There was barely a moment when the stadium was not exploding in song led by a section of diehard fans and a band in the nose bleeds.
Surrounded by 67,000 Argentines in the largest stadium in Argentina was a good way to wrap up our tour of the Americas.