So this my second trip to South America, first one being to Peru in 2010. I always make it a point to take a long flight late in the day, so I can arrive first thing in the morning. In my advancing age of 30, the first day is always a write off. Last year I had no choice but to visit Chernobyl on my first day. I fell asleep on the bus 3 times.
I arrive in Buenos Aires bright and early in the morning and call the hostel to let them know I'm coming. They suggest a specific company so I don't get scammed (as someone who has worked in hospitality, THAT is great service). I hop in and take the loong drive to the city. The cab is weaving through the narrow streets as we get closer to my hostel. It looks to be in bit of s sketchy neighbourhood, but I take it all in stride. Nothing I haven't seen before.
I step into the hostel and its bright and youthful with pop art and letters from departing travellers on the walls (the later a common sight among hostels). I go to check in and to my dismay, the room hasn't been cleaned yet. The woman behind the desk instructs me to follow one of housekeepers to the basement where they have a TV, computers, lockers and SHOWERS. I dig through my exquisitely packed rucksack to locate my towel, toiletries and clean clothes. I hop in the moderately cold (I wanted it that way) and could taste the salt on my skin. That is how much I sweat since being in the country two whole hours. I wrap up my hair, slip on one of my sundresses, and plop on the couch. I'm barely watching the Spanish version of The Breakfast Club when I start to nod off. I wake up a few hours later and I go to the desk to see if my room is ready. It is and I make my way up. There are two people already in the room, who happen to also be from Canada. Happens quite frequently. We exchange pleasantries and so forth. They each just graduated from Queens University. Ahh, pre chronic hangover early 20s travelling, how I've missed you. They have plans to do stuff, I have plans to lie down.
I leaf through my lonely planet looking at what to do first. There are a few thing I have to plan for. I have an appointment with the Brazil embassy to get my visa, and I want to book a day trip to Uruguay, but I'm torn on doing it now and securing my spot on the tour, or not getting my passport back in time, and having the trip sell out. I decide to wait, Uruguay isn't going anywhere.
I pack my purse with my various necessities, slather on my first of many coats of sunscreen, and head off for the day. I like to just wander around on my first day. Get a feel for the city. The immediate streets are a tad confusing. One just seems to turn into the next, and into the next. I head to MicroCentro, the city centre, so see what it has to offer. Its your run of the mill downtown hub. Many tributes to the late Eva Peron, surprisingly few of the new Argentinian pope. A bit of a relief, Catholicism and I don't have a great relationship.
I grab a few things for lunch and head back to the hostel.
Jet lag is setting in, I take a siesta and wake up in the evening. I wake up to the familiar noise of drunken travellers in the courtyard. I head down to join them in the festivities. I meet people from all over, I common practice on the road. We all discuss our lives back home, jobs, schools, our current plans for South America. There are people here for a weekend away to other on a 1 year+ around the world trek. Makes me long for the days of my first world trip. Being 23, alone in Europe. Breaking free from home. Those were the days.
After a few beers, I head back to the room and conk out again.