Hmm. On the road. Our epic journey around the Southern Cone kicked off with both bang and bust. We made it out of our apartment, said goodbye to Borges and Palermo with one last meal from the pasta shop. The owner gave us a smile and free dessert, totally making my day and making up for the unorganized and less-friendly real estate company. Empanadas in hand, we taxi-ed over to the Estación de Omnibus with an elderly gentlman who remenisced about childhood language lessons and British accents. Not a bad way to leave the city.
Our bus ticket ended up being not one, not two, but THREE TIMES more expensive than either guidebook predicted, and I have a sinking feeling that all subsequent trips are going to be similar. I refuse to believe that the price of gas and travel has gone up that much in the past six months, and maintain that we are beings screwed in some way that remains unexplained.
Riding high in the second story of our Bus-Cama, we left Buenos Aires after the sun set and drove on into the night. Sleep was fitful, as can be expected, so the glowing sunrise woke us up somewhere in the countryside. The entire skyline was aglow with oranges and purples, but I just didn’t have the energy to enjoy it.
A much less cheery taxi driver drove us to our hostel at 7:00 am this morning, supposedly dumping us off a block away. Try 5. Then, the room that we had reserved over a week in advance, and had received not one, not two, not three, but FOUR irrelevant follow-up confirmation emails was not there. Instead, we were given a room with a “private bathroom” read: strange partition with a 3.5 inch metal door which only opens from the outside. It’s like showering in a safe, only it’s meant to keep you in. I chose to douse the floor of our dormitory-style bedroom with water rather than be interred in a watery lock-box. Then, my shower ran out of cold water, scalding my tired body at 10:00 am when we finally were able to check into the hotel. Córdoba Backpackers Hostel is NOT on my list of favorite places right now.
The only minutely redeeming quality is the Wi-Fi connection…but it’s only available in building #1, across the fucking street from our room! Ridiculous.
The city of Córdoba itself, much like its European counterpart, is a mixture of University town and old cathedrals. The Muslims and Catholics built the old one, but the Jesuits built the new one. It’s a pretty city, smaller and a little less classy than the Capital Federal, but it grows on you.
In need of a pick-me-up after the disappointing morning, D and I hopped over to the mall for a little 007 action, just in time to catch the Argentinian premimer of Casino Royale. Loved the new Bond, loved the action, thought the styling was cheesy and trashy. What kind of Monte Carlo croupier would wear a satin vest embroidered with playing cards? We’re not in Vegas here.
We followed our North American dose of pop with South American culture, visiting the small but interesting Regional Museum of Bellas Artes. Not a bad finish to the day, in which we went tragically over budget for the first time.
With a good dinner inside of me, and a good night’s rest (on cardboard pillows, damn you Cordoba Backpackers), everything should be happier. Can’t wait for Salta!
I miss Bs. As. already