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First steps in Argentina – Buenos Aires and Ushuaia

By December 28, 2018 No Comments

Come on let’s go!!!!

The D day has finally arrived !!!!!! the bags are ready (and much too heavy), the last goodbye to friends have been made, it is missing only the family. It was not easy but we had trouble realizing that we would not see them again for a long time. We were so tired that we did not even realize that it was D-day in fact … I think that even after a day of work I have never been so exhausted … strange … 😛

Our first transport will be the train and it will take us to the capital (Paris), to Orly airport, with a surprise stopover in Velizy to say goodbye to Grandma.

The first flight is scheduled late … it starts well! but hey, we do not care … we’re on vacation for 3 years!

Once at the check-in desk, we almost never get our boarding pass: some companies refuse to let people travel with a one-way ticket…thankfully the lady did not have a big knowledge of the Argentinian geography. We told her we have a flight to go to Ushuaia on ther 7thof January, so she printed out our boarding pass…but Ushuaia is in Argentina so we are not leaving the country by plane obviously…well…boarding pass printed so let’s go!

The departure was kind of interesting! first flight from Orly airport was delayed leading us to miss the next two flights … But no problem, we had a nice stopover for day in Lisbon. The 4 * hotel was not that great, but at least we could sleep a bit. The sun was out, it was a nice day. Quentin was able to discover a new city and to taste the good Portuguese food!

Tomorrow is the big party in Buenos Aires at Erica’s, so I hope we can sleep on the plane. We forgot to ask if our luggages were going to make the trip with us … surprise surprise … luckily, we invested in merino wool clothes (I do not explain why … but some know why).

The flight has been a bit too long, shaking a lot…this made me in the mood for Antarctica (to summarize, I freaked out).

TAP airline is not a great company, screens are super small and bad quality, there were no movies; meals were not that great according to Quentin (I did not eat but I smelt them…) and we are obliged to put our seats back up when they are serving meals, this means they are basically waking you up while you are sleeping. Thanks TAP! However, they are very well organized when there is a delay or cancellation; I will confirm this part when I will have received my compensation!

The second flight was with Aerolinas Argentinas. At the beginning we thought we would be traveling with TAP but we were not properly informed. So I also gave the wrong information to Maël who was already waiting for us during 2 hours before we arrived.

We gas to spend quite a while at the immigration, but this gave enough time to our luggage to arrive. Once this was done, we finally met my bro and then ran to Erica’s parents’ place where they were celebrating their 40thanniversary! We arrived in the middle of a big party with…meat to eat, yum! Speaking Spanish was a bit tough, but thankfully they all speak a perfect English and were very kind! Erica has her revenge 😛

Buenos Aires

After a good night’s sleep, we are ready to explore Buenos Aires with Maël and Erica. It’s always more fun to visit with locals!

We visited a “feria” in a nice neighborhood. This is a large open market on a street (one street is at least one km). It was busy but it was super nice to find out a bit about how people are busy on Sundays. We could taste empanadas (kind of pies stuffed too good ingredients) and of course, an ice cream! Erica had sold us a dream about angentinian ice creams, so we had to try once!

Then we ventured into another neighborhood: the Caminito. It was nice too and very original. The houses are colored and painted with the remains of the paintings used to paint the boats. There are many statues everywhere. It’s very touristy and the shops sell a little all the same things.

After several hours to walk in full hood we take the train back to Erica, enjoy the pool and chill out.

This day has been very busy:

-Worke up at 12h

-2h in the swimming pool

-2h siesta

-2h in the swimming pool

-1h siesta

-Dinner 😀

Quite a nice day.

Oddly I feel pretty good after 4 hours of sleep; I decided to start the day with Quentin by going to the swimming pool! As Ricky Martin would say: Livin la vida Loca!

The whole family is back for a great traditional bbq. There was everything, the Argentines do not throw anything away!

It is super warm today again … so time to go to the swimming pool again and then sure nap!

Hmm … such a hard day gain for us 😀

Today the weather is super heavy! We slept badly because of the heat and humidity.

After a dip in the pool we finish preparing our stuff.

At the moment when the taxi that should bring us to the airbnb in the city center arrives, it’s the storm! It’s raining like never! but to me it cooled the air. We have 50min taxi, the rain does not stop before we reach our destination.

The airbnb is great. There is a pool and a jacuzzi. Not sure if we go there we are too HS.

Today on the program we visited the Palermo neighborhood, a bookstore in an old theater and walk in the chic district.

Palermo is super nice, the houses are low and colorful, there is a lot of street art. On the way we see the big metal statue representing a flower.

We decide to visit the museum of Latin American art. There is a picture of Frida Kahlo that I wanted to see for a long time! We also saw works by Pablo Suarez, that’s how to say … surprising 😀

Once the visits are over we decide to go fooling around at a meat restaurant 😀

We start the day super early: at noon 😀

We go to the “chic neighborhoods” where the architecture is very similar to the one from Paris (Haussmann). First stop of the day is food, normal! We stop in a typical Argentinian restaurant and like all lunch it will be empanadas, because it’s veryyyy good!

We stop at the post office because we would like to buy stamps for your postcards. We are really sorry but you will not get much cards from South America !!! A stamp = “a rape” (way of speaking of course). I wanted to buy 40 stamps but I resigned myself to buy only 10 of which 5 for Quentin. 10 stamps = 10 empanadas or 5 meals, so the cards will be sent carefully.

We find Erica right after. We go to the ice cream shop, Papanui, which makes good ice creams that we will eat in a park opposite.

We start again a little later; the streets are very crowded, there are many brand shops. It’s pretty touristy, it’s not my favorite neighborhood.

At the end of the afternoon we return to the apartment to enjoy the swimming pool on the roof and sauna 😀 We stay there for at least two hours and then get ready to go taste the famous pizzas Erica talked about for so long. They are good, but not as good as those of Hégenheim 😛

We will end the evening in a very nice bar where people learn to dance the tango.

Ushuaia

Last morning on Buenos Aires; So, we’re going to have a brunch!

Erica takes us to a nice cafe where we can eat a lot of sweet things. So we go crazy and then take a taxi to the airport.

We have miscalculated our shot, once at the airport the girl tells us that we are overweight: 18 for me and 19 for Quentin instead of 15 kilos … So we rearrange the bags and then we will pay the overweight 15 euros.

 

Now we embark for Ushuaia. The flight is going well. We could admire the mountain range of the Andes, it was beautiful!

Erica’s girlfriend meets us at the airport, she brings Mael and Erica home and Quentin and I take a taxi to our cozy airbnb.

We are all on the harbor to meet the crew of the boat and also to see what we will embark! The skipper, Thierry, looks super pro and his second too, so it’s reassuring 😀 After a nice apero and the discovery of the ship we end the evening in a new bar where in fact all the tourists find themselves (average age 30 years). We come back around 1am, the night just falls 😀

Today is hiking in Ushuaia. Erica’s girlfriend and her roommate work in a car rental business so we’ll enjoy it.

The ride is 20 minutes from the city center after Rio Oliva if I understood correctly. The road is beautiful! The mountains are impressive and colorful.

The hike will take us to Laguna Esmeralda in 1h30 with some parts through in the forest. On the road we meet a little fox not shy at all. The hike is not difficult and we are amazed with the landscapes. The weather seems to be with us.

Once arrived we exclaim all ” wahouu ” because it’s super beautiful! the lake is turquoise blue and faces the glacier.

We chilled out around 2 hours (mostly in the rain) before getting back on the road. The path became muddy but suddenly the colors are different and even more beautiful. On the road we meet two foxes!

First hike to the top in Ushuaia, we cannot wait to discover the other wonders of Patagonia.

We are invited for dinner to eat local food: asado de sheep! This is a typical food from Patagonia. We are gonna eat at Erica’s friend’s friend 😀 He lives a bit outside the city center. He is super kind and seems a bit in another world but he knows a lot about his country and animals around so this was super interesting and pleasant.

After a good meal we come back exhausted.

Today is : not too fast in the morning not too fast at night.

We must go to the boat to put our things to put away, so we decided to go in the morning before finding the others. We did not really understood the program of the day.

Finally tidy up the business inside the boat will take 5 min. But we learnt that we forgot to bring one essential element: rain boots !!! Thierry tells us that in places we risk to sink well in the snow and on the boat,  we will be quite wet during the crossing of the Drake Canal (not Drake the singer mouahaha).

So we try to find but nothing is open … we are a bit annoyed.

We hang out in a cafe for 2 hours while waiting for Maël and Erica. Finally we will not do anything special in the afternoon and we will try to find the boots. I found for myself but I hope I will not have need very big socks … and Quentin, nothing. We thought we’d found good ones, but it will not help the rain unfortunately.

So we all decided to go to a cafe to get some hot chocolate (and for me, in addition of course, a huge lemon meringue pie).

We do the tour of the city again and then we will eat in a very nice typical restaurant. The waiters are super nice and football fans: there is football on TV and football jerseys everywhere. There are plenty of empanadas and all kinds of meat cooked in the BBQ. We eat too much as usual and then go to bed.

Tomorrow is D-day, I’m a little scared and I’m sad to leave Maël and Erica.

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