Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Way Down South

One of my favourite sounds during travel is that of the landing gear compartments opening up during the approach of the destination.   I’ve flown a lot over the last decade and although I love travelling, the long flights tend to wear me down a bit these days.  Not sure if it’s the ingestion of the shitty airplane food or the stuffy air in the cabin after 12 hours in the sky but I’m all for the next generation of passenger carriers.  The Venus Project talks about the possibility of creating tube trains that run on frictionless, magnetic energy that could take you from LA to Shanghai in a matter of hours.  This technology exists today but building the infrastructure to house such a train would be an epic undertaking….but we as humans have conquered some amazing things in a short amount of time.

Upon landing, Spencer and I collected our luggage, all but one bag…my bag full of clothing.  My fly fishing gear made it, but my bag of clothing and toiletries was somewhere out there.  We filled out a lost baggage form and hopped in a cab and headed into Hollywood Palermo district of Buenos Aires where we would spend the next three days waiting for my baggage, eating and drinking latte’s before heading into the Patagonia’s to stalk the Argentine trout.  

Upon arrival we were given a smaller room than what we had booked….the front desk staff basically bullshitted us on the rooms being of equal value.  After a period of runaround from the front desk I contacted the travel agency that booked the room and they were able to get us into our booked room and added a free night which we later used on the return to the city.  Slick rooms and an amazing location but the front desk staff was so inept and uninterested  that for $200/night I am confident I could find a better deal in the Palermo area of the city. 

The Streets of Palermo Hollywood

Palermo is a really cool neighbourhood.  Lined with trees (jacarandas, tipas and sycamores) the streets of Palermo are well shaded and cozy due to the canopy of bright green leaves and the purple flowers of the jacandas.  There are plenty of restaurants and cafes who’s tables spill out onto to the streets and Spencer and I spent a lot of time enjoying food, coffee and drink while watching people stroll by.  No shortage of gorgeous woman here that’s for sure.  It’s somewhat legendary for that and I’ve been to a lot of cities in my life, but BA certainly has it’s fair share of  babes.  WOW!!!   

After my bag’s arrival we hopped on overnight bus and travelled 20 hours to Bariloche which was perhaps a bit off the path but I was needing  a back molar pulled and was unsure as to whether or not a dentist would be available in San Martin de Los Andes.  Turns out that would have been fine but the dentist in Bariloche did an amazing job and was freakin’ hilarious.  He didn’t speak much English and our Spanish sucks so through google translate and hand gestures we defined the procedure and got the tooth yanked and hand some great laughs.  
I had my I phone unlocked before I arrived so we spent the rest of the’ tooth day’ trying to get a sim card and number for that phone.  After several frustrating hours the phone activated and I was now in ownership of an Argentinian phone number.   We strolled around Bariloche which is like an old beaten down ski town and looked at various restaurants before deciding on this one little hole in the wall which by appearances did not look like much.  If I hadn’t looked through the window the previous evening and seen one of the patrons getting down on a thick sirloin I never would have thought to go in there but the eyes were right and we had two amazing chorizo steaks that were done to perfection.
A bunch of beers later Spencer and I returned to our hostel passed out and woke up the next morning to board the bus to San Martin and onto the angling.