I finally arrived in Buenos Aires late afternoon, after sitting on a plane next to a sick father and young boy coughing the entire time (hoping not to take in any germs). I turned on my phone and it started working FINALLY :). So I ordered an Uber and thankfully was able to find it easily and glad I didn’t get the $30 shuttle, because the Uber was only $13. The Uber driver (thankfully spoke a little English) was this lady from Venezuela and she was telling me how she moved to BA a few years ago to escape from the corruption in her country and gave me some pointers about safety in the city (she was sweet and gave me a Venezuela bill since that was one of the only countries I couldn’t go to due to political turmoil besides Paraguay). My first impression of Buenos Aires was that it was a bit more modern looking than other cities in South America with a European feel and various tiny little neighborhoods. As we arrived at the address of the hostel in Palermo it was getting dark and I couldn't see a sign with the hostel name and the building looked shitty from the outside so I was getting nervous. The Uber lady was nice enough to call and confirm the correct address and so I went up and rang the door and was let inside this locked up old building. I walked up the stairs and there was this Asian looking guy who informed me they were fixing the sign out front, and then he checked me in and gave me the lay of the land with a map and then showed me to my room which was right there in the front of the reception desk. I didn’t like that because I really needed quiet in order to sleep so I asked if there was another room. The whole hostel was very old with really tall ceilings, wooden doors, floors and keys from the 19th century. For the bathrooms, you had to pull a chain and it flushed (similar to Sao Paulo bathroom that you pushed a button and it was so strong and loud flushing down). Thankfully he was able to get me a room in the back with a bigger bathroom. The first room literally had the shower right in the toilet area, so you were basically showering next to the toilet. The second room had an actual bathtub and was much more comfortable. I went to get some dinner to make since I didn’t feel like finding a restaurant and ended up buying some chicken tenders at. the market next door - you gotta do what you gotta do during desperate times. As I ate and looked up what I wanted to do in Buenos Aires, I realized there was a lot more to see and do so I really had to come up with a plan, but turned out I didn’t even follow that plan (go figure). Thankfully that Italian friend, I had met in Peru had been in Buenos Aires for 3 months and had a whole list of restaurants and bars to see. So the next day I slept in just in time for breakfast and then walked around the park that was near my hotel. Turns out there was a food/art festival going on and so I of course went because there was barbecue with the most delicious looking meat and wine tastings and oil samplings. Then I walked around all the parks along the coast where there were tons of people out and about on a beautiful sunny day walking, running, rollerblading and biking around. It somewhat reminded me of Rio but not beach-style, more European-style with statues and fountains around. I arrived at the Japanese garden that was also very beautiful and then went back to that festival I had stumbled upon to meet up with that guy I had met in Peru on the Peru Hop tour with Lauren in Lima - Marco from Switzerland. We waited in line for barbecue and wine and started drinking fairly early—the beef sandwich was delicious, and of course, the same with the wine. Once we were done there we got an Uber to the downtown area since I wanted to see the market and government area (pink house). We sat outside the plaza and got another bottle of wine and sandwiches came with that. It was really relaxing chatting and people watching as it was getting towards the evening, we were getting somewhat tipsy. We went to the most famous restaurant for my first Argentinian steak, but before we stopped at a bar since the restaurant wasn’t open yet—they don’t open until around 8pm or later…very European/South American style. The restaurant we went to was very fancy and decorated with a lot of flags and national sports decorations. We ordered another bottle of wine (wow, yes I know) and got some cheese appetizer that was delicious and then the steak came and it was super juicy and absolutely amazing!!!! Hands down the most delicious steak I had ever tasted. Then we got an Uber back towards my hostel in Palermo and walked around to find a bar. It was somewhat quiet, maybe because it was a Sunday night. We found a random bar on the list I had and ordered a beer and then he walked me back to my hostel and he left in an Uber back to his in another neighborhood. I really slept in the next day (of course, after all that drinking and eating), did some yoga and then got my laundry organized to drop off so I went to drop it off at this laundry mat (hadn't done that since college) and then stopped in a coffee shop to relax. Then I met up with another friend that I had met at that hostel in Lobitos, Peru (remember the guy from the bonfire?). We went to a couple of bars and it was nice catching up with him a bit as he showed me different parts of the city. I had told Marco I would meet up with him again to get steak so we met up at this really fancy restaurant near the water and go figure, ordered a bottle of wine and steaks (which came with a corn dish that I absolutely loved). Then we went to another bar on the list of recommendations (it was weird because there weren’t that many bars open for some reason, on a Monday). We ordered some fancy drinks that were lit on fire and bar hopped a bit more and then I Ubered back to my hostel. I slept in long enough to miss breakfast and then got my things packed up as I had to leave the next morning really early. I was planning on doing all these tours and turns out I didn’t do any of them, but didn’t feel the need after-all because I was sick of the free walking tours anyway. I had also walked around a lot and so my last day I walked around this other barrio and went to this restaurant that had smoked pork sandwiches that were absolutely delicious and a craft beer. Then I went to a coffee shop and relaxed a bit before meeting up with Marco again for our last steak dinner. We ended up going to another fancy restaurant and it was also very delicious - I was wined and dined out! Since it was my last night we bar hopped again and went to this area in Palermo to a fun hipster bar and then a really cool, true speakeasy in the back of a wine cellar restaurant. At first I didn’t know if it was the right place but then we were brought to the back with another couple as we were told the story behind cellar walls of why it’s a speakeasy in the first place. Once we were taken through a few hidden doorways, we stumbled upon a very dark romantic space with live jazz playing next to a Paris feeling piano bar. It was very relaxing, we ordered a cocktail and then went to another bar that was somewhat fancy, but not as expensive as the speakeasy. And then finally we ended at a wine bar as I enjoyed my last local Argentinian wine. I had to wake up at 6am and it was pure hungover why did I do that feeling - it was tough leaving Buenos Aires like that. I was tired, my body was tired, I overdid it in Buenos Aires that's for sure. I got an Uber to the airport of course and unfortunately it smelt straight up like cigarettes which made me feel like I was going to throw up. There was a good amount of traffic but thankfully arrived at the airport on time and I was so exhausted and hungover it really sucked, but was ready to get to a new place! Next stop....Chile!
Ps. My iPhone started to work in BA, but with complications so I had to keep it in rice whenever I didn't need it, which was a pain, but ended up saving me in the end...it started working back to normal when I got to Chile (so had to deal with a broken phone for about a week).