A week in Buenos Aires and a weekend in Rosario

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La Boca, Buenos Aires

My life has fallen into a little routine. I get up, go to Spanish class, get some lunch, take a nap, do my homework and then in the evening I go to some event, a movie or a language exchange or something, and then I get up and do it all again the next day.

Spanish class is going so-so. I am now half way through the four weeks that I signed up for. It means I need to make a decision about what I do next.

This week we had a power cut for two days. This meant no internet, no AC and no elevator. I mention those things in the order of importance they held for me.

I understand this is quite common in January; the city can’t cope with the demands of thousands of people desperately trying to cool their apartments down and so the power goes off.

I decided to escape for the weekend to Rosario. It’s quite do-able in a weekend, being just four hours on a bus from Buenos Aires.

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Some artwork on the streets of Rosario

Buenos Aires bus station is a somewhat chaotic place, with many different bus companies running services out of the same building. I booked online and then found the station didn’t issue tickets and I had to print my own (no you can’t just show them on your phone). This necessitated a trip to the internet shop, a few attempts to remember the password to open my mail box (no of course they won’t print from your own laptop) before I finally had what I needed to be allowed on the bus. It’s a good job I turn up early for these things.

However the buses are super-comfy when you finally get on, with as much legroom as you’d get in business class on an airplane.

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Disused railway line.  There is a (working) train station in Rosario, but the journey takes almost twice as long by train as by bus.  

Rosario is ok.  it’s a perfectly nice place to go for a couple of days if you want to escape Buenos Aires and get a change of scenery.  But if you have longer than two days spare, I’d pick somewhere else.

It is the birthplace of Che Guevara. His childhood home is here, although it’s privately owned and you can’t go in.  From the outside it is just a boring block of flats, and I wasn’t even completely sure which one was his. There are a few commemorative pictures in the nearby squares though.IMG_5817

There are a lot of parks, and people are running and doing exercise pretty much anytime you go there. My favourite walk along the riverside was called the Paseo de la diversidad sexual (this, I think, requires no translation from me).

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The path of sexual diversity (I translated it anyway)

I didn’t realise my visit clashed with the Dakar rally (I was only dimly aware what this was until I looked it up), meaning the town was very busy on Saturday.   Shows what I know; I assumed the Dakar rally took place in Dakar (as the name suggests) but it’s been in South America now since 2009.

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Waiting to cheer on the winners

The best thing I did was hire a bicycle and ride along the path of sexual diversity up to the beach.  Yes there is a beach, but don’t get too excited (I left my phone safely back in my locker so no photos; you’ll just have to take my word for it).    There’s a nice traffic-free path all the way though, great if you’re a nervous cyclist like me.

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Reception area.  I tried to copy the photo they put up of their reception area, but couldn’t get it to copy.  Let’s just say in their photo there was a large, bright reception desk with lots of happy, smiley people waiting to greet you.

I made a bad choice of hostel. With the internet going on and off all week I picked something quickly without looking through all the options, and this was a mistake. The owner/manager (I’m not sure which) went home on an evening leaving us to fend for ourselves, and there was a group of young guys that I found a little threatening. They sat around the communal areas making lewd comments when I walked by (well I’m guessing they were lewd. Maybe they were discussing the political stability of the region; my Spanish is so bad I probably couldn’t tell the difference). No biggie, but another time I’d check properly and make sure there are more recent reviews; the place looked nothing like its picture.

7 replies »

    • Yes Thought there’d be some desk somewhere where you could ask ‘when is the next bus for …?’ but apparently not. You have to find which companies travel to your destination and then try a few of them, or just randomly pick one. Strange system.

  1. Hi Sarah. How cool is the Diversity Path. I love that and I would have liked to have seen a photo of you on your bicycle! Rosario looks a cool place and I am just loving the street art you are showing. Your daily routine sounds wonderful. I think I could slip very nicely into that routine! Safe travels my friend oh and where is my sunshine lol xx

    • Yeah I never did get myself a selfie stick, but anyway nobody wants to see pictures of me puffing and panting myself into a little ball of sweat on my bike.
      And as for sending you sunshine, you know I’m an only child and we never share anything. 🙂

  2. I love the photos! Argentina is definitely on my to-do list. I’m sorry about your hostel situation. I had a similar situation happen to me in Prague. It’s sad to admit but traveling as a woman can be very difficult.

    • Buenos Aires is a really cool city.
      Yes I read about your hostel experience. I’m not a big fan of hostels these days. It may be just me getting old but I really don’t like the whole mixed dorm thing.

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