Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A travel day in Buenos Aires... or maybe the twilight zone?

Today is a travel day.  We got up at 6am to organize and pack for our 8am pick up to go back into Argentina and fly to Buenos Aries where we have a 9hr layover before our 10pm flight to Santiago.

The lines to get over the border were very long.  I was quite happy to not be on a bus with 50 tourists where it would have likely been an hour wait for the guide to get all their passports checked out.  It was just the three of us in a van so crossing the border was not a long process.

Bridge over the natural border between Argentina and Brazil.  

When we arrived at the airport we had about 90mins before our flight was scheduled to depart.  There was short line at the LAN counter, but no agents, yet.  It didn’t take long for them to arrive and the line started to move along.  When we finally made it to the counter we discovered they were having a computer problems and all the boarding passes and bag tags were being hand written.  And because of the broken computer system they could not check our bags through to Santiago.  Dang-it, we just lost a bunch of time in Buenos Aiies!
Hand written boarding pass.

The flight turned out to be delayed again, though not by too long.  So we chose to sit down instead of stand in another line, my swollen feet can not hand handle it any more.  

We landed a little late and waited a little while for our bags.  Then we headed for another line to try and check our bags.  No luck, you can’t check your bags until three hours before your flight. And there are no lockers. We tried the ticket counter to try and find an earlier flight.  The guy was rude and did not seem to have time for us, he did not even attempt to help us out.  

Now what??  Tourism desk, no luck, just info.  So Michelle had the idea to bring our stuff to a hostel in the city and see if we could store our stuff there for the day.  Worth a try, right?

The guy at the counter where we got a car sent us to a hostel called Millhouse.  Score! They let us store our stuff in their locker room for the day, for free!  There are still good people in this world!  After the hostel, the driver who left my stuff in the street took us to plaza mayo.  This was definitely worth the “expensive” ride into the city

Working hard for tips...

We got a taxi to the colorful neighborhood near La Boca stadium where all the tango dancers are dancing and posing for pictures with tourists.  We sat down at an empty table to get a late lunch.  We got some local beer and local dishes and watches some locals people dance the tango. It was a rather entertaining afternoon.  

After La Boca we went to get out bags from Millhouse.  Somehow the taxi meter cost double on the way back, and the taxi driver was happy to receive a large bill and have to produce change.  He kept s a nice tip for himself, jerk! (A few hours later we learned that he gave us fake money I change, super jerk!)

Before going back to the airport we tried to go see the cemetery where Eva Paron (don’t cry for me Argentina) is buried. Unfortunately it was closed.  And unfortunately this was where we discovered we got ripped off by the nasty taxi driver earlier in the day.  Normally I would have been mad and but not really cared too much.  Except for that face that we had no more Argentina money and we were short the exact amount we had been ripped off by to get back to the airport.  Thankfully there was an English speaking couple who was able to help us out with the taxi driver and we paid half in Argentina money half in USD money.

The airport was uneventful.  We got there two hours early.  No line to check a bag, no line to ‘exit’ the country.  Just lots of people waiting around at the international gate area.  Reb and Michelle and  played some more cards.  It was not long before we discovered that our fight was delayed, again.  But despite our flight being delayed, we somehow managed to miss the part where they called for the boarding of our flight… we were just minding our own business, playing cards, and out of nowhere (and I’m not sure how) we realized there calling the ‘last call’ for our flight to Santiago. RUN! 

We made it, but I’m not exactly sure when the other 180 people on our flight got on the plane… because I swear, they never boarded. They (LAN) borded a Sao Paulo flight and then all of a sudden, it was Reb and Michelle and me left to board our Santiago flight. Yikes!!! But, we made it. All is well.  And by 1am we were in Santiago.  

More to come soon... Computer battery about to die and it takes years to up-load photos right now.  let me know if you find any typos, so I can fix them!

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