December 24 : Unexpected stay in Buenos Aires

I woke up at 5:30 but managed to go back to sleep until nearly 9. Then I got up, showered, and went down to the restaurant. I am a whinger I know, but I was disappointed that the water for the tea was lukewarm, as was the coffee. I asked for some hot water but was still waiting when I left. Unlike the two airline pilots who had hot water rushed to them as soon as they sat down. Apart from that the hotel staff were excellent.

After breakfast I went to find out if transport was arranged today to the international airport. Not as far as they were aware, so after discussion with them I booked my own transport at 3pm which they assured me would give me plenty of time to get to the airport,with 2 hours to spare. Off to the cash flow machine to get money to pay for it (equivalent of $100 USD).

I could not believe how warm it was. When I got back to the hotel I changed into a dress and sandals for the first time in weeks. It was nearly 11 am and I was feeling guilty about not taking the opportunity to explore at least some of this city. But I was over being away and decided to catch up on the last few days of the blog. I decided to charge my iPad – unbelievable the plugs here use a different charger than the rest of Argentina that I have been to. The plug for Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia also did not work.  Fantastic I think, I have no phone and now no iPad as well. But thankfully the NZ plug worked.

Luckily I decided not to go touring as at midday the phone in my room rung and the Lan arranged transport had arrived 6 hours before my flight. I had to frantically repack as I had unpacked everything looking for the NZ charger plug. The ride to the airport went smoothly, not a lot of traffic. The hotel staff had said it was much quieter than usual as it is Christmas tomorrow, and lots of people have gone away or already started being on holiday. The international airport is in a totally different part of the city and usually is a bit of a nightmare getting between the two due to traffic.

There are hundreds of apartment buildings, most 20 levels high, stretching for ages after we left the city and got on the motorway. I guess in a city of 15 million there are too many people not to mostly live in apartment buildings. A number of apartment buildings had big grass areas out front.

I got to the airport just before 1pm, two hours before I could check in so I went to find a cafe that I could fit in with my bike box and bag. The airport today (and yesterday) had free wifi but it was pretty overloaded and took forever to send a simple email (up to 3 hours). If you moved a fraction it would log you off! I discovered (what most people know already) that for some reason Facebook messenger was much more likely to actually send and receive messages, so at least I could keep my children updated with progress with the various flights.

I needed to go to the bathroom, but as I had the bike box and bag I couldn’t go and leave them. Thankfully Brett arrived at the airport, so I was able to leave my box and bag with him. Unfortunately they clean a number of women’s toilets at the same time with a different cleaning crew. By the time I found the 4th and it was also being cleaned I was getting pretty desperate and pushed the cleaning trolley out of the way. The cleaning lady was not happy but let me through when I managed to convey to her that if she did not, she would have to clean the floor again!

Brett was flying home to Australia a day behind me, but due to my delay we were now on the same flight from Buenos Aires to Santiago.  At 3pm I was able to check my bag and bike box which made it much easier getting around the airport without lugging both of them around.

The plane to Santiago boarded and left on time. I managed to get a few glimpses of the Andes out the windows of either side. I was in the middle row of seats.

The connection at Santiago was fine, and I got to the boarding gate in plenty of time and the plane took off 😀😄😄😄😄

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Categories: Argentina, Chile, South American Epic | Leave a comment

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