On the morning of February 2nd 2015 after a long flight from Vienna via Frankfurt to Buenos Aires we arrive on a sunny and warm summer morning here. It is almost exactly two years that we got here for the first time in 2013. While we spent a full month back in 2013 in this great city this time we only have two nights before we hit the road to explore other parts of Argentina in a 4x4 camper.
We booked ourselves into posh Hilton hotel directly located in Puerto Madera. No, we did not win in the lottery as some suggested. To make things easy for the two nights and cheap we just use Michael’s Hilton HHoners points. Through our old contacts everything is organized to get some money exchanged shortly after we arrive in the hotel. The blue market is where you get your Pesos and the inflation has really gone up since 2013. Two years ago we got around 8 Pesos for 1 USD. This time they give us 13 Pesos. You can change EUR as well but it is better to bring USD as they are more commonly accepted.
Hilton Hotel located in Puerto Madera
Cranes made in Germany - long time ago
Puerta Madera at night
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We use the couple of days to check out a few things in the city. First we try to get our old SIM cards reactivated and recharged that we used for the mobile WIFI hot spot. But as we almost expected they expired in the meantime. The only place we seem to be able to get new ones is Calle Florida down town. We decided to skip it this time. There won’t be too much time to blog as we are only here for one month. Wise choice as throughout our journey there are only a few areas with network coverage anyway.
Last time we lived for one month in an apartment in Palermo Hollywood. Of course we need to check out how this area has developed since we stayed there back in 2013. Lot’s of building work going on with a few new interesting houses. The charm is still the same and certainly a place to stay if we would have more time. Our initial plan was to go for lunch to the famous Esperanca in Calle Honduras. In 2013 it offered the best lunch special for an upscale restaurant. As it turns out and indicated by some web sites it has been closed. What a loss for this area as they served one of the best Bife de Chorizo in town.
Not really touristic but a good place for buying antique goods is the Mercado De Las Pulgas in Palermo. Karin for the last two years was talking about these old soda bottles. While you can get them all over the city and in particular in the more touristic areas we came here to see what they offer here. We find a old one in very good condition with colored glass and metal dispenser for a decent price. Karin is happy about the bottle and Michael is happy that we finally can go to get something to eat and a cool beer.
Mercado De Las Pulgas located in Palermo
Old Soda Bottles
Here you can find almost everything
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The two days we had in Buenos Aires passed by pretty fast. Doing some jogging around Puerto Madera, checking out Palermo and San Telmo and eating Michael’s favorite Bife de Chorizo in a couple of different places was all we could fit in this time.
On 8 am on the third day we get picked up by a taxi driver to bring us to the rental company. It is further away from down town Buenos Aires than we thought and the taxi driver seems to have issues finding the gas pedal. So it takes us around an hour until we finally arrive at the rental car office. Hand over took us another several hours as we did have some problems with the deposit needed to be reserved on our credit card. It was not that bad as it sounds because we just use the time to stow away all our stuff in the camper. Something we had to do anyway.
Our Spanish, or rather the Spanish of Karin, is now good enough so that we can handle all the things in local language. Hey, that is a big step forward! We also have changed rental companies based on our mixed experience with the one we used in 2013 plus the fact that they seem to be out of business anyway. This time we use Motorhome Time a well established company on the local market. Their cars are much better equipped and the cabin comes with more space. Don’t expect too much though. One key thing for example is the fridge. It is not really getting cold even on 220 V let alone on 12 V. Best to get ice to keep your stuff cool and switch it off if you camp without 220V supply as it drains the battery within hours.
After doing some first shopping around the corner in a small store we hit the road to get across the country to start our trip along the Andes. Our adventure begins and we are looking forward to a few weeks exploring new regions of Argentina that we missed out last time.