Buenos Dias, Buenos Aires

Six hours after getting off the plane in Buenos Aires, I went on a pub crawl.

So begins the next leg of my journey. Buenos Aires translates either to “good airs” or “fair winds,” depending on which translation you trust. As a traveler, fair winds are a good omen. I feel like I’m in the right place.

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As I like to do when I get my feet on the ground in a new environment, I spent my first day exploring. The thing is, Buenos Aires is huge. Taking a guided tour through La Boca, then walking myself through Puerto Madero, it’s like I’ve barely scratched the surface of this city.

Patience is key to this part of the trip. In Chile, I felt like I had to keep moving to experience the country. In Buenos Aires, I have to settle in. Which I did by taking an afternoon siesta.

Which was made necessary by the aforementioned pub crawl. I had been tipped off to Argentine nightlife before I got here, but it’s one thing to talk about how people generally hit the bars and clubs later than in the US; it’s quite another to physically arrive at the club after 2:00 am.

Factoring in the time change from Santiago–I lost one hour–I was awake yesterday for a solid 20 hours. Most of which were spent sober, despite the dramatic shift in that situation towards the end of the night.

I’ll be honest: I’m more excited for my time in Argentina than I was for Chile. That might not be fair to Chile; it was my first time out on my own, and I had no idea what to expect. Thanks to my time there, I have a better understanding of the solo travel life, and that understanding is no doubt adding to the anticipation. I feel more prepared to take on Argentina.

I do miss the green spaces of Santiago. Buenos Aires is mostly shades of gray, La Boca excepted. The streets are both narrower and wider. If Santiago was like the sprawling cities of Texas or California, Buenos Aires is more like New York or Chicago–tightly packed and built upwards. I want to look up at the buildings, but I have to look down occasionally to avoid the trash.

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A notable exception to the colors of Buenos Aires is Costanera Sur. An ecological preserve on the banks of the Rio de la Plata, it’s full of marshlands, trees, plants, and wildlife of many colors. Buds on the trees indicate the not-to-distant future of spring. It made for a peaceful afternoon stroll, listening to the waves lapping against the shore and birds chirping. I saw plenty of people lying in the grass, or meditating, both of which seemed like good ideas in such a place.

I thoroughly enjoyed my own introspective walk through the reserve. And my recharging nap. I’m ready to look outward again.

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