Twenty-two hours in a bus sounds daunting…the thought of spending nearly an entire day of your life crammed into one seat is not the greatest prospect. Fortunately for our tour group, a $25 upgrade landed us in the comfort zone; fully reclining seats, two onboard meals, a good selection of movies and whiskey served just before bedtime. Before we knew it we had covered the 1400km between Bariloche and Buenos Aires. Big ups to the South American bus system once again.
Buenos Aires is a massive city with a pounding pulse that seldom slows down…imagine the perfect combination of great dining, colourful people, beautiful architecture, efficient public transport, creative street art, vibrant culture and awesome nightlife - that is a little of what Buenos Aires has to offer. The fourteen million people that live there make it the second most populated city in South America, after Sao Paulo. Whereever you are in the city you will feel the numbers, it`s hard to find an inch of peace and quiet within the city.
A major highlight in Buenos Aires is the nightlife, but it should really be termed morning-life…Locals have dinner at midnight, go to the bar at 1:30 am and only hit the clubs at 3am. If you arrive at a club any time before that you will be a loner. As with most of the places I visit I try my best to go with the flow, this routine therefore became part of my time in Buenos Aires. A taxi ride home at sunrise after a big night out is a truly special feeling. Couple this with a four hour sleep allowance and your days spent in Buenos Aires are a beautiful daze amongst the colourful markets of Palermo, the chalk houses of Le Boca, the bustle of Florida street and the powerful tango shows in San Telmo. The energy, passion and creativity of the city is alive and always on display.
After four busy days exploring the neighborhoods and nightlife of Buenos Aires, an 8am alarm sounded the call for a ferry ride across to the Uruguayan city of Colonia. The lack of sleep and big nights out resulted in the one-hour ferry ride being much more uncomfortable than the twenty-two hours spent getting to Buenos Aires. Our tour group looked rather grim as we boarded the ferry…some of us fell asleep immediately but I was one of the unlucky ones who were kept awake by a rather awful bout of `motion sickness`.
It`s not easy getting to know a city in one or two days, but Colonia is slightly different. It is small, quaint, and has charm like an old race car. After spending four days amongst the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires, the feeling of arriving in Colonia was superb. One of the best bits of traveling is the way your brain and feelings are programmed according to your surroundings…the best feeling for me then comes with a change in location. A massive change in mindset certainly came in Colonia.
I had been told that the best way to see Colonia was by renting a golf cart. Having not driven for three months I jumped at the opportunity to take to the streets. A good mate of mine called Eske and I rocked up at the rental shop and asked for the fastest cart they had. We ended up getting a cart that would have suited a retired golfer. Nevertheless, we had an awesome time driving around the city. The best bits to visit are along the coastline. A twenty-minute drives gets you to an old bullfighting ring that has long been standing unused, this is a great reminder of the history of the area. Our next stop is the Capital of Uruguay, Montevideo.
Let the good times roll!