BUENOS AIRES: Introduction

On the plane to Buenos Aires

We treated ourselves with a plane ticket from Puerto Iguazu to Buenos Aires as the flight we found on the web through Lan Airlines wasn’t much more expensive than a bus ticket and, after the 2 nights we spent on buses getting to Iguazu, choosing between a 90 minute flight and a 19 hour bus journey was a no brainer! We also decided that we’d base ourselves in Buenos Aires for a while as we had changed locations quite a bit in the previous few weeks.  In the end we stayed in BA for more than 3 weeks…

By now you must have figured that we, once again, hadn’t arranged any accommodation before arriving so we spent the afternoon dragging our bags around looking for hostels.  To put icing on the cake, the couple hostels that we picked up from our “trusty” Lonely Planet guidebook turned out to be either in process of being refurbished or completely boarded up. It was already dark and we were exhausted when we walked pass the Buenos Artes Hostel so we checked in and paid for one night’s stay without even checking the available room… BIG MISTAKE!! and here’s why…

The room we were given had a very tiny window that didn’t open which meant no fresh air could get in to get rid of the nasty smell of who knows what?! It was cold and drafty and the bed looked like it was there since the beginning with a collection of different hair samples stuck on it! Don’t even get me started on the conditions of the shared bathrooms! If you like the view and the company of cockroaches whilst minding your own business in the toilet, you’ll love this place! Not for us thank you. So between the cold and the banging music and loud voices coming from the common room till the early hours of the next morning, not much sleep was had.

Travel Sheets

It was the perfect time to try our silk travel sheets to keep out the bed bugs!

First thing we did after waking was grab our bags and get out of that place as quick as possible!

We spent the morning in a cafe with Wifi access desperately searching for a better place to stay. After having checked the prices of decent hostels,  we both agreed that we would be better off renting an apartment during our stay. The flat we liked and booked in the Palermo district was only available the following day so we found ourselves another hostel nearby. So that night we enjoyed a good (normal bugless!) night’s sleep at  Eco Pampa Hostel.

Common room at Eco Hostel

Common room at Eco Hostel

Next morning we met with the landlady and settled in to our gorgeous apartment right in the centre of Palermo Viejo area where we enjoyed living like a Porteño (as residents of Buenos Aires call themselves) for the next two weeks… It was in a perfect location with plenty cafe’s, restaurants, shops and supermarkets nearby with the busy Plaza Italia subway and bus lines only 3 blocks away.

Our flat in Palermo

Our flat in Palermo

We had originally planned to stay 2 weeks in that flat but I spent a few days indoors recovering from a high fever so we chose to stay in BA for 3rd week. We found another flat nearby as we couldn’t extend our stay in the first flat.

Additional Information:

We found our first flat through an agency on the web and the second one on Craiglist website. We paid US$265 per week for the first flat and US$250 for the latter which turned out be way cheaper than staying in a hostel for a week. Plus, having cooking facilities in the flat was an extra bonus for me as being a vegetarian with certain food intolerances had been a challenge so far. I’ll talk about on the subject in a different post soon.

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