Sunday, March 21, 2010

Backpacking in South America - Rosario, Argentina

So, we arrived in Rosario only abouuuuut 6 hours later than scheduled.   Phew!  It was a long bus ride here but actually wasn’t all that bad - I think I already would rather catch a late bus when you’re already sleepy, sleep off and on for about 10/11 hours, then spend the remaining (10 hours in this case) watching the bus movies in dubbed Spanish, reading, or just staring outside.  The seats are pretty comfortable (and we opted for the semi-cama chairs which don’t fully extend out) and on the trip we were served 3 meals.  Pretty decent.  I would recommend though, if you are traveling for the same amount of time to bring snacks just in case.  We were absolutely starving pretty hungry by the time they served the meals. 

It was an interesting trip here.  First of all, because at the start of the trip we were stopped twice by police ‘blitzes’ - on the first occasion they got on the bus and asked for everyone’s id.  Ok, no problem.  On the second one, I was sleeping, but was awoken by some dogs sniffing around - Ro said the cops had brought these dogs on and they were sniffing in the cracks of the bus etc.  Weird!!

Interesting point two:  There were baby cockroaches.  Everywhere.  Ro went on a killing spree and massacred a good portion of the family but they didn’t stop coming!  It was strange and disgusting. 

But anyway, we made it here and decided again to save a buck and walk the 25 blocks to our hostel.  Which was the wrong hostel.  Then we had to back track about 4 ½ blocks to the RIGHT hostel.  We arrived sweaty and tired to the HI Hostel - Casa da Dona Jaime 2 -  which is awesome!  It is decorated completely with Elvis memorabilia???  Also, in this hostel we have a private room with a double bed AND private bathroom - we are living in luxury people.  Lol, the last hostel we stayed at we wanted a double bed but they only had bunk beds and shared washrooms.  At this point, we want our money to go as far as it can so we’ll take what we can get (except a dorm - no way I’ll sleep in a dorm!).

So night time in Rosario, we went out in search of a good place to eat and stumbled upon this restaurant called La Materias.  Every time we travel we try to drink the local beer so in our true style, we ordered a liter (!) of Isenbeck.  Then we drank it and ordered another haha.  It was really good and we were thirsty, what can I say.  For dinner we ordered a tabla which was like appies for 2 served on a wooden cutting board.  Greasy and delicious (but our stomachs were not thanking us the next morning). 

So the next day, we had about 8 hours to kill before our overnight bus came to Mendoza.  So we literally walked around the city for 8 hours.  I have to say, Rosario is not a really big tourist town - actually it’s a big city but there aren’t many people there.  There are a lot of stray dogs though.  And subsequently, a lot of piles of poop on the sidewalk.  Everywhere you walk has the faint air of dog poo.  Also, for it being the city where Che Guevera is from, you’d think they would have cashed out on that a little, even a little, but there was no sign of Che anywhere.  We walked down to the river, watched the locals fishing, wandered back in-town, ate lunch at Parthenon where we struggled to order in Spanish with an impatient waitress and the obvious town-gossip turning her head completely around “Exorcist Style” to stare as soon as she heard the us speak. 

Anyway, after a long ass day of doing nothing and being really tired we finally went to catch the bus to Mendoza.  Wow the difference between riding Rio Uruguay and Andesmar is 100% different!!!  We got a cama bus this time and it was sooo nice!!  Unfortunately at about 6 in the morning the bus broke down.  Completely broke and we were forced onto another bus to ride the remaining 2 hours separated, and into the lowly semi-cama area.  Haha, now I’m a snob, now that I’ve experienced the upper class - I can’t go back! 

So, made it only 2 hours behind schedule to Mendoza and we already like it!  No dog poop, check.  Lots of outdoor ferias (markets), check.  A pedestrian street, check.  We likey.  Good thing because we’re spending 3 nights here.  In the next day or two we plan to rent bikes for $45 pesos (or about R$30, or about $18) for the day and do the biking wine tour.  Wine tasting on bikes.  Sounds like a disaster?  Yeah, I thought so too! 

Well, we are off to check out the outdoor market to get some cheap food and hopefully water. It’s been more than 24 hours since we drank any water and I feel like my body is poisoning itself.  Hasta luego!


  1. hahaha this was so entertaining!

  2. ahaha. "adventures of a gringa in brazil", sounds a little like "adventures of a gringa in rio" ahahahha. but she quit! she left brazil so you get the title now :) how long exactly have you been in rio? you're blog looks young, so less than a year? how is your portuguese, mine sucks. wow 3 months and you got married, you know my friends and family think i'm nuts for waiting only about 3 years! i'm married to a brazilian too, well i will be this saturday. anyways, nice to find your blog, im in sao paulo but you know i've never been to rio...

    ps. i loved the non brazil food article (extremely much) but where did you find tortillas? it took me a month to track down rice flour! enjoy the rest of your time in Argentina :)


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