When I first dreamt up this trip all I knew was that I wanted to be in Buenos Aires to celebrate New Year, so our two week road trip of almost 3,000km ended here on the 30th. Today was our shortest drive day so we didn’t rush at all. We found a place to exchange some dollars in Concordia then bought some panchos for lunch. Panchos are a fantastic staple in Argentina, hotdogs in buns with a huge variety of toppings always finished off with a stack of crunchy potato chips.
Each one only cost $40 pesos (£1.60) including a drink! And just look at how much you get for that price! We tried as many of the different topping options as we could get away with.
The five hour drive itself was fairly uneventful. We broke up the journey by stopping at one of the bizarre German shops which sell everything imaginable and we got another pancho!
We arrived at our hostel in Buenos Aires having made really good time and we checked in to Milhouse Hostel. As we are staying over New Year there is a minimum stay of four nights so it will be good to stay in one place for a while! The price is about £10 per bed per night and they accept card. A little disappointingly, the reception staff weren’t the friendliest and they didn’t acknowledge that we were waiting while they explained every detail about the tours and trips to a group of Australians that were checking in. But we got there eventually and our dorm was fairly nice. Also staying in our room was Katarin, a woman from Uruguay. She is staying here with two of her friends from Montevideo who we met later on. Our other roommate is a Brazilian woman called Nini from Rio de Janeiro who flew over here to party! While we were unpacking our luggage in our room and chatting to Katarin we had parked our car in a luggage loading and unloading space. When we went down to take the car back to the hire car office at the airport, the car was GONE! So much drama. At first we thought it was stolen but eventually one of the guys working at the hostel found the sign from the tow truck company….
Quite simply put, it says, “dear driver: if your car has been removed, please go to..” and then gives you a rough address. So our next step was to walk to this underground car impound and I had to stop and ask for directions but people didn’t seem to know and there were no signs. Still, we found it reasonably quickly and then had to work out which order to visit the three different ticket offices in!
It was all very painless and cost us less than £30 so we didn’t argue about the sign not having a time limit!!
For dinner I found a highly rated Peruvian restaurant called Chan Chan and it was definitely a good call! The food was fab and it took me back to my month in Peru, especially the ceviche and pisco sours.
We spent New Year’s Eve walking through the Sunday market in the San Telmo district of the city. It was a fantastic way to spend a day.
We found a live music venue with excellent panchos and sat down to enjoy brunch with a Russian/Venezuelan called Eduardo.
We walked the full length of all the market stalls on the road called Defensa. The market is huge! All pedestrianised for about 1.5km with stalls on both sides and fascinating shops too – the area is packed full of antiques shops.
As we reached the Southern end of the street, we came across the Mercado de San Telmo. My favourite stall in there was this one with Lola the dog lounging around all over the jewels. This photo doesn’t show it but she has three blingy necklaces and a diamante bracelet on! Proper classy. I was moving her various limbs out of the way to see the sparkly rings in the case.
Before the walk back to the hostel we grabbed some late lunch at a lovely cafe in the market. I had another Peruvian dish called Huevos Rancheros and it was delicious.
We had a rest in the early evening before getting ready to go out to celebrate New Year. We had decided to go and watch the fireworks down by the waterfront and join in with the hostel party later on which turned out to be a great plan!
The fireworks were fantastic down by the waterfront. It doesn’t seem like there was an organised display, just hundreds of beautiful fireworks being set off all around us down at the water. And there were music venues with DJs and speaker stacks out on the street so it was just an enormous party with a lovely atmosphere. The countdown backwards in Spanish was a little challenging after some beers!
We walked back to the hostel in time to head to a club at about 2am with our roommates. The Bayside Club was enormous, easily a few thousand people were there with us partying away until dawn. We were joined at various points throughout the night by different people but we were a pretty multicultural group with Brits, Uruguayans and a Brazilian woman plus a Colombian and an Israeli.
Watching the sunrise and seeing the water right next to the club was beautiful.
I don’t think we look too worse for wear considering it’s just before 07:30 and we have been dancing for 5 hours!
The music stopped at 7:30am and there were so many people left at the club, we all walked out to the main road and got taxis. We didn’t get back to the hostel until 8:20am so I feel able to say that I DID New Year in Buenos Aires… and it was good!