note: these argentina throwback posts are migrated from an old blog. please ignore all the formatting issues that may have occurred. i don’t want to go through and fix them all. 🙂
This past weekend, I traveled a five hour trip to Mar del Plata, a beach bum town resembling Santa Monica, CA. The bus ride there was great. Reclinable seats that almost laid flat. A bathroom. A movie. A beautifully scenic ride of lots of flat fields. And then we arrived.
Friday: We got to the hostel by cab around 8pm. Playa Grande Hostel. The eight of us, one guy and seven girls, shared a room with four bunk beds. Each of us had our own locker to keep our belongings safe. We got situated and then went in search of sweaters because at night the weather gets windy and chilly around the ocean. Some people were unprepared for this. On our search, we found an amazing ice cream shop that sold anything you wanted dipped in chocolate. They of course had my favorite, chocolate covered bananas. I got one each day I was there.
We also befriended a stray dog who continued to randomly appear around us the rest of the weekend. We then ate the biggest hamburgers ever at this restaurant called NetPoint. These burgers were literally the size of a dinner plate. The special was a beer and burger for about $4 USD. We could not pass it up. Two people got all you can eat pizza for cheap also, which ended up being very beneficial for breakfast and late night snacking on the leftovers.
After dinner, we headed to the beach. Where else would we go? We hung out on the rocks until it got too cold for us to bare. Also, until we began being followed around by the security guard for sitting on the private beach furniture. It is so odd. All the 8km of beaches there are covered with chairs and clubhouses and playgrounds and such that is for members only. Then in front of all that stuff is the public sandy beach. It is really bizarre to look at from above. After the beach, we threw ourselves our own dance party on the plaza overlooking the ocean. Around 3am we called it quits and retired for the night in our very uncomfortable bunk beds.
Saturday: Up around 11am, we ventured in search of the perfect beach. After a 30min bus ride, we arrived at la playa de los pescadores. A beautiful beach with lots of sand and crashing waves. There is not much more to say here. We laid on our towels until around 6pm with intermissions for running into the cold water and lunch.
Then we bussed back and took a short nap. We met two other Americans in the hostel and we all went to a seafood restaurant a short cab ride away. The seafood was pretty good. I had “ramas” or calamari, but we think they snuck in some onion rings… and some white salmon which was delicious. After a two or three hour dinner (eating out in Argentina is the slowest process ever), we decided to walk home instead of taking a cab. On our walk, we passed a circus, a naval base, and then came across the best thing ever, illegal drag racing. Walking walking and then all the sudden we see three cars stop, one person get out and do the Grease-style start. And away they went. So we kept walking and came across the beginning…a plaza filled with cars and people and music. We made friends with some locals who told us this happens every Saturday night. There is motorcycle races also, but those are on hold because two weeks ago a bunch of the racers got arrested. Crazy Argentines! After hanging out on the plaza until 2am, we went back to the hostel. I crashed along with two of my friends while everyone else went out and came home the next day at 8am…
Sunday: We all woke up sunburnt. VERY sunburnt. It was just as beautiful and hot as Saturday, but there were a few clouds luckily. We got a breakfast of yogurt and medialunas (croissants…the Spanish means half-moons, cute huh?) and then headed to the beach. We went to the close beach this time, only 2 blocks from our hostel. Slept on the beach until around 3pm when we grabbed some lunch and our last chocolate dipped deliciousness and headed for the bus ride home. 5 hours of sleep then a taxi ride from the bus station and ready for bed.
Monday: I started classes. They were great. I placed into the Advanced Spanish class, which is great because that means I only have class two days a week. Our teacher is Silvia, a very fun woman who studied theater and literature in college. I think it will be a blast. That class is every Monday and Wednesday from 11-1. Then I had my Media and Society class, which is a film class where we get to make our own documentary film. It sounds amazing. The teacher, Julian, is a painter who has studied here and in San Francisco. He is really down to Earth and driven. The class is going to be a lot of work, but it will be great to leave with a product of my own, my own film about an aspect of Argentina. I have already had to start thinking about what I want my topic to be. I am thinking something to do with dance or art of course. I went out last night with my housemate Brittany and her friends. Celebrated St. Patty’s Day…they close off two blocks here! Learned about the famous beer here: SCHNEIDER!
Tuesday: Today. I do not start my classes at the Argentine universities until the end of March, so until then, I have Tuesdays free. I took advantage of my day off by running some errands. I figured out the post office. I used an ATM for the first time and found out it only costs $3USD to take out money from my account at home. I bought envelopes and discovered an art supply store, which I will need in a few weeks when I start painting class. I went grocery shopping. And I bought a lighter so I can start the stove whenever I need to (it requires you to light the gas manually). An overall amazing, relaxing day. Tonight, Kelly (Michigan friend currently studying in Chile) and her housemate are coming for the holiday weekend. Got to love Semana Santa (or Easter). I plan to have a great weekend exploring with them! Enjoy your holidays! I wish I could be there for my Aunt Karen’s good cooking.
Here are some pictures from the Estancia I mentioned in my last post also:
P.S. For the technologically impaired, if you want to see the pictures bigger, right click and save them and then open them, or just drag them to your desktop.