Buenos Aires, Day 58 Update

Last modified on March 4th, 2011

This last week was a weird week. I met up with a few friends and had some great times, but it was also the first real time I’ve been homesick in any capacity. There was nothing really that happened to make me feel that way, I was just sitting around and realized I was a long way from home. So I spent a day or so of being a bit melancholy.

Thankfully the feeling has past, and it’s business as usual again. Weekends always get me excited, mostly because I have more opportunities to get out and explore on Saturday and Sunday than during the week.

My Mac widget says I have 26 days left in Buenos Aires, so three weeks and a bit. A friend of Rebecca’s, Henry, is flying in from Chile at the end of the month and I’ll do what I can to show him around to a few places. Right when he leaves I basically vacate my apartment and make a run for the airport.

My flight is around 9:30pm at night. That’s a good time for a long flight, as it lets you sleep on the plane. Unfortunately afternoon and evening flights are the hardest logistically. Most hotels want you out around 11am or so, which means if you have an evening flight you have to kill time usually with all your luggage. Many hotels will allow you to store luggage for a period of time, which you can sometimes take advantage of. But as a lone traveler with a lot of technology, having me, all my valuables and all my luggage together is my most vulnerable position theft-wise. And indeed, a lot of theft takes place in train stations and airports because of it.

So I’ll probably head to the airport around 3pm or so that day, hopefully straight from the hotel lobby (which I plan to work at for a few hours). That gives me six hours in the airport, which is a lot of time. That said, I’ve read that it almost takes three full hours in the evenings to make it through check-in, customs and all the other formalities in the Buenos Aires airport. I also need to revisit the currency exchange and convert whatever money I have on me back into USD. Plus, rush hour in the evenings can take several hours as well, so I want to give myself an hour or so extra in case we hit any snags.

My trip to Ushuaia is in 13 days, so it’s coming up soon. I’m not really sure what to expect while I’m down there. It’ll be colder and wetter than Buenos Aires, and I’ll be staying in a hostel. I’m hoping I’ll meet a few people in the hostel and can hopefully tag along to do a bit of exploring. Many people in Ushuaia are heading to or heading back from Antarctica. Since I’m not heading there, I’ll have to entertain myself around the city. I am pretty sure I can spend a day or so taking photos, and also a day visiting the penguins. That means I have two days to fill in, and it looks like there are a few other tourist attractions I can visit (such as an old train that used to take prisoners to the prison, and a national park). Either way it’ll be good to get on a plane again and head out of the city for a few days.

I haven’t done my post yet about iPhone applications for traveling, but I thought I’d share another one I quite like. It’s a flight tracking program called “FlightTrack” and you can use it to track your upcoming or current flights. Basically you punch in all of your flight details, and it’ll keep track of your flight for you. If you have a data plan, the application will keep track of when the actual flight time is as opposed to the advertised time. If a flight is delayed, that information is tracked as well.

My best use for the application is while on the plane. If the little GPS channel isn’t working or there is some movie on, you can always fire up flight track to see where you are in the flight. I also like that it shows the actual route the plane is on, so you can visually see where you are when overlaid with a map of the world. On my way to Buenos Aires from Houston I would wake up from time to time and fire it up to see where we were. In the photo to the right you can see the upcoming route for my flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia.

So, if you travel from time to time, definitely check it out.

In terms of this weekend, I really don’t know. I was going to go to Tigre with a friend, but she can’t make it this weekend. So I think we’re going to postpone it until next weekend. But I plan to lay low tonight so I can wake up early tomorrow and go see something. I may try to find that new Beatle’s museum and see what it’s all about.

2 responses to “Buenos Aires, Day 58 Update”

  1. You may be able to get a much better rate of exchange if you exchange in new york instead of BA. I’ve heard it can also be quite hard to /get/ USD in argentina… people don’t seem to like exchanging in that direction.

  2. Duane says:

    I’m not sure. Houston is a big hub to Buenos Aires, and in Houston airport the exchange rate to pesos was pretty dismal. I doubt New York would be any better (I checked Vancouver and the rates were horrible there as well). I don’t think I’ll have much at that point anyways, just a few hundred pesos. So I’d like to ditch them there if I can.

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