Wednesday, January 14, 2009

South America - Day 8 - Punta Del Este, Uruguay

Lima is a nice city and considering that we did not shower for three days we went straight to JW Marriot, a 5 star hotel, and paid $15 to use the gym, shower, and sauna facilities. We were extremely relaxed, had an early dinner and went to the Atlantic City casino, which was very impressive compared to many casinos abroad.

We arrived in Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina (BA) and checked in into our Hostel, in the trendy Recoleta district. We spent the day walking around and taking pictures of the famous sights; the Obelisk, Plaza de Mayo, Puerto Madero, La Boca neighborhood, the birthplace of tango, and some more. We also booked our trip to Punta Del Este, Uruguay via BuqueBus, the ferry connecting Argentina and Uruguay.

Buenos Aires is a very impressive city. It has many buildings modeled after those of Spain, France, and Italy. It has its own subway system, bus system, and commuter rail. There are also many tall office buildings resembling those of New York or Hong Kong.

In the evening we had steak dinner, which included 2 entrees and a bottle of wine for about US$23 then we met with my cousin Ignacio (Nacho), who showed us some of the bars in Recoleta. We were very tired and did not stay out late and agreed to meet with Nacho the following day to continue.

The next day we explored Palermo, the BA version of Soho or the Village with many cafes and shops where everyone seems to relax without a care in the world. We went out again for another super dinner with appetizers, steaks, drinks, and desert this time for only $60 for three people.

The next day we took an early ferry to Punta Del Este, Uruguay. We were very excited as this place is said to be either the South Beach of South America or the St. Tropez of South America. However, the only thing that remind us about those other places were the prices. Punta Del Este, which baloons from 10,000 to over 1,000,000 inhabitants during the summer (Dec-Feb) is prohibitively expensive even for our budgets used to American prices. Despite being expensive I don´t think there is much more here, yes there are a few beaches and a few nice houses that are as expensive as their counterparts in resort areas of the States but this is mostly a family place with many little kids and a few restaraunts that are medicore at best.

Today is Friday, Vladimir left early this morning to go back to NYC and I am all set to go back to Argentina tomorrow and plan the rest of the trip. I am debating if I should take Spanish lessons, visit family in the southern part of the country, or go to Brazil. Will keep everyone updated and let me know if you have any suggestions.

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