So one of the best parts of studying abroad is the ability you have to travel during long weekends and vacations. After my intensive class ended a couple weeks ago, I took advantage of a week off and traveled all around Argentina.
I left last Saturday night around 2am to head for Mar De Plata, one of the biggest beach towns in Argentina. The bus ride lasted about 6 hours, and I was at the beach by 8am. I explored the city a little bit before I dropped my things off at my hostel and went out and hit the beach. After a couple hours, I decided to head back to my hostel where I met my roommates for the next couple of days. I was rooming with 7 Argentinians, who didn´t really speak any english. However, they had a car, and invited me to tag along with them to another beach just outside the city. Generally, it isnt a great idea to jump in a car with people you just met, but I went for it. For the next 6 hours I made friends with my roommates and we spoke only in Spanish all day. The new beach was awesome, as it was much more of a small beach for locals.. After the day at the beach, we got back, barbequed, and headed out for the night. After a long night, I returned home ate breakfast and checked out of the hostel. It was the last day of Carnival, so I checked out a parade for a couple of hours before getting on the bus to my next location: San Carlos de Bariloche aka the northern part of Patagonia.
After 20 hours or so, I made it toBariloche. I had a couple of friends already staying there so I met up with them the first night. We went out and ate Argentinian steaks and drank Argentinian wine. It was one of the best meals I have ever had. Something that would easily cost one well over $100 each here is the USA, only cost us roughly $15 each there. I spent the next couple of days running up the mountians and kayaking in the lakes. Then on Thursday, some friends I had made from France told me that had rented a car, and had an extra seat open if I wanted to come explore Patagonia with them. I went for it, and we spent two days exploring the 7 lakes in north western Patagonia, towards the Chilean border. One of my favorite parts was that we did not bother looking for a hostel, we just camped on the beach at night. I ended up not even using a tent, and just slept in my sleeping bag on the beach. I can´t remember ever seeing so many stars. We got back Friday night, just in time to go out and experience the Bariloche night life. I explored the city a little bit the next day, and then got on the bus for the 22 hour bus ride back home in Buenos Aires.
Traveling in Argentina is awesome. Everything is relatively inexpensive, and the people one can meet are incredible. I had one of my favorite spring breaks and can not wait for my next long weekend to jump on another bus and explore more of Argentina.
My computer still is not working, so I can´t upload any pictures of Mar De Plata, but luckily, my friends took some in Bariloche. Here are a few of the better ones:
Going for a swim in Lago Hermoso.
Another lake near Chile, right after lunch on the beach.
Apparently I can build fires now? I acutally slept on the sand right near that bush.
One of the first lakes we went to.
A little off center, but not bad for a self timer.