I’m still alive and still in South America. Buenos Aires to be exact. I’m having a great time visiting friends, exploring the city and discovering new places outside of the grand metropolis like Cerro Champaqi in Córdoba, Parque National El Palmer north of BsAs province and Uruguay.
It was strange and scary riding into Buenos Aires after being alone on long stretches of nothingness along Ruta 3. Of course, I rode into and crossed the entire city in the dark of night. Holy crap, exactly what I didn’t want to do! I was prepared to use my TV version of Kung-fu moves along with sound effects if need be, but thankfully I didn’t have to play that card.
Buenos Aires is BIG! 3,000 in the city proper and 16,000 including outlying areas. It takes me about 2 hrs to cross from north to south in bus! There are bike paths throughout the city that I’ve used several times. These “ciclovias” are generally safe and in good shape. They call BsAs the Paris of South America and they are probably right. Definitely a French vibe here although the population is around 50% Italian heritage and maybe 40% Spanish. They basically consider themselves Europeans with a Latin flair.
I arrived in BsAs just in time to join a small group of “Porteños” (Name given to people from Buenos Aires which is a major “Port” city) to climb the highest mountain in the province of Córdoba in the interior of the country. It was super fun! We hiked to base camp first day then up to the peak and back the second day and back down to the car on the third day. Apart from the wide expanse of views, underground water sources and endless blue sky, my favorite part was the dance in the refuge on Sunday night fully equipped with fog, disco lights and blaring Latin music. Who would have ever expected a disco at 10,000 ft.??
After El Cerro Champaqui, I rested one day before jumping back on my trusted steed and heading over to Uruguay. Thankfully, there is a one hour ferry ride that connects BsAs to Colonia, Uruguay that allows bikes. I spent ten days touring the coast from Colonia to Punta Del Este, including a few days in Montevideo. I learned a ton about this small but mighty country in a short time. If anyone wants to drink a glass of wine and talk about the merits of Uruguay let me know! Jose “Pepe” Mújica represent!!
En Fin, as they say in Argentina, I’ve been blessed to have these awesome experiences. Haven’t really had time to slow down and process all this new information. I suspect that will take months or perhaps even years. Next week I leave Argentina and all the generous and welcoming people I’ve met here. I’m sad, but also happy to be moving on to Santiago and Valparaiso, Chile where I will have new adventures and meet other amazing people. It ain’t over until it’s over!