Yesterday, Randi and I traveled to Buenos Aires ahead for an ultimate tournament here this coming weekend. We came early to spend some time in the city and see a bit without the time commitments of an ultimate schedule and the constraints of having meals that make 20 people happy.
We started the day yesterday with a leisurely departure time from the port at noon (right next to our vaccination destination). By the way, this is the way to travel. We spend a lot of time focusing on getting to a place so we can have time to do stuff once we’re there. Deciding to take a later boat so we could enjoy the travel and have a relaxing morning was nice. I digress. As with any international mass transit, the beginning of our Buquebus voyage was a game of shuffling from one line to another. The time spent at the desk at the end of each line was brief but there are a lot of people to serve. We waited for a while to check-in and get our ticket, then to get our passports stamped and finally a hot couple minutes waiting for boarding. I suppose they decided not to air condition the gate so that people would spend more time in the duty free shops below.
We traveled tourist class and once we got on the boat we realized the seating arrangement was some cross between an airline and an auditorium where everyone is arranged to watch various hungry patrons sate themselves on vastly overpriced consumables. I had envisioned some sort of boat with room for standing outdoors and wooden benches indoors so the reality was simultaneously an improvement and disappointment on my dreams. The seating was quite comfortable but there was no way to feel the breeze in my hair.
Along the way we had plenty of time to talk and listen and felt an odd sense of relief hearing English from the family in front of us. We later heard them speak Spanish and felt a flash of pride at our relative mastery of the language. We eventually broke down and got some sandwiches and a brownie for more than we typically spend on food in a day.
When we got in there was a similar set of lines as everyone left the boat, collected their checked luggage went through more security and then waited for taxis, private drivers, buses, friends and family. We had selected a hotel on a whim which turned out, very conveniently, to be an easy walk from the ferry terminal. Between that and not checking any luggage we walked past all the long lines which is always very satisfying.
Our check-in at the Dazzler Tower Maipu was entirely in Spanish though we discovered later that the front desk employees speak fluent English. I guess our Spanish is getting good enough that for simple transactions people have decided that it’s generally easier to speak to us in Spanish that English. The more times we give it a shot the easier it is for us, too. Who’d have thought…
We got in early enough to explore the city in the evening after we settled in but that’s a story for another time.