Life: Left of Centre

Travels through Argentina – Part 1

Posted on: March 3, 2012

So if you’ll indulge me to take you back to January 2011 I hope I’ll have an interesting tale to tell. I spent 3 weeks travelling across Argentina, travelling solo to fulfil a bit of personal challenge and long-held ambition of mine to begin to travel through South America – albeit sadly only too briefly – meet the people, experience the culture and see the sights. I wasn’t disappointed.

During my time in Argentina I travelled between Cordoba (their second city), Buenos Aires (the capital) and San Carlos Bariloche, a more rural setting in the South West of the country. The first 3 legs of the exact same journey that Che Guevara’s made in his now famous Motorcyle Diaries 60 years previously.

There is just so much to share on the culture, people, landscape, politics and history and I brought back a paper diary, photos and even a video diary of my travels – and I think it’s about time to share it. But there’s far too much for one post, so what better way to draw suspense than to spread it over multiple episodes / posts, like any good series.

So sit back and enjoy part 1.

Day 0 – The Beginning

Off we go! Day 0 of my 21-day journey through Argentina. An adventure – and there is no better word for it – that has been in the planning for several years. After tieing up all remaining loose ends the journey began, with a surprisingly painless and altogether straightforward journey from Greenwich to Heathrow Terminal No. 3.

A fairly disappointing ‘final meal’, if not company with my closest of friends, Tom, and a last call to the parents preceded an uneventful, but always irritating passage through security and passport control. Not at all as helpful as baggage drop / check in and the friendly BA staff member who printed my boarding card for me – and away we go.

What greeted me on the other side was the usual expanse of duty-free shops, eateries and news agents. Far more than pre-security – clearly the aim being to keep non-travellers and family members to a minimum. Just a bunch of middle class, if cosmopolitan, travellers, business men and women and the occasional hardcore adventurer – not yet including myself in that last category.

After a delay of half an hour (read: ‘par for the course’) I was on the plane and ready to go. A great seat – window, middle of the aircraft – always nice to see a bit of wing mid-flight, in addition to the stunning views of course. Of course the flight itself was a different story. Turbulence ahoy!.  Overall though the flight passed quickly and painlessly. This was the easy leg after all – London -> Madrid.

Madrid -> Buenos Aires was a different story – much more turbulence, and not so much sleep. Still, the food was excellent, and sleep is difficult when you’re sat up in a chair for 12 hours. And like that we passed into the real beginning: the end of the beginning, or something like that, as we touch down in Cordoba, with quite the stunning skyline!

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