Travel Diary - Argentina part 1

 

The start of my holiday to Argentina in 2015 was all but smooth. The drive from my apartment in New Delhi to the airport and the arrival in Argentina turned out quite stressful, or I can say now, a little adventurous.

One of the tires of the car that took me to the airport was punctured just 15 minutes after I left my apartment, and it was 1 am in the morning. The spare tire was broken, so there I was, by the street in New Delhi at 1.30 am in the morning with the driver, trying to find another taxi… We eventually found a taxi, which basically “flew” me to the airport. He was fast!

Argentina is very far from India. The total trip for me was around 29 hours with 2 stops; in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I arrived super late in Sao Paulo. Instead of having 1 hour and 50 minutes to get to the next flight, I had only 20 minutes!

I ran like a gazelle, dressed in my winter clothes (it was winter in India) in the warm airport of Sao Paulo, where it was summer. Reached the gate out of breath, sweating…but I made it. Phew!

The problem with that kind of short connection is that the luggage is not always able to run as fast as the person making the connection. And sure enough, after a long waiting until the conveyor belt was basically stopped, and my luggage hadn't arrived, I went out to find the baggage claim office to report about my missing luggage. Not a fun feeling at 11.30 at night after such a long trip. It was also quite warm in Buenos Aires that evening.

The next day, Saturday, I was not really sure where I was, a real jet lag, and I really missed my toiletries. I bought some new clothes, a pair of sandals and some toiletries. Over the first couple of days, I also started to hear all kinds of stories of missing luggages that will come after 2 weeks and started to accept the idea that I might travel Argentina without my bag, and I slowly let go of my luggage..

We changed our plan a bit, instead of leaving Buenos Aires for Salta on Monday evening, we decided to go on the next day just to give another chance for my bag to arrive in Buenos Aires. And we decided that whether I have my luggage on that day or not, we will go ahead with our plan to go to Salta (around 1700 km Buenos Aires).

 
 

On Tuesday morning, I did my routine, calling the Argentinian airlines. And this time the answer was a bit different. “We have your luggage, we will deliver it this afternoon”. said the guy on the line. “You have my luggage? Are you sure?” I asked the guy with excitement. “Very sure. Is your backpack a bright blue one? it is just few meter from me. let me check again…yes this is yours”. “I will pick it up in the airport now, since I am going to leave for Salta in the evening”. I told him, I was very happy.

And there she was my “smurf” blue backpack… standing in front of the counter of baggage claim. You see, I bought this backpack only for this trip. I was all smiling. Never been so happy to a see a luggage.

With all the travel I have done (almost to 40 countries now) This is the first time I ever lost a luggage and of course the first time that I didn’t have my carry-on luggage for such a long trip, everything was on that luggage/ backpack. All of a sudden that backpack and what inside it become more precious than anything else.

And now that the drama of luggage was over we spent the last afternoon in Buenos Aires before we were off to the bus station, we visited the famous cemetery in Buenos Aires named Cemetario de Recoletta.  

Visiting this cemetery was a bit special. It is like visiting a house complex. The individual cemetery is decorated in different way. I was not comfortable to walk around here. Mostly because I was able to see the coffins! Nevertheless, I must say this was a beautiful cemetery.

And in the evening we were on the bus on our way to Salta, which I will write about on my next post, Travel Diary - Argentina Part 2.