03.04.2009 - 03.04.2009 25 °C
Okay, so there were some bad things about the bus. The departure was delayed by a half hour, and we were stopped by no less than 3 sets of cops for ages who were checking everyone’s passports and the luggage hold, including using sniffer dogs. We saw a girl the night before lighting up a reefer before getting on the bus and were pretty sure she would have been pretty uncomfortable about then but she wasn’t dragged out. To compound matters, in the morning the bus got a flat tyre which had to be changed at some very dodgy looking garage using basic construction and farming equipment. All this culminated in our arrival about 4 hours behind schedule. The bus trip was already long enough at 18 hours, without tacking on the delays. All I can say is that I’m glad we were on a comfy bus.
The intercity bus station in BA, called Retiro is very confusing – especially after a 22 hour bus ride and the walk between the bus station, passing the main train station and market to the metro station (our next chosen method of transport) was thronged with people going every which way. We found the metro and as we descended, Kate realized she had just been pick-pocketed. Just before the event, Kate had taken 14 pesos (A$7) out of her bag to get a bite to eat and that’s when it happened, by an older woman walking the other way just before descending the stairs into the metro. By the time she reached the base of the stairs she knew that she had had some hands in her pocket a few seconds ago but it was too late. We had been so careful about such things to date and found it ironic that the crime had a occurred in the city that was supposed to be the safest of the entire trip. Fortunately though, it wasn’t much and I had some other cash to get us to our hostel.
We met Moira and Andrew from New York for the first time back at the hostel and after getting a shit and relatively expensive meal, we joined them for a beer at what turned out to be a Cuban Theatre Restaurant. Our entertainment for the evening was a heavily made up and dressed up, ‘experienced’ Salsa singer. When she started singing almost everyone except us got up from their tables to the dance floor to dance Salsa. Some didn’t even bother going to the dance floor. Apart from playing cricket, I’ve never seen so many white pants assembled together in the one room. We went back to the hostel and shared a few more 1l Quilmes beers (6 pesos/ A$3) with Andrew and Moira before crashing.