Argentina 2013: A Wonderful Hunt and Fantastic Vacation: Part 4

by david on July 25, 2013

Friday May 24th 2013

We got to Buenos Aries a little ahead of schedule, and the day was off to a great start.  Everyone’s baggage was present and accounted for and we were able to clear customs and immigration in record time.  Our driver was waiting for us at the appointed location and it looked like we would be on our way in no time – that was, until I had to go exchange some dollars to pesos.  I really did not need them for the hunt, but I would need some for the admission fees to the national parks during the “family vacation” part of the trip.  Our driver got me to the exchange location and this was where our morning came to a grinding halt.  It took longer for me to hand dollars to the lady behind the counter and for her to hand me the appropriate number of pesos back than it did for the whole group to clear customs and immigrations.  Go figure.

My little trip to exchange funds must have set the tone for the rest of the day as we ran into a massive traffic jam before we left the city proper.  It delayed us at least two hours.  Other than the traffic jam, and a backside that was already sore from many hours on an airplane, the ride to camp was fine.  Patricia (our contact person from South American Adventure Safaris) was true to her word.  There was a cooler box full of beer, water, and soda.  There was also a stack of sandwiches that would feed twice our number plus bags of chips and snacks to go along with them.  Life was good, and all of the day’s problems seemed to fade as the ride progresses – all but one, that is.  The longer the drive got and the more bumps we hit, the more my butt ached.

Our driver did his best to entertain us with tidbits of information as we went along and I actually found him fairly interesting.  I never knew that Argentina made so many cars.  It was ranked 20th   in 2011 (numbers from 2011 are the most recent I can find), and was climbing.  We drove past a Ford, Chevrolet, and one other plant.  Each had acres and acres of cars waiting to be exported.  Another thing that struck me on the trip was the number of toll booths we saw on the way out of town.  There must have been a half dozen before we left the city, and another dozen or so more during the rest of the ride.  The driver explained it was the Argentinean way of paying for road construction and maintenance.  The more driving and more distance you cover, the more you pay to be on the road.  It is probably fair, but it was too foreign for me (being from the south and unaccustomed to toll roads), and I did not think I like it.  It did not seem to bother the driver, though, and it did not really seem to impede traffic flow.  Oh well, to each their own, I guess.

Tomorrow: Our Estancia

Previous post:

Next post: