Day 16: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Saturday, 28 April 2018 – Day 16: Buenos Aires, Argentina (34.6037° S, 58.3816° W)

Bienvenido from Argentina…

Not quite Latin America, not quite Europe, not ultra-modern, not old fashion, not truly Spanish, nor Italian, odd mix of cosmopolitan French-style apartments abut Brazilian-style favelas; kind of shabby-chic. Indeed, Buenos Aires, is a tad schizoid and certainly in need of a psychiatrist’s couch. Who am I?

We got in last night just before 11PM after a long repositioning that took us from breakfast in Johannesburg, dinner in Brazil and a nightcap here in Argentina. But we are here…and we are in the home stretch and will be spending five days in Rio Platte region of Argentina & Uruguay. We are here in BA in particular for three nights and staying in an ultra lux hotel.

Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires

These are brand new destinations…and while my family and I lived here for a while in 2009 (Thank you Sherry!)…and we almost bought a bodega here—in the Valley of Calchaquies, Mendoza; Argentina remained elusive for us logistically speaking.

We also welcome some familiar faces and two teams: old event friends, Zoe & Rainey and Marnie & Greg…they will be with us the rest of the way…they got in yesterday after conducting a brief introductory layover challenge in Bogota, Colombia.

Old Business:
You all came in tied for first in Johannesburg…considering our situation…good job all.

Overall leaders after five legs about a third (par 15 of 24 completed) …the overall top 3 teams are
3. Team Tuna – 54
2. LEO & the Crab – 50
1. SLO FOLKS – 15 out of 15 so far, and are on a truly historic run (thinking Sydney Sisters)—can they continue it?
-congrats all…let’s roll on to our next leg.

Three Things I learned getting from Africa to South America: Listen to your personal travel experience over the noise of the Internet and misinformation of those not in the know; J’burg is not as criminally-prone as many suggest; and travel with friends, new and old ones, makes difficult times easier—you get over yourself quicker!

Our swank briefing in an art gallery this morning…some new faces!

Okay…before lies a tricky long 4-day Par 5…all day Sat, Sun, Mon & Tues…we will not see the teams again until we meet Tuesday night in our Hotel lobby in Uruguay at 7:00PM. By now, the teams are all savvy veterans and can figure the logistics out.

There are 7 Bonuses, 3 Team Challenges, and over 40 other scavenges to consider:
-locate Evita’s resting place…sing to her
-take in a passionate soccer game
-play a round of Taxi Cab Roulette
-Visit “the
world’s most dangerous zoo”
-take a dip in the South Atlantic
-kayak the Lujan River

Another observation….It is a funny paradox: Millennials spend less time in their hotel rooms and more in the lobby, but why? Yes it is true, because A) they are probably traveling as a single and have no real social life—or sex either for that matter according to recent surveys… and B) the WiFi reception is better (and usually free) in the lobby—plus you can photograph your food to social media account.

Question: Why does every city’s tourist bureau and PR machine want to emulate Paris? If Beirut is the Paris of the middle east, Buenos Aires the Paris of Latin America, and Karachi the Paris of Asia…what is the Paris of North America?

Where I am headed right now…Freddo’s of course.