Today I have to say ¡Adios! to Patagonia.
I realize that I should change some money to pay my hostel and to have some money at Buenos Aires (BA). I go to a exchange booth but they change at the official rate which is so bad (1:9). I can't find another possibility so I go back to my hostel to ask. I meet the owner and he asks me at which rate I would like to change. I say 1:15. He says that he would change my money. So it's a win-win-situation, I have a good change and he can have some dollars.
At 1130 am my transfer arrives. It's a big car and this is good for my baggage...
Arrived at the airport I check in my baggage. They allow 1x15 kg, I have two times more than 20 kg, so I'm prepared to pay for my overwheight (also a good reason to have some cash). I ask if I have to pay something, the lady at the desk explains me that one hour prior departure I have to go to a different desk to pay. Ok, so later. The airport of San Martin de los Andes is very small and I am happy to find a restaurant (and eat way too much). After my lunch I go to the indicated desk. I have to pay around USD 1.50 for the use of the airport...!
The security check doesn't seem very serious (my opinion gets confirmed when afterwards on the flight a lady pulls a 1.5 l mineral water bottle out of her bag...). The security check is directly in front of the runway. I quickly ask if this is the right plane because there is written “Austral” and not “Aerolineas Argentinas”. Yes, I'm right. We take off 15 min prior to the scheduled time.
The flight over the vast land and then over the mega city of BA is impressive. There is much wind and there are many turbulences before the landing. I now understand why Argentinians always cheer the pilot afterwards!
I find my luggage at the baggage claim only some minutes after the landing. I also quickly find my transfer. The driver is nice and we talk a lot (many mistakes in my Spanish of course but I'm very happy to be able to talk to people!).
The hostel is somewhere in the centre, in a Art Nouveau building with very high ceilings. The guy at the reception (from Portugal and he tells me where he has been in Switzerland) is very friendly and gives me a lot of tips where to go. I first go to Plaza de Mayo and then to Café Tortoni, the most famous of the city. I even have to queue for a table! I eat a hot apple pie with vanilla ice cream and then go back to my hostel to organize the next day.