The start of my holiday to Argentina 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, and still is, winter in India) in the warm airport of Sao Paulo, where it was and still is 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..
The hop on/off tour bus was the best way to get to know Buenos Aires in a short time. So that’s what my husband and I did to get to know the city.
We also changed our travel plans a bit because of my missing bag; instead of leaving Buenos Aires for Salta on Sunday 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 or not I would have my luggage on that day, we would go ahead with our plan to go to Salta (around 1700 km from Buenos Aires).
On Monday morning, I made one of my regular routine calls to the Aerolíneas Argentinas. And this time the answer was a bit different. “We have your luggage, it is a blue backpack, no? We will deliver it this afternoon.” said the guy on the line. I was very happy, and instead of waiting for the airline to deliver it, I went to the airport to pick it up.
And there she was, my own blue “smurf” backpack… standing in front of the counter in the baggage claim office. You see, I bought this backpack just for this trip. I was all smiles. Never been so happy to a see a luggage.
With all the travel I have done (almost to 40 countries now), this was the first time that one my bags has gone missing. And of course, this was the first time that I didn’t have my carry-on luggage for such a long trip. Everything was in that luggage/ backpack. All of a sudden that backpack and what was inside became more precious than anything else.
And now that the drama of the missing luggage was over, we spent the last afternoon in Buenos Aires before we were off to the bus station, by visiting the famous cemetery in the neighbourhood we were staying, named Cementerio de la Recoleta.
This cemetery is a bit special. It is like visiting a housing complex. The individual tombs are decorated in different individual ways. I was not so comfortable walking around here though. Mostly because in quite a few of the tombs you are actually able to see the coffins! You will see on the pictures below what I mean. Nevertheless, I must say this was a beautiful cemetery.
In the evening we were on the bus on our way to Salta, which I will write about in my next post!