The last night in Buenos Aires was less relaxing than I would have thought—it was a case of the usual last-minute rush. At 8:30 p.m., I realized that we still had a lot to do: sorting out the laundry we had just picked up at the lavandería, packing, wrapping up a work project, eating, taking shower (and helping Mark taking one), packing… And we were all exhausted from a full day spent walking around. We slept late, way too late.
The following morning, we checked out and left the backpacks at the hotel. We had a late flight, at 7 p.m. There was still time to do something in Buenos Aires.
“La Boca!” we decided, laughing. We also end up in La Boca at the end of a stay in Buenos Aires. We took a taxi there since we weren’t sure where to take the bus. A $6 ride later, we were at the corner of the Caminito, the colourful houses and all the touristic gimmicks. “Do you remember when we first visited in 2002?” I complained. “It was so quiet! We had lunch right here, I think.”
I wasn’t going to have lunch in La Boca. Felt like having lunch in Montmartre or any small touristic spot. I know I sound snotty, but I hate being one of these dumb foreigners, especially if I’m aware that prices are much higher than normal and food quality is low.
So we checked out the Caminito and then walked to La Bombonera, the football stadium. The usual two landmarks anyone come to see because the rest of the neighborhood is pretty run down and not as colourful (unless you are into political slogan and bathroom humour). “I think I take the exact picture of the Diego mural every time,” I noted. “You can probably see the paint fading over the years.”
An hour later, we were back where we had started, ready to take the bus to Centro. Except that we didn’t know buses had been upgraded, you can’t pay the fare in coins anymore, you need a card. “Where do I buy one?” “Not here!”
Good to know. Being cheap and very annoyed at being trapped into the tourist trap, I decided to be my stubborn self. “I’m not taking another taxi back!”
“Let’s walk, then,” Feng sighed.
So we walked back to San Telmo. We had never done it, I had no idea how far it was (hint: it’s far).
Then I realized that we were going to arrive very late in Brazil and that everything would be close. “I need to eat something now!” So we had a last meal of pasta at 4 p.m. Then taxi. Then airport.
I almost cried after we checked in the bags. What’s wrong with me? I need to get over this departure phobia.
The Aerolineas Argentinas aircraft was much smaller than I thought it would, even Mark didn’t want to go. “I need a big plane!” he wailed. Yet, we landed (a very bumpy landing) ahead of schedule and Mark was still smelling of alfajores and had crumbs of sandwich de miga all over when we stepped out on the tarmac of the Florianópolis-Hercílio Luz International Airport. At 10 p.m., everybody just wanted to head to the hotel. Immigration, backpacks, taxi. That was easy.
As I had predicted, Florianópolis was completely dead when we arrived. We managed to find a gas station to buy drinks and then I went for a walk by myself, hunting for food. Shops close early in Brazil and chances were slim but I did buy some bread (perfect with the single-serve packs of jam I stole at breakfast time in Buenos Aires), some cookies and even an empanada.
“Argentina-na-na has churches. Brazil has beaches.”
That’s right Mark, You got it. Tomorrow, beach. After dodo.