“What time is it?”
“Mark, don’t say ‘fuck’.”
“Yeah, you can say milk. I’ll go get the hot water for his milk, start packing.”
We thought we would wake up early. We did not. That was too bad, considering we had to catch the 11:30 a.m. bus to Rosario, our next stop.
I was still feeling like crap and I couldn’t stand the sight of food. I still grabbed a couple of pastries from the breakfast table and filled out Mark’s bottle with hot water.
We made it to Retiro at 11:20 a.m. We were on time, because the departure time was very más o menos. The Terminal de Ómnibus is one of the biggest bus stations I know, with hundreds of companies going all over South America and 75 gates. Some buses are ejecutivos with premium service, others look like they have been driving back and forth across the Amazon River and the Andes for years.
We stuffed our bags in the luggage compartment and climbed to the second level of the bus. I begged Mark to be nice for his first “long” bus trip—it would take at least four hours to get to Rosario… más o menos, again, considering the traffic and the unpredictable stops. Eventually, we all fell asleep and the bus speeded on the highway (the maximum speed, a sign boasted, was 130 km/hour, which is pretty fast already for a double-decker bus loaded at full capacity).
We arrived in Rosario an hour after the scheduled time. Not bad. The hotel we had booked the night before on Expedia turned out to be a great pick as well (thanks Feng for booking it at 2 a.m.!), a very modern place with a huge bed for the three of us and a nice bathroom. And elevators that worked, with doors that closed.
We explored the city all evening, starting with the Peatonal San Martín, a busy pedestrian street leading up to the shores of the Paraná and the majestic Monumento Histórico Nacional a la Bandera, a huge complex built mostly using stone from the Andes and commemorating the Revolution of May 1810.
Around 10 p.m., we finally considered dinner (we are living in Argentinian time) and splurge for a real carnivore meal at a parrilla. For $40, we got drinks and two huge pieces of meat perfectly grilled—I hadn’t had meat in ages and this one was wonderfully done.