We arrived in Argentina! We actually arrived about three days ago, without any plans or knowledge of where we would spend the night.
We had planned to work at a hostel in Buenos Aires, but for some reason that fell through around Christmas. We frantically scoured other Workaway listings and tried to think of friends that knew someone in the country.
Thankfully, two days before arriving in Buenos Aires, I found a couple on Couchsurfing who were willing to host us for two nights, our second and third nights in the city. So we landed at 5 am and had a taxi drop us off at a hostel. Unfortunately, it was closed. So Jordan used his smartphone to find another nearby hostel.
At 7 am we took our bags and walked 35 minutes to the next hostel. Thankfully, they let us in before official checkin and gave us two beds in a six-person dorm room. We slept most of the morning, then found some food (ice cream!) and spent a very loud night in the dorm room. Not all roommates are created equal.
Buenos Aires is sometimes called the Paris of the South because of its French architecture and European vibe, mixed with Spanish and tango. It is a very pretty place, but not a lot of historical sites or fun, tourist places exist in the city. The top three things to do in Buenos Aires are:
1) Look at old buildings
2) Visit bars
3) Learn to tango
Well, we did the first one but weren’t willing to shell a bunch of money over for the third and weren’t interested at all in the second. There are lots of parks and nice shopping areas in the city as well.
After going and watching a movie at the cinema (which is not a waste of time because it was subtitled in Spanish) we met our hosts from Couchsurfing. They were a lovely young couple. The husband knew quite a bit of English but the wife only knew a few words. I tried to speak in Spanish most of the time, with varying degrees of success, and Jordan got a taste of conversational Spanish.
It was our first experience with Couchsurfing, and we enjoyed ourselves. The first day we stayed with them in Palermo (a neighborhood of Buenos Aires) we finally got a reply about volunteering! A hostel in Cordoba needed volunteers/workers asap, so we wrote that we could arrive within three days. The next two days had a flurry of emails back and forth about reservations, length of time volunteering (a month), and accommodations (two beds in a four-person dorm with breakfast each morning) in return for three days per week work.
Saturday morning we boarded a bus (our host graciously took us to the terminal at 7 in the morning) and traveled the 10 hours to Cordoba, or 435 miles. That’s about the same difference between Dallas, TX and Jackson, MS, or San Francisco to San Diego.
Now we have stayed one night in the small youth hostel, Turning Point Hostel, and will meet the owner tomorrow morning to be trained. We expect Jordan will do maintenance work and possibly some artwork for the walls and I will do front desk and breakfast. Probably both of us will do some cleaning. I’ve worked in two hotels previously, so as long as I can communicate well and learn more Spanish vocabulary, we should be good!
Jordan wants to learn Spanish also, so he will either go to a language school for a week, just to get the basics down, or try to converse with backpackers here that want to learn English in exchange.
So, in gist, we have absolutely no idea what we’re doing, but so far we haven’t been homeless for a night. Once we begin work we will have a better idea for what day trips and weekend trips we can do, as well as what next months may bring. Our great hope is to make it down to Patagonia and see the mountains and glaciers, but it’s very remote. Kind of like northern Canada, I would imagine, so we will see. Taking life a day at a time means something different is always around the corner!