23 March 2016

Coming in to land in Buenos Aires (BA) I saw what looked like Air Force One - a huge Boeing 747, and another US jet. I figured there must be a fleet of them, and perhaps one was stationed here for the embassy or something.

Customs 1 Customs 2

Once in BA, it took over an hour to clear customs. Then another while collecting my bag and going through the customs line. I was never asked for my entry visa or my customs form. I found the bus for the hotel and bought my ticket - 175 Pesos, which hit my bank card at $12.22, an exchange rate of 14.32 Argentinian Pesos to the US$. I got on board and we headed out of the airport at 1100 sharp, right on time.

Tienda León
Any idea what this says?

The one hour bus transit took an hour and 45 minutes. We got fairly close to the hotel, and then everything slowed to a crawl. I was enjoying it since I could see things out the window. I had my GPS with me so I kind of knew where we were. I wondered if it was always like this at noon. It really was total gridlock. It seemed the bus would move a bus length, and then have to wait for another traffic light change.

Finally in the bus terminal, I asked the information person if it was always like this and he said no, that because President Obama is here everything is closed off. Well lucky me, the bus terminal and my hotel were on opposite sides of the closures. Of course I didn’t know this. I asked where to walk, and the man showed me. Off I went, dragging my 43 pound spinner suitcase across the cobblestones.

walk to hotel

Well, don’t you know that due to the POTUS visit, all the streets were closed and sealed off by armed forces? And I mean an automatic rifle every ten feet. I had fired up my GPS and I weaved in and out of the machine guns and troop carriers. After 2.8 miles and an hour, I finally reached our hotel, the Unique Madero. Les was already there. My plane had landed about 0945 and I arrived at the hotel 4 hours afterwards at 1345.

We took a little stroll up the avenue and found a very nice watering hole, Media Y Media, less than a half mile from the hotel, where it was happy hour. A “jar” of blonde beer was 90 pesos, at 14 pesos to the dollar. You do the math. We were very happy and emptied several jars.