The plan was to leave Encarnación in the morning, to stash the backpacks at the bus station in Posadas and see the sights at Posadas’ Argentinian brother on the other side of Paraná River.
The pouring rain quickly changed our plans. We waited for a short pause in the rain and hopped onto the station to wait for the bus to Posadas. When you don’t need it, the bus comes often. After 30 minutes of waiting, finally we got on the bus and sat down. Suddenly, it started filling with people. The driver took everyone who wanted to get on the bus and the other passengers got irritable. It was an ungodly mix of shopping bags, packages, crates, babies, crazies and all kinds of unwashed folk. As the cherry on top – us with our backpacks.
At the Paraguayan border the bus had to wait for us to get our passports stamped. Then it got worse, the rain got stronger, there was a traffic jam on the bridge, we regretted for the umpteenth time having showered that morning. In the end, after about half an hour we entered Argentina for a second time. The bus station in Posadas was just as wet as everything out there and our cultural program had to be postponed. We had a night bus to catch at 8 o’clock. The station was inhabited mostly by dogs and some shady types. There was a decrepit restaurant with high prices. We found the office of the bus company we were traveling with and occupied their sofa. For seven hours we took roots there, the shifts changed twice and then it was time for us go sleep on the cama-seats on the bus.
The must have been comfortable because we were surprisingly well-rested in the morning.
We were served dinner and breakfast before arriving at the Retiro Bus Terminal in Buenos Aires. It was a chaos of people and booths. With no cambio in sight we were in desperate need of cash… We looked for a place to leave our backpacks while we waited for the ferry for Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay, which was scheduled to arrive in a day.
No more than 1 km separated us from the ferry port. We left our backpacks there for the price of 10 BGN apiece for the day and set off to conquer the central part of the city. The roads and crossroads are enormous. While getting to the other side you pass through several crosswalks, some of them very long and you arrive just seconds before the light turns red.
Several blocks away from the port is the main Florida Street, a pedestrian zone, full of all kinds of shops and people. At every step there is a woman or a man shouting “Cambio, cambio!”. A pity we had already lost almost an hour waiting at the currency exchange offices, even the rates were better here. No matter, we plan to come take advantage of the local “cambios” when we come back from Uruguay. Here the buildings are huge, tall and European-looking. It is like walking in a Western-European capital, except for the unbearable heat.
It was unrealistic to think that we’d smell like roses after a day and a half traveling in the heat when we arrived at Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. However, as the smell washes off with a shower, so the exhaustion can be driven away with new strong impressions and experiences.
This article was brought to you in English by Marta Petrova.
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