12 January 2011

a farewell to uruguay

I am a free and liberated woman, and it feels amazing. I can eat when I want, go where I want, and do all of these things whenever I want. I'm going to hang out with people my own age, make mischief, and stay up late. No more responsibility. There is already a little bit of confusion, though.

I'm going to be here in Buenos Aires for at least two days. After that, I don't really know where I'm going. I've got an offer to go to a hostel in Cusco, Peru, and possibly work there for a month or so. If I don't hear back from anyone else in the next few hours, I'm probably going to head to a bus office and buy tickets to La Paz, and then on to Cusco.

My priority, however, is to sleep. I was driven to the bus station at around eight last night, and then I had four hours to waste until my bus actually left. I spent this time window-shopping, eating, and drinking a grapefruit-flavored German beer. (Don't worry, Mom, it was only 2.5% alcohol, which means I might as well have gotten a soda.)

When 11:40 rolled around, I got my bags out of storage and went to wait in line. I confirmed with one of the drivers that all I need was my credit card and confirmation number, since I hadn't been able to print my ticket. He said yes, but made me wait at the side for a bit. This was a little bit confusing, since he hadn't told me why I was waiting exactly, and a few times he shushed me when I tried to ask him. When the bus closed its doors and rolled away, I started panicking, but there were still plenty of people around me with their bags who didn't seem worried, so I tried to remain calm. At 12:05am, a second bus rolled up, and guess what? Because I'd been waiting so long, I was the first one to board. Definitely appreciated.

From that point, it was a five hour ride to Colonia del Sacramento, a port town on the Rio de la Plata. After going through customs and a brief moment of tension when I couldn't present a document proving how I arrived in Uruguay, I boarded the Eladia Isabel ferry. The internet didn't work, so I looked through pics and watched Sydney White until I started to feel a little queasy. I decided to take a walk around the boat, and ended up on the top deck, enjoying the fresh morning air and the sight of the approaching coastline. I abruptly left the top deck when some creeper with a paparazzi camera came up to me and asked me if I liked any of the pictures he'd taken, all of which were zoomed into my face. I passed the rest of the time by talking to a guitar-playing Argentine.

Now I'm here at my hostel. Arrested Development episodes made the wait to check-in bearable, and since then I've slept and researched travel options for the next leg of my trip. I think I'm going to wake up early, go down to the bus terminal, and see what they can do for me. I'm looking to take a bus directly to Cusco, if at all possible. Since I started this post, I've pretty much changed my mind about going to La Paz, because they charge American tourists to enter the country. Yuck.

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