Sunday, April 19, 2009
Rosario-“Chicago Argentino”- (called that because of trade in the 19th and 20th century with the Chicago mercantile exchange and their love of meat production).
It’s a four hour bus ride and the 3rd biggest city in Argentina so we figured it’s a perfect long weekend trip and its the Birthplace of Che-cool. We decided to go camping to save money and supposedly there are some nice islands on the river right across from the city center. And lo and behold with not many plans, the ENTIRE weekend happened by chance. Below are the details and PHOTOS.
1. In the bus terminal while waiting for the bus, we run into 2 friends who tell us 2 other friends (Nick and Jessica) are in Rosario for 2 days and that we should call them up when we arrive. We thanked them and headed out to R-town.
2. On the bus, some cool looking women get on wearing leather vests and pants, skid row t-shirts, and sporting a variety of tattoos. They are also carrying guitars and sit right across from us. Turns out they’re going to play some hard core ROCK that night in Rosario at a famous club there called Willie Dixons. Sweet…we have a plan for that night.
3. When we arrive in Rosario’s bus terminal, I bust out my LonelyPlanet map, which is completely wrong, and try to get my bearings by asking a man for walking directions. He informs me that the map is wrong and the center of town is much further than we had thought. He then offers to drive Mike and I to the center of town, where he is going, and where we are to meet Nick and Jessica. While talking to him, Mike mentions my name and the man asks him to repeat himself. It turns out the man’s last name is CAILA pronounced exactly the same as KYLA. We can’t believe the chances!! Senor Caila drops us off and we thanked him profusely.
4. We meet up with Nick and Jessica at the Flag Monument in the center of town where the creation of the flag happened. The monument is bumping with people and some musicians praising Jesus for coming back to life, or at least that’s what I understand in my limited Spanish. We go and grab some food at a restaurant and than learn that the entire town is booked solid for the weekend and we have nowhere to stay. The last boat to the camping island stopped running at 5:30 two hours before we arrived to the city. While calling numerous hostels and talking to each other at the outdoor restaurant, a man from the table next to us asks where we’re from and how we liked Rosario. We say we like it but we’re homeless. So he and his friends all call up people they know to see if there is any space at a hotel or hostel. Nothing. Zero spaces in all of Rosario. As our friendly neighbor’s are leaving their table, one guys mother offers us a room in her apartment. We jump on the deal and stay with Monica (the coolest Rosarian auntie ever) in her 2 bedroom apartment. There is a bunk bed, air mattress and Mike chooses the floor with his sleeping bag.
5. After settling into our new digs, Monica recommended a good restaurant nearby that had yummy pizza-nessas (in lieu of dough at the bottom, there was pounded fried chicken covered with tomato sauce, cheese, and a variety of toppings). Delicious and heart stopping. We then go dance it all off at Willie Dixons while cheering on the chick band from we met earlier on the bus, called No Barbies, well into the morning.
6. The next day, Monica took us to her favorite café and we eat medialunas (croissants), drink coffee and sip fresh-squeezed orange juice. We part ways with Monica and headed with Nick and Jessica to the bus station. We have no return ticket so we figure we better get it before they were all sold out.
7. We left the bus station, return ticket for the next day in hand, and head to the boat pier where we could catch a boat to the nearest island with camping. We had heard from Nick and Jessica that other friends we had from Buenos Aires, Andres and Sebastian, were in Rosario also. And OF COURSE they happened to be on our boat to the island. We ended up camping and hangin out on the beach with them. It was really relaxing and the camping was free. At night under a full moon, Mike took some cool photos after we found a creepy rusty axe and played with our head lamps. Check out the link.
8. We said good-bye to Rosario on Sunday without any more unusual happenings (except that we rode in my first cab with a female driver). As we waved goodbye to the Argentine Chicago, I knew we’d be back one day to this city of chances.
What the future holds- After all the adventures over the past few weeks, we came back to reality and realized some things. That our 8 month lease is running out in May and I would like to move closer to my work and closer to other fun things in the city.
Another exciting thing is that Mike and I just celebrated 2 years of being together by me watching him complete a 10 K run and 10K kayaking race with a friend and then eating Chinese buffet.
And I helped start a women’s only Frisbee pick-up and training on the weekends. We’re trying to encourage more women to play and get excited about the sport, not just fashion, eating disorders, and make-up which is more of the norm.
Things we would like to do soon: Travel to Iquazu Falls and Mendoza. If you're ready for adventure, come on down!