Water tastes funny ´round here

We had a good sleep last night but more due to shear tiredness than anything. Huw has woken up with a cold – not sure how that´s possible in this heat?? Think it is down to cramped bus and plane and the air conditioning on trip down.

In light of day, and with non tired eyes, this hostel looks very dirty. It’s tidy and the people are lovely, genuinely helpful. But the tiled floor in our room is filthy. Thought it might be just the rush they were in to get it ready for us yesterday. That’s not the case. Going to brekkie this morning assured us (well Bernice) that it hasn’t had a proper clean in years. It’s not just a little, it’s ground in dirt. Its been open for 7 years and was probably great and very funky back then, but far from it now. We have pre-booked for 3 nights here (ouch) but having spoken to Ignacio on Skype who´s suggested we should be on the other side of town for a better evening experience, we begin to rethink our plan.

So the search is on this morning. With Huw feeling crappy anyway it seems like the right thing to do. After lots and lots of hostel website searches and finding only private rooms with shared bathrooms or dorms or noisy places or bad reviews or all of the above we are just about exasperated when we come across a great sight that does short term lets: www.bytargentina.com. It is full of tons of choices. The amazing thing is they´re working out cheaper than many of the hostel options we´ve looked at. Especially for us cause we want a private room. Why is it that cleanliness is way down on the list of important qualities of a hostel? Am I (Bernice) just being uncool here?!! Well this travelling malarky is all well and good but I really don’t want to slum it in places I feel I shouldn’t have too!!

We contact the rental agent by “reserving” a property and decide to look at renting it from tomorrow (that means only staying in this smelly place for one more night). That done we set out for a further walk around the local area. Stopping early for lunch as Bernice is desperate for a salad. We’re both feeling a little vegetable deprived! She’s a bit disappointed that there is so little green in it compared to the chicken, ham and cheese also present.

Moving on, we carry on wandering and get to the edge of the main shopping area. Thirsty work in the heat (oops did we mention how hot it was here again?! Sorry) we buy a bottle of water. It tastes foul. Then we realise how accustomed we’ve become to purified water. This was mineral water we were drinking now. We’d forgotten what it tasted like.

Around the pedestrian shopping area we stop for a frappuccino and check our emails. As with Panama, all cafe’s and bars here have open access free wifi. The rental agent had replied very quickly but our initial choice is gone. Gabriela sends us through some alternatives. One is a close substitute but we were hoping for a balcony (yep from slumming it we want a palace). She suggests we look again and submit a new request. Time is moving on, we hadn’t realised that its now 5pm and they closed at 7pm AND we want one sorted for tomorrow. Argh!!!! So we settle in at the cafe we’re in and hastily start a new search on the iPhones. We submit a new request and back it up with a call. With little joy, we appear to have missed them for the day.

Glumly we wander back through town considering our options, and at least 10 min later we realise Huw has left the digital SLR camera in the coffee shop. Doh!!! Hurrying back we´re relieved to find they have it behind the counter. Phew!! Morale of the story – don´t believe all that rubbish you read about (foreign) cities being dangerous places!!

Back at the hostal we have every intention of having a shower and going back out for food. But panicing about the accommodation situation we spend some more time looking for back up options in case when we hear from the agent our 2nd option is also gone. Then a quick chat with Els on Skype and Huw´s sniffles turning into a full blown stream we decide we´re not reallt that hungry and settle on an early night. Least that´s the intention, but Huw can´t sleep….

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