Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quilmes Rock

Quilmes Rock is a big music festival in Buenos Aires sponsored by the national beer company of the same name.  Radiohead and Kraftwerk kicked off day 1 of the festival on March 24 at the Buenos Aires Athletic Club.  Radiohead opened with 15 step, played 3 encores and closed with Creep.  It was incredible to be an American at the concert of an English band, in a crowd of people from all over South America.  I have never been at a more crowded concert, apparently there were 70,000 people.  It was so packed, at one point I put up my hair and then didn't have enough space to put my arms back at my sides, so I just had to stand there with my arms in the air(although a funny mental image, an extremely awkward physical situation).   After the show was over we flooded the streets and completely shut down Avenida del Libertador.  The public transportation system was insufficient to handle a crowd of that size so my friends and i walked about a mile before we could find an empty cab.  Although I was exhausted and covered in other people's sweat, it was absolutely amazing.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

FEMA Argentina

This past weekend I went to Tigre (a town on the Parana Delta about an hour outside of the Buenos Aires). Tigre is known for its Puerto de Frutas(Fruit Port), which is now more of a huge craft fair instead of a functioning place of importation. There are a bunch of little islas surrounding Tigre so we took a boat to one called Parque LYFE. By the time we got there, the last boat back to Tigre was about to leave. It was at this point when we had the great idea to camp out there. With nothing more than my camera bag, we convinced the bartender to let us sleep in the tiki hut and lend us some cots. It was great! We met a bunch of Argentine campers and had an asado cookout. However, when we woke up in the morning, the delta had risen and the island was completely flooded. According to people who worked at the campground, this has never happened before we came, from which I can only surmise that this freak natural occurrence was at least partially my fault.

View when we woke up in the hut.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


A few weeks ago our program took us to Bariloche (a city in northern Patagonia). Its about a two hour plane ride and a 20 hour bus ride from Buenos Aires...fortunately we took a plane. It was beautiful. This picture shows the lakes that surround the city and cut through the Andes an over the Chilean border. Apparently, this is where the Swiss first settled and their influence can be seen in the large number of microbreweries and artisanal chocolate shops. There is still a 'Swiss colony' that you can visit, which is pretty strange when you imagine Swiss chalets and beer gardens filled with people speaking spanish.

So on our free day in beautiful Bariloche, some friends and I decided to rent mountain bikes and go on a trail called "Circuito Chico"(short circuit). Apparently the name of the trail was some short of sick joke, like the Iceland/Greenland misnomer because we ended up biking for 6 hours! It was breath-taking, but definitely one of the most physically demanding activities I've ever done.

Worth it. The view from our hotel as the sun set behind the mountains.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Buenos Aires

After a fair amount of waiting and a lot of running around, I finally made it to Argentina!  For the past two weeks, I have been busied by orientation activities, and trying to find my way around this city.

Things I have learned so far:
1.  Not all Argentineans like tango, or mate
2. Buses here think they are cabs and will not stop for you unless you hail them (even if it is raining and you have a backpack and perishable goods)
3.  Mayonnaise is its own food group. It goes on everything. It is a salad dressing, a cheese replacement and it comes in a bag
4.  Mullets-are in fact stylish.  This applies to both genders, and the occasional rat tail
5.  Dinner served before 9pm is called lunch