Sunday morning Sydney time we departed on (as the kids would say) our big, big holiday. Piper was so excited that she slept in and had to be woken up. We headed out to the airport with our attempt at minimalist travelling. One large suitcase, one medium suitcase and a tote bag (+ a couple of backpacks).
First leg of the journey was Sydney to Auckland, about 3 hours (or 12 episodes of Sophia the First), too easy. We kicked backed in the lounge in Auckland for a couple of hours to recharge for the big flight. The girls were pretty good on the flight, even Ez. Piper and Evie were on the Skycouch which meant they could relax and get some decent zzzzzz’s.
I was in the row behind next to Louis and Rosario. Let’s just say their English was better than my Spanish (possibly a sign of things to come). 13 or so hours later we arrived in the Argentinian capital. It was here where the fun and games with money would begin. We had been warned that access to cash can be difficult. I was like one of Lamar’s hookers and flush with USD but had no Pesos. After finding no money changes and two ATMs out of money I found the only one left with some cashola. Thrilled to find a max withdrawal of 1000pesos ($100AUD) plus an Argie bank charge of about $9AUD plus the $8 ANZ charges, I begrudgingly withdrew my money. We cabbed it to our apartment in the suburb of Villa Crespo (bordering Palermo). Carlos our Air BNB host wasn’t around so a couple of Senoritas let us in. We were all pretty shattered but determined to try and kick any jetlag. We walked the streets, grabbed some dinner and then tried for bed.
Now 3 days in and I thought I would give my top 5 tips for avoiding jetlag when travelling with children.
- Don’t fly anywhere. You can’t get jetlag if you don’t fly. Why not take a nice driving holiday a couple hours down the coast.
- If you ignore #1 then all the info says travelling West is best as East is a Beast. We travelled East.
- No alcohol. Tempting as it was to ply the girls with a stiff drink or two I resisted the urge, so I’m calling that a win. Will probably still try that one on Ez but for differing reasons.
- Try and get in to the local routine as quickly as possible. If the local routine on the first night is going to bed at 10pm and then waking at 2am (and not going back to sleep) then we fit right in. Yes, this was quite a long day…
- Take it easy, relax and go with the flow. After the annus horribilis of a first night, the girls are getting sorted. Been heading to sleep around 11 and up at 9….I think I can live with that.
So we have spent our first 3 days getting a feel for the city. We are staying in a pretty good part of town with plenty of nice restaurants and shops to keep us interested before coming back to our rooftop pool. We’ve been catching buses, trains, taxis to get us around plus the slow pace of walking with 2 kids. We’ve done the tourist bus and checked out the colourful suburb of Boca (a little underwhelming to be honest) and also attended a night Carnival street party!
I think we are hitting the local pools tomorrow. I look like I’ve locked in my first football (soccer) game of the trip. I aim to see a football game in every country we visit. First stop will be La Bombadera for the first home game of the season for Boca Juniors. Argentina’s most successful club with some of the craziest fans in the world.
So our first couple days in BA have been pretty good. We have two weeks here in total. What have we learnt so far
- Buenos Aires buses are quite interesting. I feel like all drivers are auditioning for a Formula 1 job. 0-60 in the 12 seconds between each stop (then nearly everyone flies out the front windscreen. To combat that every senorita over 50 offers us a seat on the bus (I think they probably know what the drivers are like).
- It’s hot. Being 100+kg with a small child on my shoulders most of the day has left me sweating like Mike Tyson in a spelling bee.
- Money is still proving to be difficult. It happened to be a public holiday Monday and Tuesday so all banks are closed. I might eventually have to use one of the semi dodgy street money exchanges (if you’ve been to Bali, just like the guys that walk around and offer Viagra, Xanax), these one just repeat Cambio, Cambio, Cambio.
- People are friendly. A gracias here, a de nada there often helps and if all else fails play the children card.
- Meat and Pizza is pretty much the diet. I think a Vegan would feel about as comfortable as Mitchell Pearce at an RSPCA convention.
It’s also been pretty fun hearing some of the questions the girls have been coming up with – I wonder how their minds work. Here are a couple so far
“Do they have Dentists in Argentina?” – Piper (she has a bit of a fascination after her first visit)
“Where is our car?” – Evie
Whilst Ez has too many to count!