The journey and the destination

In Buenos Aires

A long, long flight finally sees me arrive in Argentina, two years after I left. And I have four hours to waste

Avenida 9 de Julio, Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires. Back in the city, after two years. Photo: José María Pérez Nuñez

Orson Welles once said ‘there are only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror’. How true. The fourteen-and-a-half hours I spent flying from London to Buenos Aires were mostly concerned with the first. Occasional mild turbulence got me fidgeting, but after a while it was so boring I failed to do even that.

And so I’m in Buenos Aires, a city I love so much I can’t stop smiling. I’ve walked past a few places that are indelibly linked to my first trip here with Suzie two years ago — Cafe Tortoni, shops on Avenida Florida, Plaza San Martín — and I’m sitting in a cafe across from where we watched the 2005 May Day protest. Ah, Nostalgia, you are a pleasant mistress.

For now, my primary aim is to waste time. I have four hours until a sixteen-and-a-half hour bus journey takes me to Mendoza. Another beautiful city, in the west not too far from Chile, Mendoza is where I’ll meet Nadia. Then, nearly forty-eight hours after I left my mum and dad’s house, I will have arrived.

Sixteen-and-a-half hours. On a bus. Oh, Argentina is one big country.

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