Visiting 18 countries we never tried hitchhiking. While traveling, we prefer to use local public transport-buses, trains or car rental. Well, perhaps after reading the blogs of other travelers, is still the main impetus for this was the little book about hitchhiking from the Academy of free travel. This book is a fairly simple, but after reading it, yet I wanted to at least once try-what is hitchhiking. I read it while still in Russia.
After spending 3 weeks in Argentina, still a bit I got used already, but again enjoyed now only by public transport. This year in Argentina celebrated Easter on March 27 and due to the long weekend, I had the opportunity on the 4 day someplace to go. As in Buenos Aires and La Plata sea no (here still River), the closest and most popular beach town in Argentina is Mar del Plata. Before him from Buenos Aires about 400 kilometers. All of my friends whom I asked the Argentines confirmed that Mar del Plata is a very beautiful place and worth a go. Would say I have someone out there that I see hundreds of sea lions, then I would definitely not doubted, ride me or not, but apparently for Argentines is so commonplace that all concealed.
About hitchhiking all said that it is more popular in the North of the country, in the region of Salta, and catch the car here is still likely not a lot because the Argentines fear that they can rob, or worse. Well, I decided to try it anyway, but in his head kept the thought that if 3:00 me no one will take, then I'll be back home in La Plata. I found the most suitable place on the map, where is a direct road to Mar del Plata, and went there, not even producing decals with the direction (although it would not be superfluous). The problem turned out to be get out of the city at the weekend. Go to the road was about 20 kilometers. The bus I waited 40 minutes. At the bus stop with me the only man standing and waiting for the same bus. Despite the fact that he spoke no English and I'm Spanish, yet in sign language for those 40 minutes we started talking a bit on the grounds that the buses run infrequently. Surprisingly, he rode to his cottage, which is very close to this. So we went to the same stop. Before the road was still around 2.5 kilometers on foot, and we together with him were going in the same direction and trying to talk. Only at the very end of the road our ways of the encounter, so he showed me which direction to Mar del Plata, said "Be careful" and "Suerte!", that is, wished good luck. I thought that such a meeting with him, was a good sign for me. Out on the trail, I discovered that the place is really convenient for hitchhiking-good visibility, stall, one direction without roads and near exit route, on which the machine only gaining speed. Time of day, the weather is good, to Mar del Plata just 350 kilometers.
The ideal conditions for a first experience of hitchhiking. Advance in Spanish I learned the phrase: "Voy a Mar del Plata. Puedes llevar me? "it means:" I go to Mar del Plata. Could take me with you? ".
Hitchhiking in English is translated as "hitchhiking", in Spanish, usually as "auto stop", but in Argentina more popular name "dedo", which means "finger". So, take your thumb up, I began to establish eye contact with drivers and wait for someone to stop.
Half an hour passed. During this time, no one ever stopped to wonder where I'm going. A little rest, I again became the catch car.
Honestly, at this point, my hope that someone takes me, already weakened, because machines really travelled into or many. However, after another 10 minutes, stopped the first car with a man and a woman in the front and two children behind. Despite the fact that their car was full, they were ready to move and take me. But, to my regret, they rode not to Mar del Plata, and to Chascomus. This place is on the way, but it is only 60 kilometers and up to Mar del Plata-350 kilometers. Of course, it was possible to go in the hope that I will find another car but suggested that for 40 minutes past me have driven many cars in Mar del Plata, and nobody stopped, still did not give me the greatest hope of success and stay the night among the tracks I don't like.
Being here, I decided that if I don't catch the machine straight for 2:00, then return home. Even for an hour, while here, I saw a man-Argentine, which is the same as I went out to catch the car in the same direction. And I think something like: "good luck! It's not so easy, "as five minutes later stopped the machine and took it. And not just assumed, first drove by, but then stopped, kindly passed back by me and posignalila to him several times that he saw behind him returned. Well, I thought he was lucky and happy for him. After a while, came out three guys-Argentines, catching machine and through 5 minutes stopped minivan and took them to the point where I did an hour and a half could not catch the car! I was a little surprised. What am I doing wrong? It turns out that Argentines do not love to take foreigners-men European appearance, as believed, that we do not speak Spanish, and they will be bored with us. The second, less popular cause is that they fear taking men due to safety concerns, but still those three guys were men too.
It may seem weird, but sometimes I try to pay attention to the signs (not road), but still did not give them great value. Here, for example, under the bridge sat Dove and when I looked at him, he flew along the road in the direction of Mar del Plata, flying past me, then turned around and landed at the same place where sat before. Then he did the same thing again. For me it was kind of a sign that I should come back and gave me even more dubious.
But I reassured myself that this birds and they fly, how eager and gave myself another hour waiting for machines. And after another 30 minutes somewhere, stopped the white Mercedes 1981 model year, which sat about three guys years 27. The driver even spoke English, but I learned later. Asked me where I'm going, look at each other and took me. I'm even a little confused. It turned out that they all live in Mar del Plata and went to La Plata for the weekend, because of their other son. The guys were quite friendly and affable. English talking only the driver, so that with it I was able to talk a bit. Over 350 kilometers we 3 times stopped at gas stations. It turned out that the driver has installed on his car gas equipment. Put it, he said, is not cheap, but then the savings on gasoline in 4 times!
Argentina gets the oil from Brazil and petrol is approximately 1 United States dollar per litre. Gas Argentina produces its price is much cheaper. Over 350 kilometers we refueled 3 times approximately 90 pesos, i.e. left 270 pesos, about $ 18. For Latin America, and for the year 1981 Mercedes is really inexpensive. Bus tickets, for example, 1 person will cost around 400 pesos. Imagine what this economy go by car or four threesome.
Despite the fact, that the rode hitchhiking, yet at the last gas station, I offered to pay for the gas itself. Because I can afford it and somehow did not offer to split the cost of petrol I failed. The guys also did not give up, and I believe this is correct.
It turned out that the driver lives on the same street where I found myself dwelling on 3 days via the portal couchserfing. So they took me straight to the place. Thanks you guys are great, because otherwise, I'd not go to Mar del Plata, and many would not be seen!
By the way, kaučserfingom, turned out to be very simple. Eugenio was the only one of 20 people, which I sent, and who agreed to take me on 3 days. But my second experience couchserfing with Eugenio, turned out to be wonderful. He lives on the street in Colon, near the beach, in a very cozy one-bedroom apartment on 12 floor. From the window of my room a beautiful view of the sea and the Park. In fact, using the kaučserfingom, you live completely free of charge. Photos and descriptions of homes on the site and, therefore, every time you don't know quite what to expect from home and host.
Eugenio most of the time spent at work. He just gave me the keys, all showed up and left. I am very grateful for his confidence and hospitality. He was very welcome. Eugenio himself originally from Mexico and came here to live and work. He showed me a lot of beautiful pictures of Mexico, that really changed my view about this country. I have heard that it is quite dangerous, but now realize that this is not so and Cancun and Mexico City is not the only place to go. I asked him to recommend the most beautiful places in Mexico, so I wrote a separate article, although there has not yet been.
At the same time in his flat, he took on another couchserfing girl from Colombia. It turned out that she, too, came here a Hitchhiker and, generally, in Argentina it only travels. She told me what route had already done: La Quiaca-San Salvador de Jujuy-Palpala-San Miguel de Tucuman-Santiago del Estero-Frias-Cordoba-Buenos Aires-Mar Del Plata. A worthy list. And, interestingly, she travels alone and to catch the car, her enough 10-30 minutes. In doing so, she travels only with long-haul truckers, because it is safer. She told me that drivers in Argentina are afraid to take men and not very fond of driving up those who did not speak Spanish. That next trip it again in Buenos Aires over 3 days and back to La Plata I've already decided to return to hitchhike with her.
The city of Mar del Plata I liked, but still it's pretty cool as much as 7 months of the year. About it we have a separate article. The big surprise were hundreds of sea lions, which you can see here, lying on the beach, in the port area.
So, after 3 days, saying goodbye and thanking Eugenio for his hospitality, we along with this girl named Marcela went to the track to catch the car. After her story I was sure to catch it easily, but for 4:00 no one even stopped, so that already began to darken. Eugenio agreed without problems, we again take to ourselves and we came back. Marcela was confident that the next day, one she can catch the car and reach Buenos Aires, well, I have decided to no longer practice hitchhiking in Argentina and back by public transport.
Most budget travel here is usually the train. Price starts from 250 pesos, but while the train was cancelled because of repair paths on an unknown date. I bought a bus ticket to La Plata through the company El Aguila. Here's their website-elaguila-srl.com.ar. Even easier to compare prices on buses of different companies and purchase tickets online using the website http://www.omnilineas.com.
The ticket was the most inexpensive and cost 393 pesos. I can say that I really liked their service. The bus looked really new, not only outside but inside. TVs, headphones, comfortable seats. In addition, the Guide regaled all popular Argentine biscuit and coffee Hawana, although the ride was a little more than four hours.
Marcela wrote to me later that she actually managed to catch a truck for 30 minutes in the day when I went already on the bus. The driver was a young guy and left her phone in case it will need to go back to Mar del Plata. Whew!
In the opinion of avtostope in Argentina, I would like to say that, if you really want to and believe it is possible, of course, everything. But in my example, it so happened that my first successful experience, this is more luck than the norm. So, if you do decide to hitchhike on Argentina, be ready, that it can be hard to come by. But God help everyone! Nice and good you travel!
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