This is something I wrote shortly after reaching Patagonia last month:
From Rio De Janeiro to Buenos Aires and Comodoro Rivadavia, things have gotten stranger. Big cities the world over have many similarities as a result of increasing globalisation but the further out you get, the more the differences start to show.
From the little we saw of Rio, it seemed pretty cool and some things were certainly novel – groups of young men stood outisde coffee shops chatting nonchalantly in speedos, for one. But it didn’t feel wholly different. Just like we were in a new city.
But arriving in a desert airport in Patagonia in the small hours of a Sunday morning – New Year’s Day no less – and faced with the univerals traveller’s quandary – should we pay for a taxi into town or are they charging us extra because we’re clueless tourists? – it seems quite alien indeed.
Enquiring about buses with the limit of my Spanish – “We go Chile Chico?” – only to receive an incomprehensible torrent in reply; trying to decipher a complicated international bus time table; and confused as to why my order of a cheese sandwich from a menu requires a barrage of questions, an enquiry to the manager and an estimate of 40 minutes. This trip is already putting me out of my depth but I am relishing the opportunity to swim.