I’ve read that taking a taxi from the airport can be a headache and will cost us almost $50 USD. I usually allow myself the luxury of a taxi from the airport no matter what it costs, but in this case I thought we should look for alternatives. Uber is controversial everywhere, but it seems especially bad in Argentina from what I’ve read, so I think we’ll skip that for now. A quick Google search back in Canada turned up www.gettransfer.com, a service allows you to submit your desired pickup/drop off locations (anywhere in the world!) and have drivers ‘bid’ on the journey.
I got 2 offers sent to me by email moments after I posted, and chose the cheapest option… $21 USD. Am I a little worried this is a sham? That no one is going to show up? That I’m being bamboozled? Yes. It does seem a little too good to be true, right? But I figure worst case scenario, we lose $21, pay for a regular taxi, and learn our lesson. Similar to Uber, I have been given the driver’s license plate number and phone number, as well as his full name, e-mail address, and photo of his vehicle. So it seems pretty above board.
It’s 1:30am. We’re tired. We’re ready for a shower. We want to sleep in a bed. I send a WhatsApp message to Hector, the guy I’m praying will come to collect us, and try to use my best written Spanish but my brain isn’t functioning at 100% right now. Miraculously, he responds! Stoked. After a little back and forth about a meeting point, we find each other in the airport and he brings us to the car. He doesn’t speak English but is super keen to chat, so again, I have to try my best but am low key too tired to speak any language right now.
He mentions that our hostel is not in the safest area… which comes as a complete shock to us because we actively searched for the best neighbourhoods when booking our first place, especially because we knew we’d be arriving in the middle of the night. He tells us the same thing happened to a Chilean couple he picked up last week, and offers to ask them which hostel they ended up moving to. Si, por favor.
We arrive at our accom safe and sound, and thank Hector for all his help. When we get to our room we are sorely disappointed.
The bathroom is tiny, the toilet water runs for an hour after flushing, there’s mould all over the ceiling, the walls are paper thin, and bedding that seems like it’s been through some shit. If we were in another country and paying $5 a night for this room I’d think it were charming… but the reality is that it’s $22 USD per night, in a sketchy neighbourhood, and we’d intentionally booked a more expensive place to be comfortable. This is not comfortable. We resolve to stay the night and dedicate tomorrow to finding better accommodation. Even though this is not what we expected, HEY! WE MADE IT! Stoked to be in Buenos Aires and can’t wait to start exploring tomorrow.
I fall asleep to the sound of running toilet water, and someone in the room next to us snoring.