Jul. 27, 2018

Resistencia

July 26- Before leaving Iguazu, several people had asked where we were going next. Resistencia we would respond. They would get a look of confusion and ask, why Resistencia? Now that we have arrived in Resistencia we know why the confused looks and the question why. This is third world country living here! There is very little tourist things here and the infrastructure is collapsing. They are trying to rebuild, there's construction going on everywhere. Nobody speaks any English here and its been an interesting game of charades.
We pulled into the bus station late last night, literally a partially collapsed concrete building in a super shady part of town. We finally flagged down a taxi and handed him a paper with the address to the hotel. He nodded ok and we hopped in. For a half hour we rode in that taxi, backtracking on the highway we'd just came in on. We appeared to be getting further away from town, so we both were getting a bit edgy, wondering how we were gonna fight our way outta this one as we were now headed down a dirt road. We passed by a shack with "Policia del Chaco" written on the side. Obviously some sort of police substation. Making a mental note of where it was as we travelled further in the dark down the dirt road, I was mentally making escape plans when the driver stopped in front of this massive ritzy looking hotel. Our hotel. This can't be right. It's like a 5 star hotel you'd pay $400/ night for and we had it booked for $55. Right name on it though, Del Pomar, so we got out, paid the driver $350 pesos for the epic long taxi ride, and entered the ritz. Sure enough, this was the place. In the morning, we went to breakfast which was included in the room price. When we returned, our room was locked, our key didnt work. Not understanding why, the maid was kind enough to let us back in. We waited until 11 am checkout not wanting to get locked out again. The hotel paid for our taxi to return to the bus station. Maybe it was easier for them that way to get us out of their hair. Regardless, we got the long drive back thru the side streets and neighborhoods, enabling us to see inner city Resistencia. We arrived at the bus station, more charades to purchase our tickets to Salta, then dropped our backpacks into bag storage and walked around.
There are so many motorcycles and mopeds here. Families stack on them. I dont know how they do it. We took video of a family of four on a small motorcycle and decided when the kids complain about there not being enough room in the crew cab truck we own, we show them that video clip and say, " 1st world problems, don't want to hear it! "
While waiting for our bus to Salta, a man about our age approached and said in English, " which bus are you waiting for? " It was great to hear our native tongue again. We told him we were headed to Salta. So was he. So we sat and chatted with the interesting man born in Morocco, raised in Belgium and now traveling on a self reset trip to recharge his batteries.
I think I may have created a new sandwich here. Before boarding the bus, I went to the sandwich shop where earlier we had cheese pizza (which actually wasn't bad at all) and tried to order a sandwich to go. He pointed to ham, cheese, mayo, lettuce, and tomatoes. Yes, I nodded. But, I pointed to chicken milanesa and motioned for him to cut it in half and put it on the sandwich. He looked confused, but added it after warming the chicken in the microwave. Then be looked at the sandwich, smiled big and said " bien! " " delicioso! " and in broken English, " is new. "
Cool. Making progress here! He couldn't figure out what to charge, since that sandwich didn't exist til now, so he charged me $80 pesos, which is about $2 USD.
It was really tasty!
People here in northern Argentina are pretty shy and obviously not used to foreigners being here. There were many a curios look and lots of eyes upon us.