JZ’s South American travels continue with this final update. Nice one, Josh! Previous entry here.
After two weeks in Santiago, Chile it was time to head across the continent towards Buenos Aires, Argentina.
I hopped on a bus for eight hours over the Andes (the highest mountain range in all of south and north america – 23,000 feet). We zigzagged up this impossibly steep mountain for nearly four hours—so scary at times! I arrived in Mendoza, the vineyard capital of Argentina at like 6a.m. with no real plan. I skated around for a day, stopped by STM skate shop to get the inside line on street spots. I was invited to a massive barbecue that night, then had the privilege of seeing an amazing metal band called Blender—they murdered it! During the performance I was certain Diego Buchierri was playing lead guitar but it turned out to be a “Butcher” look a like.
Montevideo, Uruguay has an extremely colorful & eclectic feel to the city. I spent my days skating downtown and near the beach, my evenings at Carnaval & late nights drinking at the hostel watching live Capoeira dance & music. I met several inspiring local artists & musicians during my stay in Montevideo. It was remarkable. Check out the work of Viviana Artigas. Her paintings and drawings are rad. This photo of the horse with the recycling bags was taken my first day in this awesomely unique city.
The next day I left Mendoza at 6a.m. on a 16-hour bus ride to Buenos Aires to meet up with the one and only Blairly Legal. The next 96 hours in Buenos Aires we skated plazas all day, shot flicks and filmed tricks. Chivetas, a traditional sandwich with a thin slice of filet mignon, mayo, tomatoes, fried egg, and a sliced cucumber with a side of french fries, and pizza were the main meals eaten in Beunos Aires. So delicious!
Aesthetically, the city felt a lot like Barcelona or even Paris, Spanish Colonial style with a touch of French Art Deco. It’s a city as soon as I arrived I felt, “I could live here.”
Around 2a.m. we’d leave our Millhouse hostel fiesta (which was out of control—six floors of travelers, mostly Australians and Europeans partying hard) and then jump on bus #39 or #64 to the Palermo or Recoleta barrios. The nights were spent skating through the streets filled with rock ‘n roll bars, clubs, and tango bars—it was awesome.
Portenos (the people of Buenos Aires) love to party! They don’t think twice about dancing ‘til 6a.m. and then going to work at 8a.m.! We had a blast drinking Argentinian wine and raging it up with the locals. The endless packs of super hot girls made it really fun too. Buenos Aires has a reputation as a party city and they earned it.
During the day we took the metro throughout the city. Our stop was on the blue line and it’s the vintage line with old school trains from the early 1900s. Pretty rad. Buenos Airs is gigantic but easy to get around. Plaza Bernardo Houssay, Plaza Monsenor de Andrea, Plaza Miserere, Plaza de Mayo, Plaza San Martin, Boca, all of Recoleta especially the banks by the cemetery, and the national library pyramid were our favorite zones to skate and chill.
Spiro and Stavros Razi along with shredder Ignacio “Nacho” Cattaneo were telling tales of a place called Mar Del Plata, a magical city just five hours south of Buenos Aires. It’s nestled along the coast of the Atlantic and features insane beaches, palm trees, cliffs, surf, and since it was January, it’s summer holiday for everyone in Argentina, so the party was poppin!
Blair and I rolled right into the most epic four-day adventure ever! Non stop, go out ‘til 7 in the morning, wake up, surf, chill at the beach, skate the ramp outside our hostel, eat fresh fish tacos at La Maquinita (the restaurant/hostel we stayed at), skate some street spots, and then party at night with Barbie and her friends and meet like 100 girls a night who wanted to drink wine, get wild, and dance and party with two skaters from the USA! Viva Argentina!
Blair took off to San Diego, however I stayed for a couple extra days. La Maquinita held a massive premiere for TransWorld’s Skate & Create and Natty Kon’s Creepin’ for Life videos. Ezequiel (owner of La Maquinita) put the word out and all the rippers showed up! The locals were super hyped and the party was out of control!
It was difficult to leave this magical place but my flight to NYC was just five days away. I took a two-hour ferry ride across the channel to Colonia, Uruguay and then a quick bus ride to the capital city of Montevideo. The train station was a little sketchy, however the city was bouncing since it was Carnaval! Couldn’t have picked a better time to arrive. The streets were full of excitement—parades, circus acts, drum circles, street parties—loads of people celebrating. I was hyped! It was the end of a 30-day trip, but this city was vibrant and full of excitement, and I went for it. The night before I left, I tried the scariest trick of my life to date. Traveling=inspiration.
Hasta Luego South America! Shit is tight!
A Massive shout out to Ezequiel at La Maquinita Surf Hostel for styling Blair and I out so tough! This place is the only place to stay in Mar Del Plata.