One of the very few parts of my trip that was planned was a confirmed ticket on the SeaCat Ferry from Buenos Aires to Colonia, Uruguay. Hours before leaving New York I booked myself a ticket for the 6.30p ferry once I arrived in Buenos Aires the following day.
After my dash around the airport looking for the Business Class Lounge, I gave up. I knew there was a 12.30pm ferry and because my flight arrived on time, I could try to make it rather than sitting at the Port for the better part of the afternoon.
I really wanted to make the 12.30pm ferry. I have seen far too many episodes of The Amazing Race and I knew three things:
- I had a small window of time to make the 12.30 ferry
- It was likely to encounter an issue with finding the SeaCat terminal
- The man at the counter spoke really good English and I knew that was going to be short-lived
I made my way to the taxi stand inside of the arrivals area and inquired about the location of SeaCat Terminal and the man at the counter looked confused. He asked to see my ticket and shared it with others working the taxi stand that SeaCat was, in fact, operating.
This was a little unsettling as I did just book the ticket the day prior. He returned to the counter without an absolute answer but I needed to keep the process moving as a line had started to form behind me.
I was told that I needed to pay for my taxi in advance and I happily handed over my credit card but was immediately told that they only accept cash. And I had no Argentine Pesos. I was directed to the end of the line at the only ATM that was working in the arrivals area.
Thinking I could outsmart the other 20 people in line, I walked over to another ATM that had no line. It had no line because it was out of money. Of course.
As I settled into the line twenty people deep, I immediately remembered my previous trip to Argentina and the difficulties the boyfriend and I encountered each time we wanted to withdraw money and/or make change.
After what seemed like an eternity, I had Argentine pesos in hand and I paid for my taxi ride at the counter.
There was a large group of taxi drivers standing around the counter awaiting passengers. I confirmed with the man at the counter that the driver who would be assigned to me knew where he was going. He assured me he did and I was directed to my driver, who led me out to his car.
Once outside, I officially entered summertime. The sun was shining and I was inappropriately dressed in yoga pants, long sleeves and a fleece.
With my stuff in the trunk, a final confirmation in Spanish that the driver knew where he was headed, we were off! I stared out the window full of excitement and practically pinching myself that I was back in South America!
And then we stopped. We got as far as leaving the parking lot before he entered the address in his GPS.
And then we were off.
And then we stopped.
Throughout the entire drive, my driver asked other drivers, policemen and even a toll booth worker for directions.
He did not speak English but it didn’t matter. In any language, this man had no idea where the SeaCat terminal was located and now time was ticking.
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