Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 8th - 8:54pm

We had a beyond large amount of rain last night so no riding today. Helped with chores during the morning. Horses on the walker, water, sweeping, grooming and the like. Once we were finished with the morning stuff, we were invited upstairs for a Canadian Thanksgiving lunch/dinner (a day late but turkey's are hard to find in this country!). Brian, one of my favorite people in BA, was invited over and we had a great time. An amazing meal, fantastic company and re-runs of the olympics after. Such fun. Depending on the weather tonight we may be able to ride on the roads tomorrow but with how nasty the sky looked, Im not holding my breath. But to continue the story of yesterday's adventure...

It had taken entirely too long but we had finally succeeded at getting on a bus we then were up against the unavoidable problem of getting off. I thought we could safely assume that we'd end up in Palermo since thats what the bus said but Palermo isnt exactly a small area on the map. Asking where the stop would be was a bit of a moot point since we didnt really know the area. But the bus stayed headed the right direction toward town and eventually we passed the Personel building that marks the edge of District Federal. Whether we really knew what to do or not, we had made it to the city!
For a bit I didnt recognize where we were at all which was definitely disconcerting. Getting dropped in an area I had zero knowledge of was by biggest concern. That would mean having to find our way by bus, subway or taxi to Plaza Italia (where we had to go to get on a bus to come home). Not an impossible task but not an all together excting one if it was possible to avoid. Especially since time was getting tight. We wanted to be in the gates of Rancho Pampa before dark which is about 7:00 or so at tge moment. The fiasco with getting the bus had put us back several hours and the ride to town was just under an hour. So it was going to be close to 4:00 before we even were off the bus. Count in another hour to get home and we were going to have to be on the bus coming home by 6:00 at the latest. Under normal circumstances, two hours to find a bus/bus stop is forever. After our morning, it might as well have been no time at all.
I had brought a little map of the city with us and we were absolutely pouring over it trying to guess where we were based on the street signs we were passing. After only a couple minutes though a lady sitting in another seat leaned over and told us (in Spanish) that we shouldnt have the map out like that and especially not to do so in the street because it marked us even more as foreigners. And being foreign is a good way to end up in all kinds of trouble apparently. Not sure Ive ever gotten a map closed up that fast and put away. So now were on the bus, no idea where we are, no idea where we are headed and somewhat terrified to pull out the map. Not a great mix for my anxiety. But right as I really was starting to get a little concerned I saw what has become one of my favorite landmarks ever: the signs for the green subway line. We'd just rolled past the Tucman stop which is the first (or last depending on how you looked at it) stop on that line. And a little fruther up the road, another big green sign marking the next stop. The green line is the one Alice and I had been all up and down a few weeks ago. It runs right with Santa Fe and eventually hits 9 de Julio. Instantly had a bearing on where we were. It was all I could do not to jump off the bus right then having realized where we were but before we got off I wanted to ask someone how to get a sube card so we could get back on another bus. Ended up talking with this nice older woman who told me I could get them a couple places and just ask someone on the street where the closest place was when I got off. Since I already had talked to her and she knew what I wanted I figured Id just follow this poor lady off the bus and have her point me in the right direction. So when she got up to get off I did too. As she moved past me I called Meg and somehow missed where the lady had even gotten to after getting off the bus. Id already made my move to get off though so was kind of stuck even though I wasnt totally sure where we were. I had missed where the bus had gotten to while Id been trying to understand the lady's rapid fire spanish. As I stepped off the bus I turned and asked the bus driver "donde estamos?" Never been more suprised in my life to hear him say "Plaza Italia". Took a look around and he was right, we'd somehow made it to our destination.
In reality I shouldnt have been completely shocked. Plaza Italia is on the green line so had we continued to follow the roads it runs under/Santa Fe we would have passed it at some point. The fact we managed by dumb luck to get off at the right stop will never cease to amaze me. We'd done it though! Half the adventure was complete. Meg and I had made it from home to the bus stop to capital to Plaza Italia.
And our first mission was to figure out where to buy the elusive Sube card. We stepped into a kiosk and were told we had to go down in the subway to buy one. Down in the subway we were told that they didnt have them. No other help though. Third times the charm, however, and we stepped into a little side store. Not sure what made me ask if they spoke english since I hadnt asked anyone all day. Low and behold, both women behind the counter spoke fluent english. They told us it was definitely possible to use to coins, just more expensive to do so. Purshasing a sube card was the easiest way to deal with the buses but you needed ID and the places to buy one were closed on Sunday. They asked where we needed to go and seemed a bit shocked as we explained we were from an hour up the road and needed to get home by bus. Final suggestion from them was to try to use the coins again and if that didnt work, pay to use someone elses Sube card. We bought some things from their store as a thank you of sorts before leaving. We asked around a bit more in the surrounding stores about the Sube cards but basically got the same answer. Yes, you can buy them lot of places, but theyre all closed today.
In the midst of the wandering, we past a bakery where I was able to go in a buy a dozen pasteries for the barn. When you fall off here, you owe a dozen pasteries but due to living on the farm I dont have much ability to buy them on the way to work or something. So my pastry count has just been stacking up. Ive got 12 now, though, which is a start. And with how the day was going, I needed a little successful moment. Regardless of how the trip had started or would turn out, I could be happy over my pasteries.
We grabbed a quick bite to eat before tackling the next challenge of the day: getting home. The biggest challenge to finding the bus to home is that there is only one. We could take one of several to capital but only one would bring us back to the right spot. We'd come in on bus 57 Palermo/Pilar so figured we'd find the same bus going to other way and ask if it stopped where we lived. After some looking we found what seemed to be the right set of bus stops. Not the easiest task since there are TONS of different stops. Meg stepped on to one that looked like it had potential (correct number at least). The bus driver said he wasnt going there and pointed to the bus infront of him. We tropped over to that bus and asked again. That driver pointed us to a line of people behind his bus. We headed toward that and joined the bus line (something we've become quite good at). There was a little piece of paper that with the typed words "Moreno" taped to a traffic cone off the the side of the line. Moreno was where we were headed but after this mornings trials with the buses I had zero faith in it being this easy to find the correct bus. Wed barely been looking for the right one for thirty minutes! Just a few minutes later, though, a bus pulls up that looks right and the bus driver nodded when we asked if he was going to Moreno. And he even took our coins! I am still amazed that from starting the search for the bus to getting on one obly took half an hour. I held my breath the whole drive home just praying we had actually pulled it off.
Forty five minutes later and without incident, we were dropped off at the bridge near the barn. Just a ten minute walk seperated us from home. At 6:30 on the dot we rang the door bell at the back gate to be let in. It was still decently light out, we'd made it home in one piece, Id gotten my pasteries and we had one hell of a story. A successful day if Ive ever had one.

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