Friday, March 30, 2007

Buenos Aires in March

Around this time last week I was thinking about writing about just how great the weather is during the month of March in Buenos Aires. It's the very late summer/early autumn and typically temperatures average around 27 degrees C, humidity is relatively low and there's nearly always a cool breeze. A great time to walk around the city and explore.

Then this week happened, my god has it rained. Short (but heavy) showers are relatively frequent here, but they usually pass after an hour or so. Not this week though, today for example it's rained non-stop for about 12hrs. As I'm spending a lot of time in the Provincias now (more on that in a few days) it's really hit home that Argentina really is, in many ways, still very 'third world'.

An hour or two of heavy rain is enough to flood many streets here (not a significant problem in the capital) causing schools to be shut down, work for many to be cancelled, and the major roads to be turned into parking lots. Productivity really takes a hit.

Drainage systems outside of Buenos Aires are either non-existent or terribly inadequate. After 2hrs (60mm) of heavy rain 10 days or so ago the flood water lay around for a couple of days and the entire city suffered a swarm of mosiquitos. Repellent sold out within 24hrs. This week 6 barrios (neighbourhoods) of Buenos Aires were without electricity for around 12hrs (some 80000 people affected), and much of the underground system was shut down. All beacuse of 2hrs of heavy rain.

Having said all that, I would still recommend coming here in March, early March especially. Along with October (late spring) it's probably the best month to investigate this unique city.

6 comments:

LOL DONKAMENTS!!! (The German Donk, Treehouse) said...

Soso, blackout...

I suggest u get urself a nice, long running LED flashlight. For more information visit this site:

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/

Fenix and Surefire are two brands worth looking at.

Roamer said...

Unlike in England where a few leaves on the track brings the train system to a halt.

Brad said...

Hi there mate, great to see what you doing, actually wanting to do the same and will be starting it at the end of the year when I pop over to BA, Argentina as well.
I have a mate there currently thats sorting out accomodation etc but he has mentioned the crime issues. I was wondering, as a foreigner in BA, what is the crime situation like there? I'm coming from South Africa and, well... there's not many places as bad as here, crime is violent and life is nothing so I'm sure it's much "safer" there but I've heard about kidnappings etc. Any feedback will be appreciated, keep well and I'll be sure to keep reading.
Kind regards
Brad

Floyd said...

Hi, Mr.Perpetual Traveller. This is the first time I'm actually commenting on your blog. Your blog really got me interested in Perpetual Travel. I'm 27 now. I'd like to get into an alternative life style. I really love travel. You made several posts about PT, but I was wondering if the * jobs that are right * for a PT, would actually get me enough money for food and travel? I really don't think I could travel the world starving:-)
And do you keep visiting home regularly(wherever home may be)?

Perpetual_Traveller said...

Hi Brad

Very good question, and actually not that easy to answer.

Many porteƱos have warned me of the dangers of Buenos Aires, saying it's not safe to walk the streets alone at night etc. I think they're still suffering a little from 2001-syndrome to a certain extent.

While I take heed of what they say I have never once felt in danger in Belgrano, where it's not uncommon to see people walking alone at 3am. Of course, I use common sense and stick to well-light main roads.

From discussions with expats and locals I'm told the same can be said for Recoleta and Palermo. Venturing into the not-so-well-to-do suburbs late at night might well be a different story. But I have no experience of this.

Watching the news here, and reading the papers, I do see reports of violent crime daily. There are 13million people living in and around Buenos Aires, so that's no great surprise for a city of this size.

Sadly practically every house in Argentina has bars across it's windows and doors, so there's no doubt that 'petty' crime is significantly more of a problem than violent crime.

As for kidnappings, they do happen, but are very rare since the economic recovery. I can only record two kidnappings reported in the press in the last 6 months. Tourists are not targetted.

I am actually more wary of the roads than I am of criminals here. Fatal accidents are ridiculously common.

PT

Perpetual_Traveller said...

Hi Mr Floyd!

For those of us who can't retire generating an oncome while PT-ing is a must.

There's no doubt in my mind that you can make more than enough money whilst travelling, the question really is: will you?

Take a look at what the big internet affiliates earn and you'll see what I mean ($10K's/month). A typical affiliate however will make far less....$0 to $100, I can atest to that!

I think you need to define just how much is enough. I posted originally that for me $40USD per day was enough to live comfortably on. $1200/month. After 12 months I stand by that figure.

Ditch the 'luxury' flat for a shared house and this can come down to $900/month. Add more travel/expensive restaurants etc and this can easily jump to over $2000/month.

My advice would be to ensure you have sufficient savings to cover at least 6 months expenses. If you are planning on something like teaching english try and secure work before you embark. If you plan on something like running a website get everything setup and running in your home country as a hobby, whilst you work a regular job.

'Home' for me was the UK, I typically visit friends and family there for 2-3 months per year. In the summer of course! :-)

Not sure if this reply really helps, but I hope so.

PT