I got up on Monday ready to take on the day; I had woken up early and had my stuff packed up pretty quick, so I spent the rest of the morning grabbing some quick breakfast, wandering around the area, and reading in the hostels library.
Ana and I met up around 1:00, packed the rest of my gear up and stashed it in the hostels saferoom, and then took a walk around the city to see a few last sights before I headed off to the airport. We ate some Cochabas for lunch, and I immediately fell in love with them. Seriously amazing. See the recipe below. After eating we headed into the main city to explore for a bit, going to see the nicer portions that I had missed before. Ana left me for a bit to put an hour or two in at her job, and I spent the time wandering around the financial district of Caracas; marveling at how shining skyscrapers could stand directly next to a cold-war era building that looked like it had been shelled out. Its honestly impressive, and does wonders for making the shiny skyscrapers look even better
While waiting for Ana the skies decided that I CLEARLY wasn’t wet enough, and decided to help me cool down with a quick shower. Luckily I was right near the enteraence to the main mall, so I ducked in and spent the rest of the hour reading from my kindle (stealthily hidden in one of my other books, so I just looked like another Venezuelan dude chilling out with a tattered notebook).
After a bit Ana finished up and we headed back to the Hostel to get my bag. The rest of the evening was pretty standard-issue, though I did get a nice surprise when I went to pay my “exiting fee” from Venezuela: my outbound ticket had already covered it in the price. Nice, don’t need to burn an extra $50, I am not complaining. I got into the airport with just enough time to pick up some food (yay Burger King! I don’t know which is worse: that I ate my first Whopper in Venezuela, or that I paid $9.50 to do so) and make a quick skype call to my mom to let her know that I was fine and boarding successfully. And then we were airborn, heading south to the connector in Brazil.
Side Note: The city lights of the Barrio’s outside Caracas are amazing, and I’m really glad I flew out at Night so I could see them now that I know what they are.
I woke up with a start when the wheels touched the ground; I had slept clean through all the warnings about landing and everything. Impressive. I de-planed, found my gate (where I’d be boarding in 6 hours), and set myself up for a nice internetting session. Not to let life be easy, Sao Paulo’s WiFi is deceptively cheap at $1 an hour or so, but impossible to access unless you’re quite fluent in Portuguese. They even have a language tab that only has one setting: “not a language you speak, sucker!” I tried to bumble my way through it, but in the end contented myself with saved videos and some more reading. Maybe a bit of music too.
My flight boarded smoothly, and I slept through again; both times I had a window seat with the middle empty, so I was feeling pretty good and relaxed once we touched down in Buenos Aires. I had woken up a bit early so that I could fill out the immigration paperwork, thinking I’d be saving myself some time in the lines. Instead, I was carefully and meticulously filling out the form that would herald the destruction of this part of my trip…
Yay cliff-hangers! And recipes!
Cochabas Recipe (for one person)
- Cornbread batter (go a bit heavy on the corn though)
- Cheese (thick white cheese)
- Ham slices, thin
- cook the cornbread batter on a hot skillet exactly as you would a pancake; layer it just as thick
- once its pretty much done spread some butter on it and let it head butter-side down for a few seconds
- Put the cheese on half of the “pancake”, and layer the ham on top of it
- Fold like an omlet
- let it heat for a bit, flipping it twice or so. Make sure the cheese is nice and gooey.
- Cut it in half (so its quarters of a circle), and serve!