It felt like i had hitchhiked the most time in Argentina, when i was in South America. Like an eternity. Maybe also because hitchhiking in Argentina is just a huge fun. Pleassure time. Far roads, convinient for long distance hitchhiking. Perfect infrastructure. In the north you also have some nice countryside, in the east the Andes, in the south fallow land and of course the „End of the world“ in Ushuaia. Big fun to explore all the different faces of the country. And its so huge!
Hitchhiked distance: 8045 kilometer
Number of lifts: 84
Average waiting time: 34 minutes 50 seconds
Waiting time total: 47 hours 13 minutes
As always you can download the log here: Log Argentinien
I went through Uruguay to Buenos Aire via land. Afterwards i hitchhiked from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia and back, as well as from BA through Mendoza into Chile. Here the route. It was a big fun and especially my Ushuaia tour turned out to be a huge intoxication. I had so much fun, that i did not leave the road anymore for several days.
I think Argentinians are THE travel nation of South America! The whole continent seems to be packed with them. No clue why it is like that, but they are everywhere. Especially in Uruguay. Since i got a long beard people think permanently i am Argentinian.
I found a sciety which was impressed by idealism and a new gained self confidence since the insovlency a couple of time ago. Similar to Chile there was a high value for the collective. Many people like President Kirchner, case she seems to carry the symbols of the new argentinian liberty, which makes people proud. I found many people who follow this thought. Many praises. But of course there is another side of the medal also.
The „picking-up-mentality“ especialy in the South is very good. I think one reason for this are the long, empty and straight ways. I had drivers that didn´t wanted me to sleep, which i now understand, because i make them getting sleepy as well, when i take a nap beside them. At the beginning i was not concious about this. But if your crossing the South, be clear, that people also might pick you up to ave company and stay awake on this boring straight roads in the middle of nowhere. Especially if you have long-distance lifts over a couple of hundred kilometres. I also think this is not an exception but a regularity.
Beside the usual encountering along the road i also had a special relationship with the argentinian man culture, which tends to be very unsympathic to me (no offence my argentinian friends, more a general observation). In Argentina dominates a culture of provocation, which was my impression. One of my Trustroots host explained this in a good example of his favourite football club. He said that his friends are more happy, when their arch-enemy loses, then when their own club wins. Significant. But this is, in my humble opinion, first of all a man-to-man thing. In general Argentinians have the reputation in South America of being arrogant and feeling superior. I think arrogance is not a bad thing and can be furthermore really sexy. But sometimes it is also annoying.
Like in a dream. Street quality is okay, but you ALWAYS find a good position to hitchhike. Argentina has lots of space and the hitchhiking is very pleassurefull. There was no reason to walk. Lifts came relatively easy and fast and went always a decent distance.
In the South you have alot of „Campo“, flat land with lots of wind, which can be quite cold also. Roads are straight for hundreds of kilometres. It is somehow attractive, cause you can make alot of distance there. But it also gets boring after a couple of thousand kilometres.
There are alot of animals along the road. Seems like a big petting zoo. A big petting zoo which is permanently crossed by 40-ton heavy trucks which drive with maximal speed. Or experiencing Postal 2 in real. In case of a roadkill the animals are not just flat, but get distributed in all directions. Here a leg, there another body part. A bit different from uruguay, where i also encountered alot of dead animals along the road.
Beside all that Argentina has a big advantage, which makes travelling super pleasent. You got free Wi-Fi at the gas stations. Regulary. Which means, whenever you buy ice-cream you can have Internet. One reason for me to stay on the road. Food, Internet, Lifts….. Here you got everything you need to live. What a blast.
Well, to be honest, there is not much to consider while hitchhiking in Argentina. There are nice ring roads with roundabout traffics to make city crossing pretty easy. Just take a visible position and give your hitchhiking sign not to early. I personally let the cars often observe me, what i am doing here beside the street and when they approach me i raise my hand. Especially in straight roads with good visibility.
In the South you can make long distances without any problem, also in the night i made really good experiences there. Especially in the big, bright lighted roundabout traffice which seem to be made for night hitchhiking. Much space, much light and a perfect scenario. It is also very usefull to develope some Mate-Serving-Skills for lifting in the night. Many drivers expect you to make the Mate for picking you up in the night.
Argentina is a meat nation. If you eat a typical Parilla, there is mostly sausage, kind of rips (Asado) and other pieces of pure meat. Beside that, almost nothing. Maybe a bit bread. I slept very bad after thos meat feasts, but it was somehow delicious. Meat is one of the most cheapest foods, the quality is quite good but (and this you mustn´t offer any Argentinian, if you dont want to hurt his honor) that the quality isn´t as good as in Europe. Imho of course.
Ushuaia is the end of the world. Looks like an Alp-Town. Very nice down there and a worth waypoint to gain. Who can say he was at the end of the world? Allthough there is a chilenian village, which is a bit more South. Can be approached also.
The North is a bit more livable. From mendoza you will have good wne, the terrain frutiful there and everything is nice and green. I was suprised how much plane land is in the South and that you got nothing there, except some animals which survive more or less good. No Plants, no fruits, no trees there. With so much sensless fallow land i can understand a bit more, why there is so much meat.
West of Mendoza you got the Andes and wine. Hostels have happy hours every day, where you can drink as much as possible for 1-2 hours. Time to get wasted. Also some tours through the wineyards can be booked. Pleassurful area. The mountains are near and if you need some different terrain it is easy accessable. But the whole Mendoza area is a bit contaminated by good fellas.
Buenos Aires is one of the most amazing cities which i ever visited. Great architecture, bit french influenced. Very european, beautiful people, much confusion and great parties. For sure i will come back.