Life’s pleasant surprises

Life is an adventure if you trust the Universe and allow the best possible outcome to occur. You will be pleasantly surprised.

On March 2, 2013, I took a deep breath, pulled up my Big girl pants and asked 3 different people in Buenos Aires to find out which bus I should take to get this Single Woman to La Boca. It was a spontaneous decision that I made after visiting the Catedral of Buenos Aires. I did not do my research, my Lonely Planet was left behind on my bed at the rented studio apartment and really it’s been a dead weight on this journey.All I knew about La Boca is it’s known for a street called the El Caminito (“Little path” or “Little walkway”) and it is full of colorful houses and tango dancing on the street. La Boca is one of the 48 barrios or neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. It is also the “sketchy” area as the people living there are not the richest, so it’s a bit more rough than Palermo and Recoleta barrios (neighborhoods). Safety can be a concern if you walk down the wrong street or not aware of your surroundings.

So after confirming with the bus driver that he will go to Caminito in La Boca, I sat there on the bus thinking the second dilemma – When do I get off the bus??

Well as though the Universe heard me, 3 English speakers get on the bus and I eavesdrop a bit to confirm at least one of them sounds like he knows where they’re going.

Inside local bus on the way to La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Inside local bus on the way to La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina

I built up some courage and got out of my seat and literally “pounced” on them.

Single Woman: English speakers, hello! Sounds like at least one of you knows where you’re headed. Are you headed to El Caminito in La Boca?

Wise person: Yes.

Single Woman: Do you know when to get off?

Wise person: Yes.

Single Woman: Then I shall follow and get off the bus along with you! Thanks!

The wise person ends up being Jonathan of Buenos Aires Local Tours – the 2 Canadian travellers had requested a custom extension after Jonathan’s tour-for-tips tour. I end up tagging along with them for a tour of La Boca and San Telmo. Jonathan knows Buenos Aires like the back of his hand and is extremely friendly and helpful.

Colorful building with signage of El Caminito in La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Colorful building with signage of El Caminito in La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Local basketball court with all the symbols of La Boca beautifully represented alongside the neighborhood em - Graffitti

Local basketball court with all the symbols of La Boca beautifully represented alongside the neighborhood emblem

Tango dancing on streets of La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tango dancing on streets of La Boca

Papier mache statues in La Boca

Giant papier mache statues in La Boca

Live music in La Boca

Live music in La Boca

Outdoor eating in La Boca

Outdoor dining in La Boca

And if it wasn’t for meeting Jonathan, I could have definitely ended up on the Wrong side of the tracks – Literally!

Wrong side of the Tracks in La Boca Argentina

View of the other side of La Boca

Tourist ticket to Boca Juniors game March 3 2013

My ticket to a Boca Junior game – Super expensive, I must say!

In addition to this experience, Jonathan helped me get a ticket to the Boca Juniors’ football game on March 3 (which happens to be my bday)!!

Even though the cut off time was at 3pm and I only had the conversation with Jonathan at 5pm, he made a call and I was good to go. I’ve heard that I should never go to a game alone (whether I am a female or male) so I will be part of a tour group. On the other hand, many have told me if the opportunity arises, it is definitely a MUST Do, an exciting event to experience while in Buenos Aires.

It’s good to be aware of the risks but there are always the flip side of the coin.

Things happen for a reason.

I believe that if it is meant to be, then with just a little bit of my personal desire, things will pan out in the end.

Bon Voyage!

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