Rosario is one of the largest cities in Argentina, but with a smaller center you find the main concentration of the nightlife by the costanera (the river front). Juan told us a lot about the city and its culture. There’s been a lot of growth in the last 10 years, and we could see many new towers and others in the process of being constructed. Even with a river and the National Flag Monument, it’s a city which is hardly visited by foreign tourists. Rosarinos don’t understand why, but instead of feeling overlooked, they’re more than happy to show you around if you make it in. And trust me, if you’re looking for a nice trip out of Buenos Aires to a laid back city, Rosario is the perfect place. It’s cheaper, slower paced, and friendlier in general.
Juan led us to a pizza joint close to his house and we ate like kings for a relatively low price. Even though I wasn’t staying with him, he gave me a towel to shower up, set up the hammock for a much needed siesta before heading out at night, and gave me a clean shirt for going out in. Such hospitality makes me feel ashamed to have nothing to offer except my deepest gratitude and the promise to hopefully repay it some day.
Rocking slowly in the hammock with the heavenly breeze, the moon crept up to 12:30 am, and just as we bordered on napping too long and not going out, a Gilberto Gil cover of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” blasted from the speakers within the house. Rum and Coke was prepared as Diego, a friend of Juan’s showed up. Another incredibly friendly and engaging rosarino, Diego was also impressed by my Spanish and the fact that I knew of subtle cultural references. Again, living in a place for a year and a half has its benefits.
We decided to head to one of the clubs by the riverfront, but got there late and had to wait in line until 3 am when the bouncers told us there was no more room. Beautiful people were all around us and several other clubs offered a possibility to dance and stay out til dawn, so we headed over to a club frequented by mostly younger people, but likewise had a great time dancing until the horizon began to clear up. Getting dropped off at the hostel by Diego, we paused for a moment to see the sun rising by the Flag Memorial, capping off a great day and night.
I had to get up at 10 am to check out of the hostel, but walked around to Parque España to kill time and burned a bit more, eventually walking over half of the city to get to Juan’s place for lunch with the gang. My bus home was leaving at 4 pm, which was perfect to get back with ease before work tomorrow, but left me wanting more time in Rosario. The others had plans to kayak to an island and camp out for the night, but alas, I’m a working man. Andrea prepared a wonderful lunch of ñoquis, chicken and salad, and we ate well once again. I thought I’d have to walk to the hostel and then take a bus to quickly make it back in time, but Diego and another friend showed up and we all piled into the car. They drove me to the hostel to get my bag and then dropped me off at the bus terminal, sealing the deal on hospitality and what we say as “buena onda” or “good vibes”. The short time in Rosario couldn’t have been better, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I just wish I had more time there.
As the bus pulled out of town a smile broke across my face thinking about what a great trip it was, and it confirmed in my mind that I need to have travel in my life to be happy. It also reminded me that there are so many places and people outside of Buenos Aires worth knowing. I highly recommend a trip to Rosario, and urge you to spend enough time there to truly enjoy it.