Estancia La Porteña

On Saturday, a couple of students from my program went to an estancia, or a ranch. These places used to owned by caudillos or the landed elite and demonstrate the rich history of Argentina. The estancia we visited is called La Porteña and is about an hour away from the city.

Currently in Buenos Aires, it’s fall and very uncharacteristically cold which I think made the scene a bit more beautiful. Being surrounded by nature and the rustic outdoors makes the cold weather comforting.

Estancia La Porteña

Estancia La Porteña

We arrived at 10 in the morning and were greeted by empanadas, a breaded perogie-shaped biscuit filled with meat or veggies. We then proceeded to watch a gaucho unsaddle his horse and teach us how gauchos would sleep in the fields in the 18th century.

We took a short walk in the forest and learned a bit about the history of the estancia. Many of the trees brought to it were from different countries like an old Lebanese tree and a huge ombu that happens to just be a humongous bush.

Ombu; bush not a tree

Ombu; bush not a tree

The group had turns riding on a horse carriage around the estancia and we also got to see the pig and piglets. Shortly after we got served asado, which many foreigners confuse with barbeque but it is not. It is not smothered by barbeque sauce it’s Argentine-cooked meat on a special grill fired by wood logs not charcoal. Juicy pieces of sausage, vacio, and lomo are served outside surrounded by your friends where you proceed to speak about futbol not soccer and politics.

At this particular asado we were served a buffet of food all the meat you could want, chorizo or sausage, chicken, salad, bread, and wine. In short it was wonderful.

Whilst we were eating dessert and drinking coffee later we were basically serenaded by the gauchos performing love ballads and typical gaucho songs. We were then met by another gaucho that performed horse yoga with his horse. This was the most different thing I have witnessed in Argentina, when ever I started to understand it it got weird again. Horse yoga is basically used to build a relationship with the horse and calm it down.

IMG_1974

With that we ended the evening which was relaxing and all in all was wonderful. I absolutely love estancias, you can spend a day or a weekend there getting away from the chaos that is the city.

Gorgeous field on otherwise cold day.

Gorgeous field on otherwise cold day.

A Successful Semester

I’m starting off my last official Australia post by saying that I’m not quite sure what to say. After a week at home recovering from jet lag, catching up on appointments, unpacking, and repacking for my summer internship, I’m still finding it hard to believe that my semester has concluded. While I’m incredibly excited to start my internship and begin a new exciting chapter of my life, I’m equally sad to be writing the last chapter on my semester in Australia. I feel so overwhelmed with the things I’ve learned and gained and experienced abroad, that I don’t even know where to start in wrapping it up.

Have Dreams, Will Travel

The past four and a half months have enforced that I love traveling. I also am very satisfied that I kept blogging throughout my time abroad, and have even decided to create my own personal blog for future travels! In total, I visited three countries and 12 major cities, took 13 flights, and spent approximately 77 hours on an airplane. Every experience I had brought new faces and new places. I also made many connections with people from all across the world that I now have the opportunity to stay connected with. Spending a semester abroad has reinforced my beliefs that studying abroad is a fantastic way to become a more knowledge person, get to know yourself and others better, and discover a love for trying new things. I encourage anyone who has this opportunity to follow their dreams.

Friends & I during the last week abroad

Friends & I during the last week abroad

Oz

Since as far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to visit Australia. I’ve always thought it would be amazing, but it truly has exceeded all my expectations. Generally, Australian’s are very knowledgeable with world news, and very observant on how different events affect different countries. While major cities are a little more upbeat, most of the country is relaxed and their work ethics humane. Although costs of living there are higher overall than the average in the US, the benefits are also larger, and their way of life is less stressful. It was great to about the Australian way of life, and get to live it for a little while!

The spirit of Australia

The spirit of Australia

I very much hope to make it back to Australia at some point in my future, but I feel like I am already left with a lifetime of beautiful memories. The most incredible thing for me is that I filled my semester to the MAX exploring, travelling, and checking things off my bucket list, however there were still many things left undone. I definitely did as much as physically possible, however there are just so many amazing opportunities throughout Australia. I had a life changing experience abroad, and until next time (there will be a next time), I’m left to say Cheers, mate!

Byron Bay

Today was a special day for many reasons, and it lived up to all my expectations. First, it’s my 21st birthday, second it’s my last day in Australia, and third we got to visit Byron Bay!

At Last

All semester I had been wanting to visit Byron Bay, a hippie beach town about an hour South of campus. A bunch of my friends went on a trip early on, but I didn’t join the first time since I was a bit overwhelmed with all the different travel options, and every other time just didn’t seem to work out. Somehow, the last week of school I found myself frantically trying to pull strings to make one last trip before leaving Gold Coast, but it was the one thing that just didn’t happen.

However, upon return to Brisbane Tuesday night, we chatted with our Airbnb hosts for a little while, and the women ended up offering to drive us down to Byron and back the next day! Since she works from home she could fit it in her schedule, plus it was a good excuse for a getaway to place she loved as well. One big thing I’ve learned this semester is that sometimes strangers do incredibly nice things for people, and more people should be that way. That evening we had a glass of wine to celebrate 21, and planned on getting up very early to make the day worthwhile. With one open day left in Australia and one destination that had yet to be covered, it’s easy to see that I was over the moon!

Byron Bay

The next morning, after two and a half hours of driving, we arrived in Byron! It was a lovely little place, and just as I imagined it. We parked and took a quick look at the beautiful beach, then headed downtown for some coffee and breakfast at one of the many cafes.

Byron is just about in the middle of the east coast, very close to the north border of New South Wales. In the past, the area has been used heavily for industrial and agricultural production, and while it still continues today, it is also a huge tourist destination. Many different types of tourists visit, including celebrities for the boho-chic escape (Miley Cyrus was there a week ago), everyday tourists, and many backpackers traveling through the area. Most people come to Byron for its laid-back and relaxed spirit, where hippies can gather for yoga, music, and art events on the beach with friends. Sounds pretty good, right?

Lighthouse & Watego Beach

After spending the morning casually exploring the town, we drove up to the Cape Byron Lighthouse and had a stunning view of the beach from above. We read about the history of the lighthouse, spotted dolphins swimming just off the coast, and soaked up the sun. Then we followed the short but steep trail down the from the outlook to Watego Beach below. It always amazes how blue the water is, and what a pristine picture nature creates. Along the way, we also stumbled upon an outlook that is actually the most easterly point of the Australian mainland! A few footsteps, and many photos later, we arrived at the beach, where we met our friend who drove the car down as we walked.

View from the lighthouse observation deck

View from the lighthouse observation deck

Most easterly point of Australian mainland

Most easterly point of Australian mainland

Overlook of point outlook during walk

Overlook of point outlook during walk

Coastal view along walk

Coastal view along walk

Although it was cold out (for people like me who hate the cold), we were determined enough to put on our swimsuits and at least put our feet in the water. My mom (brave woman) actually went swimming, but it was just too cold for me!

Watego Beach

Watego Beach

Beach Hotel

After driving around the area looking at the beautiful and expensive homes and rental properties, we headed back to Byron for lunch at the Beach Hotel restaurant. Our friend said it’s basically a right of passage to eat there if you’re in Byron, and I can see why. Just across the road from the beach, this lovely pub-style restaurant has two bars, a counter to order at, a large stage, and plenty of outdoor seating. It was a great way to appreciate the area, and a fabulous place to enjoy a glass of wine as a newly legal adult! The atmosphere was so pleasant, and we were thrilled that our friend suggested that we eat there.

Beach Hotel

Beach Hotel

The Farm

After a bit more shopping, we started to make our way home, stopping at The Farm Byron Bay. This property is about 15 minutes inland of the beach, and is a working farm with added features. They offer tours and workshops to explain how the farm operates, and also have a garden shop, large restaurant, and cafe on site. It looks as though it would be a fantastic venue to rent out for events like receptions and parties! Although nothing was really opened when we stopped by, it looked close to being ready to open to the public.

On the [Plane] Again

On the back, I still couldn’t believe how perfectly the day pulled together. Somehow, even if there was some rearranging needed or stress involved, everything just seemed to eventually work out throughout my entire semester. I practically had tears in my eyes driving back to Brisbane, but the happy and thankful kind. We had plenty of time to clean up from a day at the beach and finish packing, then took all our luggage ourselves to the airport for one last flight itinerary. It was difficult to board the plane leaving Australia, but all in all, I had to smile through the threatening tears at just how lucky I had been. I have not taken single thing for granted, and was incredibly satisfied with the entirety of my stay abroad. And throughout the flights back home, I will have plenty of time to put my thoughts in order and start wrapping up my semester and travels in and around Australia!

Back to Bondi (Sydney Day 4)

Today our friends took us on another short driving tour of the city, exploring a different area.

Centennial Park

First we stopped at Centennial Park, which was designed in 1811 and opened to the public in 1888. This area is unique because it is a beautiful recreational park in the center of busy downtown Sydney. With stunning views, lovely wildlife, and happy people, it is definitely worth a visit!

Centennial Park

Centennial Park

Duckling in Centennial Park

Duckling in Centennial Park

Wildlife in Centennial Park

Wildlife in Centennial Park

Bondi Beach

Next we headed to Bondi Beach, which I had been lucky enough to visit when I was in Sydney earlier in the semester. Our friends walked with us through the town, and we went into a few shops in addition to taking in the beautiful Bondi Beach views. If you continue along the coast, you can follow the trail to the end destination of Coogee Beach.

Mom & I on the coastal walk

Mom & I on the coastal walk

Bondi to Bronte

We followed the Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk trail to Bronte Beach, and the views along the way were just as breathtaking as I remembered. We took plenty of photos along the way, and made it to Bronte all to fast.

Classic coastal walk view

Classic coastal walk view

Since we had some extra time, we walked to the coastal lookout on the far side of Bronte, and checked out the original saltwater pool. This pool sits right on the ocean’s edge, and the waves overflow into the pool basin, filling it with nature saltwater.  Originally this pool was only open to women for several hours of the day on specific days. Today, anyone can enjoy it free of charge. A more very similar, but more modern day, infinity pool is present at Bondi Beach, called Icebergs. Although it’s mimicked after Bronte’s pool, you must be a club member or pay to swim there!

Original saltwater pool

Original saltwater pool (Bronte)

New saltwater pool (Bondi)

New saltwater pool (Bondi)

Rock formation near Bronte Beach

Rock formation near Bronte Beach

To wrap up our day, we had lunch at a café overlooking Bronte Beach, then headed back to our bed and breakfast to finish packing. Before we knew it, we were on the way to the airport for one last day in Brisbane prior to heading home!

Exploring Sydney (Days 2 & 3)

During the next two days, we explored downtown Sydney, Darling Harbor, and the surrounding areas.

The Rocks

This morning our friends drove us around the area of Paddington, a wealthier area that we were staying in during our visit. They showed us nearby suburbs and beaches, and eventually we made our way back to Darling Harbor. We visited the Rocks Markets, an open-street market held on Saturdays and Sundays just off of Darling Harbor. It is home to lovely little craft vendors and artisans, and we spent the afternoon wandering through the setup. After lunch at a nearby café, we caught a ferry ride back to Double Bay, where our friends picked us up after a full day of enjoying Darling Harbor.

Later that evening we took a long walk through the neighboring park, across the small suburb, down to Double Bay, and along the water to the Point. It was a relaxing way to end the evening, and a beautiful view of the water and marina. That evening we had leftovers and talked to our bed and breakfast host for a long while. It was quite a relaxing evening!

The Opera House

The next day we toured the iconic Opera House, and it was well worth it! The beautiful and magnificently structured building houses three smaller theaters, a larger concert hall, and opera/ballet theater. The original design was selected among around 200 others who entered a contest to see their work come to life. The building went through several obstacles during its construction, and by the time it was completed, the original designer, Jorn Utzon, was never able to actually see his work come to life. Regardless, the building is still a masterpiece, with a series of shells creating a roof far above the actual roof of the theater buildings.

Mom & I outside the Opera House

Mom & I outside the Opera House

Inside of the Opera House

Inside of the Opera House

The Botanical Gardens

Next we explored Sydney’s Royal Botanical Gardens, a huge complex spanning for 30 hectares in the heart of the city. This beautiful property is very well kept, and is home to many species of flora. We had lunch at the café in the gardens, then explored through Hyde Park on our way to downtown.

Interesting tree in the botanical gardens

Interesting tree in the botanical gardens

Ibis bird

Ibis bird

Example of a hut used in aboriginal life

Example of a hut used in aboriginal life

Pitt Street

Downtown, we walked around Pitt street, the shopping mecca of Sydney. We explored a bunch of shops, and visited the renovated Queen Victoria Building. Originally a municipal market, the QVB was restored in 1986, and now is home to fashion boutiques, jewelry stores, home shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Inside the Queen Victoria Building

Inside the Queen Victoria Building

Bei Amichi

For dinner, we joined our friends for a fantastic dinner at a well-reputed Italian restaurant. We spent the night catching up and remarking on the amazing food, and eventually headed back for our last evening in Sydney.

Exploring the past two days in Darling Harbor and Paddington was just lovely!

Blue Haze (Sydney Day 1)

This evening we arrived in Sydney, and enjoyed a lovely dinner at our friend’s apartment. By late evening we were exhausted, and headed across the street to the bed and breakfast we had booked.

Blue Haze

The next morning we visited the Blue Mountains, my second time, but my mom’s first time in the area. However, today was a unique day because planned burns were happening throughout the mountains. This area of Australia has been very dry lately, which makes forest fires more of a threat. In order to reduce the risk of fires, planned burns are carried out, leaving the entire area in a bit of a blue haze. In fact, the smoke is so strong and travels so far, that it even was hazy that morning in the city (it takes and hour and a half to drive to the blue mountains).

Leura

Our first official stop of the day was at a small town in the Blue Mountains called Leura. We visited this quaint area for high tea, which was a treat from our friends who highly suggested we go. It’s basically a fancy English-style tea, with tea or coffee, scones, mini desserts, and petite sandwiches. It was quite and enjoyable morning! We spent a little while walking through artsy shops, then headed to the actual mountain area.

High tea table setting

High tea table setting

High Tea room

High Tea room

Scenic World

Although a bit touristy, we were glad to stop at this attraction center. Based at the top of the mountains, this discovery center offers a railway or cableway down to a walkway in a lower level of the forest, and a skyway car that travels across a mountain gap and over a huge waterfall. We took the railway down, then walked through the beautiful forest enjoying natural and the local artist exhibitions placed throughout the trail. Then we took the cableway back up, and also went across on the skyway. The center itself was very crowded and the lines were long, but overall it was a great experience!

"Tunnel of Love" artwork along the trail

“Tunnel of Love” artwork along the trail

View from Skyway

View from Skyway

View from Skyway

View of waterfall from Skyway

Darling Harbor

For dinner, we headed to Darling Harbor, and enjoyed fantastic food at Olive, an Italian restaurant on the water. Since it was Saturday night, was also saw the harbor’s weekly firework show. It was a beautiful evening and wrapped the day up perfectly!

Fireworks over Darling Harbor

Fireworks over Darling Harbor

The Hills Are Alive!

I have been a huge fan of ‘The Sound of Music’ ever since that magical VHS first appeared in my Easter Basket way back in 2002. So when I decided to study abroad in Germany, I knew that one place I absolutely had to visit was Salzburg. In fact, Salzburg was number one on my abroad bucket list. So when the plans for our weekend trip finally came to fruition, it was a dream come true!

Five of my friends and I– all girls, we couldn’t convince any of the guys to go with us for a Sound of Music weekend– headed to Salzburg by bus on Friday after class, and after an hour delay in the Munich bus station, finally arrived in Salzburg late Friday night! The hostel we stayed at played the movie nightly at 7pm, but as we had missed it, we instead watched in our room to truly get into the mood of the weekend.

One of my favorite things about getting to a destination at night is that when you wake up the next morning, it’s a complete surprise as to what the place looks like. This is especially wonderful in a city as gorgeous as Salzburg, for as we opened the windows the next morning, singing along to the Sound of Music soundtrack already, the sky was a perfect blue, the sun was shining, birds were singing, and you could see the Alps in the distance. Talk about a picture perfect morning. We headed out to walk around the city and grab breakfast before getting on our Sound of Music Tour at 2. Salzburg is the prettiest, most quaint city I have seen- it is a relatively sleepy town filled with friendly people, churches, pretty facades, and the most gorgeous views of the Alps that you could imagine. My new future plans involve retiring to Salzburg and becoming a Sound of Music our guide.

Our Sound of Music tour was everything I could have hoped for and more. On a bus, we drove through the city and to the outskirts where the vistas for the opening scene and the wedding scene was filmed, singing along to the soundtrack the whole time. We stopped at both houses used for the Von Trapp villa  (they used two different locations for the front and the back), and the infamous gazebo! We ended the tour in the Mirabel Palace Gardens, where most of the ‘Do Re Mi’ scene was filmed, and had a great night eating spätzle and drinking bier before heading back to the hostel to watch the Sound of Music… again.

Sunday we went on a tour or the fortress above the city, which offered amazing views over the Alps and Salzburg itself. It was fascinating to be in a fortress that had been occupied by bishops and cardinals of the region rather than princes, as Salzburg was an important religious city for the Catholic church in the region. Since it was a Sunday, and as we have learned abroad Europe shuts down most everything on Sundays, we took a 3pm bus back to Freiburg. All in all, Salzburg  was one of the greatest weekends I’ve had since coming abroad. I now want to retire in Salzburg and become a Sound of Music tour guide! Salzburg truly delivered, and it was hard to leave this little town nestled in the Alps. Next stop: Munich for Frühlingsfest!

'I have confidence' in Salzburg!

‘I have confidence’ in Salzburg!

Rooftops of Salzburg

Rooftops of Salzburg

Sound of Music Tour

Sound of Music Tour

16 going on 17 gazebo

16 going on 17 gazebo

Wolfgangsee

Wolfgangsee

Eating one of my favorite things... crisp apple strudel

Eating one of my favorite things… crisp apple strudel

Alps surrounding Salzburg

Alps surrounding Salzburg

Skipping through the Mirabell gardens

Skipping through the Mirabell gardens


Location: Salzburg, Austria

Little Italy of Australia (Tasmania Day 3)

Looking off of our balcony this morning, it reminds me exactly of the Italian countryside. Apparently, Hobart is the Little Italy of Australia!

MONA

Today we visited the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), which is a very popular attraction in Hobart that nearly everyone told us to visit. It might not be for everyone, but I am incredibly happy went! We started by taking a lovely ferry from downtown Hobart up the Derwin River. Upon arrival, it doesn’t look like much, but at the top of the 99 entrance steps and underground lays the art museum with remarkable architecture and creativity.

Ferry's view of MONA

Ferry’s view of MONA

Entrance to MONA

Entrance to MONA

Stage area behind MONA

Stage area behind MONA

We explored outside, then entered the museum, looking at and thinking about all the artwork inside. Some was a bit dark or disturbing, but majority of the works were very interesting to view. Our of everyone we’ve met, this gallery gives different people very different views. You either love it, or hate it. Luckily, my mom and I thought it was well worth the visit and a fantastic way to spend our last morning in Hobart. If you’re interested in art and creativity, I highly recommend visiting MONA!

Organ/flower artwork

Organ/flower artwork

Skull made of colorful beetles

Skull made of colorful beetles

Wall of art

Wall of art

Live tattoo art

Live tattoo art

By afternoon we were on the way to the airport, headed to Sydney!

Port Arthur (Tasmania Day 2)

Today was probably one of the most incredible days I’ve spent in Australia! We took a three-hour wildlife cruise along the Tasman cliff faces, and later explored Port Arthur.

Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

Our day started with an hour’s drive from Hobart to Eaglehawk Neck. We enjoyed morning tea at a local café, then were transferred to the coast to board our boat. It was a 32-seat boat built like a giant inflatable raft with a roof.

Pennicott Wilderness Journey's cruise boat

Pennicott Wilderness Journey’s cruise boat

The Cruise

We soon set our to explore the incredible Tasman landscape by way of the ocean! We travelled along the eastern cliff edges of the Tasman Sea, down south and around that land section, and eventually into the water channel leading to Port Arthur. Stunned by the staggering cliffs and open sea caves, we soon stopped Waterfall bay, where you could see the marking of where a huge waterfall would flow with enough rain.

Cliff faces

Cliff faces

Sea caves

Sea caves

Our next stop was at a calm inland bay, where an old jetty and boat remains were sunken in the ocean. Years ago a ship ran aground there, and the story can still be envisioned today. Here we saw a flock of birds native to Tasmania that look remarkably similar to penguins. The main difference is they can fly. We also saw a nest of white-chested sea eagles, however did not see any of the actual birds themselves! This area is also a popular camping destination, and although it wasn’t the right season at the time, it can fill up to hold 1200 campers.

Shipwreck

Shipwreck

This was probably the most exciting boat ride I’ve been on, a bit adrenaline pumping but also awesome. As we cruised along the cliff edges, I was so impressed by their brutal beauty. The Southern ocean is not protected by any land masses prior to this point, so by the time Antarctic swells reach the edge of Tasmania, they are extremely powerful. Along the way, we also saw dolphins and seals lying along the cliff edges.

Seals along the cliff edges

Seals along the cliff edges

The Black Coast

Today the swell was a mere 3 meters (distance between the trough and peak of a wave), but next week they are predicting that the largest swell in 10 years is to pass through, at 20 meters. Glad we visited today! These massive swells make the ocean too powerful to take tours out in, and today was one of only 50 days of the year that the water was acceptable to take the tour down the entire coast to Port Arthur, along the most dangerous area called the Black Coast. Typically, a tour will go out at the same start spot, cruise, return to that spot, then be driven down to Port Arthur. However, we were lucky enough to explore the magic of the Southern Ocean and Black Coast!

Port Arthur

This small town started as a convict settlement on the Tasman Peninsula, built during the 18th and 19th centuries. It is a beautiful property, but has a very dark past.

View of Port Arthur from the water

View of Port Arthur from the water

The English empire started sending convicts down to Tasmania because they were running out of room in their prisons. Due to Tasmania’s location and extreme landscaping, it created a natural prison because people literally could not leave the island. This penitentiary was actually built with the intention to help boost the economy by prisoners doing work to send supplies back to Europe and settle the area. In fact, most “prisoners” were not even imprisoned, but were expected to work various jobs around the area, such as fishing or cutting down trees.

Unfortunately, Port Arthur is also the location of Australia’s worst mass murder event, where 35 innocent people lost their lives. This in turn pushed the enactment of Australia’s very strict gun laws, which still exist today.

Inside a penitentiary wing

Inside a penitentiary wing

After two devastating fires among the years, Port Arthur ceased working. At the time, the Queen of England encouraged everyone to gather leftover supplies to rebuild the community, leaving just a shell of the original property. Some has been reconstructed, but you can still imagine its original look. Now, Port Arthur is Tasmania’s top tourist attraction.

View of Port Arthur on land

View of Port Arthur on land

Rosney Hill Lookout

On the bus ride home, our driver surprised us and drove to a beautiful hilltop lookout over Hobart (after sunset). With clusters of downtown areas and homes lit up on the hillside, it was an incredible view, and a perfect way to end such a fantastic day!

Argentina’s Economy

I have begun to work at a digital media company here in Buenos Aires, not only am I gaining experience and all that I am also being introduced to Argentine culture and politics like never before.

Argentina’s new president, Mauricio Macri was elected last November, he is part of the Cambiemos party, a fairly new political party that is a far cry from Kircherismo. Kirchnerismo, is derived from president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Nestor Kirchner. Nestor served one term as president and then was followed by his wife which served two full terms, together they rules the country for 12 years.. Kirchnerismo, is a left leaning party while Cambiemos is more to the right.

Argentine politics really can’t be described. Currently many of the past politicians that served in Cristina’s government have been accused of massive corruption and embezzlement. One of her close friends, Lazaro Baez, benefitted greatly from government contracts. His size of all of his estates put together are about the size of the province of Buenos Aires.

Argentina recently paid their massive debt and as a result economy is struggling, there have been thousands of dismissals from government jobs and inflation is rampant.

I don’t usually frequent supermarkets but I do feel the inflation when I pay for laundry or my lunch. When I first arrived to BA a load of laundry was 70 pesos or roughly $4.50 now it’s 80 pesos or roughly $5.50. It may not seem like a lot but in the long run it is especially if you wash frequently.

I always think that you if you are a middle-class worker in the United States working on a American-dollar based salary then you’d be doing well in Buenos Aires. Many of the services offered here are priced that way. For example, lunch here depending on where you go of course costs upwards of 100 pesos or about $7. Dinner might be more expensive especially if you’re having drinks. Drinks are usually 70-100 ($5-$7) pesos, of course depending on what you order. Also, water here is not free like in the U.S., most of the time you will get charged the same amount as if you had ordered a soda or juice.

Clothes are very expensive in BA, no fast-fashion prices here. The clothes and shoes are expensive and are usually bad quality. I advice you to bring what is necessary taking into account that you might not want to buy any clothes or shoes here. Another issue in the retail business are the sizes, clothes here run small and stores only carry certain numbers. This has to do with the European and American influence on Argentine fashion. Argentina has a huge epidemic of eating disorders only second to Japan.