Well once again we had an awful night’s sleep. Aside from the ATVs running around until midnight we were awoken at about 5AM by a swarm of cooing pigeons that would just not stop. We wanted to wake up at 7AM so we could walk on the beach and then get some sun and relax but instead we woke up at 8AM. Well we got on the beach and expected it to be much calmer than the night before but it wasn’t. It was still very windy which made it a bit chilly. We walked up and down the beach for about an hour and then decided to head back because it just wasn’t pleasant weather to enjoy the beach, especially with the sand blowing everywhere.
So we left Monte Hermoso by 10:30AM towards Mar del Plata, which we heard was a nice city so we were excited for it. At 12:30PM we stopped in Tres Arroyos, which was a cute little city that looked like it would be a nice place to live in. Everything was paved and organized and the city center had a nice park to relax in. So we stopped to cash out the rest of our pesos and fill up on gas. We also managed to find an empanada place next to the YPF gas station and they were the best we’d had so far on the trip, even though they only had meat, and they were also only AR$60 for a dozen.
We left cute Tres Arroyos and continued towards our destination. By this point the landscape was still farms but now there were enormous sunflower fields. It was so incredibly beautiful to drive past these huge fields of my favorite flower! We also saw many Roseatta Spoonbills and Wood Storks (birds) on our drive, but I couldn’t snap any pictures because we were going too fast. It was very exciting to see some of the same animals that I learned about when I went to the Florida Everglades.
We arrived in Mar del Plata at about 4:30PM and headed towards camping Calasanz (because we saw signs for it and it ended up being closer to downtown than the other 2 campsites in the city). We paid AR$150 for 2 people for the basic sector which wasn’t so bad. Then we went inside…The basic sector had no tables or outlets and barely got any WiFi signal! And the bathrooms were awful!!! There were no seats on the toilets and only one sink for 5 stalls and it didn’t even have a mirror. I also saw a dog sleeping in one of the stalls and it made me so scared to use the bathroom after that.
The facility also had dorms and cabanas to use but the thing that bothered us the most, and that they didn’t mention to us, was that there was a “private” sector in the campsite which was only AR$30 more and was so much better!! You get a nice table and grill, a power outlet and a large overhead lamp and the bathrooms were gorgeous! Well we didn’t know this at the time so we just saw sites with tables and decided to camp there but for some reason we couldn’t get into the bathroom and we thought it was weird so we just used the bad ones. Well we found out later that we were actually sleeping in the private sector and you get a key for the super nice bathrooms. By that point we didn’t care so we just continued sleeping there and just used the bad bathrooms. But I recommend paying a bit more for the nicer site.
After exploring the campground we decided to go to find the tourist information office to get some info and maps (since no one at our campsite really knew much). Well it turns out that Mar del Plata is a big city and no one made that very clear to us so we ended up driving into a huge mess of cars and were caught off guard. We only saw the main downtown area with the casino and central square but we got a very good impression of the city and were excited to go exploring the next day! We also passed many beaches filled to capacity with people and discovered later that this is the beach that everyone from Buenos Aires comes to (since it’s just a few hours away).
We got a lot of info from the tourist office and were also told that the best way to get around was by bus so they directed us to a kiosco nearby that sold bus cards. You only need one card for the whole group, which costs AR$4, and each ride is AR$3.20. It was definitely different than the other cities we had been to on our trip and it was so organized so we went back to the campsite to plan for the next day!
- Left Monte Hermoso @ 10:30AM
- AR$30 = Market
- AR$5 = Toll
- AR$62 = Lunch (empanadas)
- AR$250 = Gas [AR$9.47/L]
- Arrived in Mar del Plata @ 4:30PM
- AR$150 = Camping
- AR$20 = Bus card (AR$16 for rides + AR$4 for the card)
- Total = AR$576