After a few drinks at Cat's — and something else at Cat's, that was rather less pleasant — a big group of us went down to Plaza del Sol, Madrid's central square, to welcome in a Happy New Year ("Feliz Año Nuevo") madrileño-style. Emmanuelle, her Dutch friend, Miguel, Dan, Matt, Kenny and myself headed to the plaza together — although almost the entire hostel went there at some point; not to mention almost all of Madrid at large. It was mad, it was flamboyant, and it was without doubt the most jam-packed crowd I've ever been in. But it was certainly unique. And because this is Spain, midnight was just the beginning.
It was a long night, and it was a good night. Sadly, it was also my last night: Kitzbühel après-ski, I'm going to miss you! After our fun and games at Snowbunnys, Jake and Mitch, Nikolas and Viktor and myself hit the usual pub crawl route: we started at Flannigans, and then eventually moved on to Highways. Flanny's was mainly about the drinking (and the passive smoking — f$#% that place stinks), and Highways was mainly about the dancing. All of it was about partying like only an Austrian mountain village knows how. I got back at about 4am — considering that Jake and Mitch were asleep on the breakfast table the next morning, I hate to think when the hell they returned.
Last night, we went to a crazy trance disco all night long. Tonight, the insane adventure that is "a weekend in BA" continued. No small fry clubs tonight: no sirree, tonight we hit Pacha, the biggest and the most famous of them all. Pacha is an enormous complex, a fair way north of the city centre (near the airport), that holds thousands of people on its two spacious dance floors every Saturday night, and that also regularly plays host to some of the disco world's biggest names, as weekly guest DJs. It was a big night, and an extremely fun one. Now, this is what Argentina is all about.
How to survive staying at a party hostel in BA, and going out all night long, all weekend long:
- Wake up and head upstairs to the hostel's bar, anytime between about 11pm and midnight. Get started on the drinks and the small talk.
- Form a group, choose a club, and head out to said club anytime between about 2am and 3am (no earlier than this — the doors won't be open yet!).
- Party in said club until anytime between 5am and 8am (optimally, leave between 6am and 7am).
- Arrive back at your hostel, and sleep until about midday.
- Hang around in the afternoon, maybe have a steak or two for lunch.
- Go back to sleep at around 6pm or 7pm.
- Repeat steps 1-6 until the weekend is through.
Now that G-d has (hopefully) inscribed me in the Book of Life for the New Year, it's time to get back to sinful business as usual, and to hit that awesome BA party scene! Tonight, after finishing up with day two of Rosh Hashanah (and with Erev Shabbat), I returned to The Clan, and went straight up to the bar (as one does, when one is at The Clan). We the Clan crowd chilled in the bar over (more than) a few drinks, for a while; then, at about 2am, a group of 6 of us headed to the huge disco club of La Diosa (lit: "The Goddess"). I'd say we were just in time for it to open and to start seriously pumping. And seriously pump is exactly what this place did.
Tonight was Saturday night. I'm in Bariloche. And I've just finished doing seven days of intense snowboarding. I don't know what you would have done like at a time like this — but for me, the appropriate course of action seemed obvious enough. Party! Thus it was that, after dinner tonight, I went with the Patanuk crew down to Wilkenny's, an Irish pub and club in the middle of town, and one of the most popular places to rev up the night in Bariloche. Packed with overpriced imported beer, with all the usual music (well above full volume), and with many a fellow latin-dance-challenged gringo, it made for one hell of a night. ¡Viva Bariloche!
Tonight was one hell of a welcome and an introduction to Quito for me. After a sensational dinner of Thai curry chicken — on the rooftop terrace of the Secret Garden — I went out with some of the staff and fellow guests of the hostel, for a very big night on the town. The Mariscal Sucre area in the new town (otherwise known as "gringoland") is the place to go at night: and this being Friday night, it was absolutely packed with people. Can't remember what time I got home tonight, but it couldn't have been too long before the sun rose. Quite a few drinks, quite a few venues, and quite a lot of dancing. The parties never seem to end, here in Ecuador.
Do I really need to write this blog post? Considering what it was already like in the afternoon, I think it's pretty obvious what was going down in Baños tonight, and what Patrick and I got up to. Every place in "bar street" was open, and it was open all night long. Local girls. Copious drinking. Vigorous dancing. Pumping music. Get the picture? It was big — biggest night I've had in quite a while. Baños is the place to be, and this was the night to be here.
Baños may be a tiny little town, but it's party time down here, 7 nights a week. And of all the places to party on "bar street" (the street that we're staying in), the Leprechaun Bar has gotta be the most kicking. Patrick and I came here for the first time last night (after our Tungurahua tour), and we scored the customary free shots of Flaming Bob Marleys. Tonight, there were so many hopeless gringos trying to dance salsa, that we ended up virtually having a salsa class right there on the dance floor!
My bus this evening left Chiclayo at 10pm, and pulled in to the sandy shores of the beach resort town of Máncora at about 3am. Seems like this is about the best possible time to get in — it's that kind of a place. The entire town was pumping full-volume with discos, clubs, and bars. Drunk gringos and sleazy locals everywhere. Girls squealing, hips grinding, beers clinking. Pity that I was too buggered from my bus journey to get into it. I checked into a budget dorm at Sol y Mar (yep, front desk open and kicking at this time), downed two shots of vodka, and crashed until the morning.