Where Have All the Hippies Gone?

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Day 375: Buenos Aires, Argentina

I’ve been in Buenos Aires only two days but I already caught the buzz everyone heads to La Bomba de Tiempo on Monday nights. No one gave any specifics, only that it is amazing.

Without any details I imagined an Argentine hippie-like drum circle on a grassy hill with red wine and other substances generously being passed amongst the audience.

Along my travels I have met many Argentine hippies. They play their drums, sell bracelets to tourists and sip mate all day.

This would be the congregation of all of them in Buenos Aires. This would be them in their element.

 

Wrong.

 

la bomba tiempo konex

No grassy hills or Argentine hippies but I was right about the drugs and alcohol. With a group from my hostel, I made my way to a concrete building where outside they sold space cakes and electric lemonade.

I entered this giant entertainment complex to find masses of people but not the hippies I had imagined. In fact most of them were blond.

 

Wait a minute, this is a gringo place!

 

Yes it was. There were some Argentines but most of them hipsters not hippies and the place was packed with expats and backpackers drinking giant cups of overpriced beer and smoking weed.

I was disappointed. Where is the drum circle?

 

Feeling a bit deflated I went inside and everything changed. The band was amazing and for two straight hours we danced to rhythm along with all the other gringos.

I didn’t care that this wasn’t an authentic Argentine hippie drum circle.

It was a lot of fun.

So much so that I’m losing my travel snobbery and embracing my gringaness. I’ll be there again next week.

 

Join the Conversation

  1. Haha gringaness! I’m stealing that one. But with an O.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I’m not sure I invented it but it’s all yours πŸ™‚

  2. Amy | She Wears Many Hats says:

    Sounds like a fun night. Nothing beats a night of good music.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      So true, a good night out usually involves music.

  3. Katherina says:

    When I was in Buenos Aires, I went over to Las CaΓ±itas and Palermo Soho for my nights out – it was a lot of fun (specially Palermo Soho and the one bar with the cheapest gin tonics I had ever seen).
    For the read hippies, you would have to go to a park when there’s good weather – incredible reggae music playing live while a lot of people sit around drinking beers. That’s the reason why I want to live there, some day πŸ™‚
    PS: Check out Los Pericos for some good argentinian reggae!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Ooh I need to know the name of the bar with cheap gin and tonics. I will definitely check out Los Pericos.

  4. Stephanie says:

    It was cool to see once. The show was great, but I won’t go back. I think it is over-priced for what it is. And they charged the same inflated beer prices that you would pay at a concert in the US.

    I wonder if that’s because all the gringos are willing to pay. Hmmm…

    1. Sounds like most hostels, especially the party type. High priced food and beer. πŸ™ That doesn’t mean it’s not fun!

  5. You’ll do the local bit soon enough, I’m sure – tango with some hot porteΓ±o, perhaps…

  6. Sounds like fun and I look forward to reading about the drum circle which I’m sure you’ll inevitably find πŸ™‚

  7. Thanks for helping us with a plan for our first night in BsAs, which happens to be this Monday =)

  8. Debbie Beardsley says:

    This post shows how important it is to go with the flow and embrace what comes. Fun is made when you want it! Glad it turned out good and hope you find your authentic drums soon πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I love drum circles but not enough to go on a worldwide search of them, this was just as much, maybe more!

  9. Sounds and looks like a good time. I’m curious what is in “electric lemonade?”

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I would guess vodka and lemonade but vodka is not cheap here, which actually makes me worry what cheap alcohol they did find…

  10. Amy @ Nomadtopia says:

    Wow, it sounds like La Bomba has changed a lot! I haven’t been in a year or more, but I used to go occasionally when I first moved here in 2007 and definitely saw it grow – both the crowds and the price increased! It definitely still had a more local than foreign crowd back then, though. One time, it must have been in 2008 or so, I was standing in line with another foreigner or two and the Argentine in front of me asked us how we found out about the place–I certainly didn’t think it was any secret even by that point, but she seemed surprised that foreigners would know about it. I wonder if the “real” hippies have given up on it and gone somewhere else (yes, the parks are a good guess!). But you’re right–the music is amazing either way! Glad you had fun.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      The hostels really push it, posters everywhere and the price just increased to 35 pesos – yikes!

      1. Amy @ Nomadtopia says:

        Damn! I swear it was 12 pesos back at the time I was describing.

        1. Ayngelina Author says:

          Oh I am sure, the week before I was there it was 30 pesos, they keep raising it and people keep going.

  11. Roy | cruisesurfingz says:

    I guess the hippies move out of big cities huh? Unless you’re in Toronto!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      True, the hippies in Toronto live downtown πŸ™‚

  12. It sounds like it was a good time and it looks like there were loads of people! It may be a gringa activity, but hey, fun is fun! Enjoy Buenos Aires! I’m not gonna lie… I’m really really jealous. I’d love to go to Buenos Aires:)

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It’s an amazing city. I think I will make it my base for the Fall if I can save my pennies because it is expensive!

  13. Jeremy B says:

    I thought you didn’t like to dance? If that is the case, you would fit right in with the rest of the gringos! πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Oh no no no. I love to dance, I just cannot dance!

  14. Gareth Leonard says:

    Bomba is an epic dance party, but you’re right… every time I go there seems to be more and more gringos. I hope Konex can maintain its awesome international vibe.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      When the gringos came the price went up to 35 pesos, which is crazy for BsAs standards where most things are super cheap or free. They have started a few new shows as well, I’m going to check them out.

  15. Claire (Travel Funny Travel Light) says:

    Sometimes you just gotta own the gringaness.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      So true, I don’t feel an ounce of guilt for this one either.

  16. The NVR Guys says:

    Jealous that you are in BsAs. We are planning a trip back ourselves.

    We have had some of the most fun of our lives in BsAs. Granted, it took us a week to recover each time, but it was totally worth it.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I don’t know how long ago you were here but the prices have skyrocketed in the last 3 years, inflation here is insane.

  17. Sarah Wu says:

    From the video , looks like tons of music and fun. Even you didn’t find the hippie drum circle. Did you drink a lot? Seems like a fun night

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      They sell litre beers for $6 but I would advise against it because the bathrooms are not the greatest yet there is a long line.

  18. Die your hair red.. the ginga gringa?

    Sounds like fun, but please update us on the real B.A. if/when you find it?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Well it turns out most of the locals also know about La Bomba, although they went years ago and are onto the next thing.

      I haven’t figured out what that is yet!

  19. Love it! Sometimes gringos can be fun eh?

    I’m glad you liked the place, I love finding a great bar with a great atmosphere, especially when there is live music! Although, I’ve been rather lame here in Florence lately. Now that the weather is nice and I only have 3 weeks left (ahhh) I better get exploring!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Three weeks left, you better start eating twice as much as well!

  20. Haha take me!!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I think Andrea and John are going (see comment above) you guys should all go together.

  21. Lindsay aka @_thetraveller_ says:

    It was not what I was expecting either, alas I also had a great time. I found it too packed inside there though. Disliked dancy people who kept bumping me = spilling beer = πŸ™

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Ahh now they don’t allow beer inside, only outside, makes things much better.

  22. jamie - cloud people adventures says:

    i honestly think i could have written the exact same post after seeing la bomba del tiempo. before they started i was way skecptical. then they tore the place apart. i was glad i was wearing my dancing shoes.
    there was a guy in a pig suit who was crowd-surfing. weird.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      The only weird thing was in the encore a bunch of guys took their shirts off and it kind of turned into a mosh pit but the conductor saw it and slowed down the music.

  23. Adriana Perez Vieira says:

    I would be expecting bohemians, too πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing

  24. Vince (AnnArbor, Michigan) says:

    Ayngelina,

    I believe that in this post,
    you have asked two of the most profound questions of our age.

    Namely, Were have the hippies gone? And I think more importantly, where is the weed?

    Keep up your good work.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Oh Vince that made me laugh!

  25. Justin Hamlin says:

    I don’t get why so many of the “backpacker” types (even more as exhibited in the comments here) are so against anything “touristy”

    Guess what, its all new to you, wether it is “touristy”, “gringo” or whatever. Stop the stereotypes and the apprehension and just go make the most of your time…

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I think it’s a bit of backlash of fellow backpackers who come to a country and all they do is either stay in the hostel or party all night at clubs, why bother coming to a country if you don’t see it.

      Here I made the first mistake by assuming, when I should learn to never assume.

  26. Will@Hippie Bags says:

    The hippies are still around. Different country different meaning a hippie is not a hippie everywhere you go.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      So true and believe me there are so many Argentina hippies, I wonder if they have all left the country…

  27. Mark Wiens says:

    I visited this show about 2.5 years ago, and while it was quite entertaining (I did enjoy the drum beats), I shared your similar thoughts of the feel of the place….I don’t remember there being an inside, maybe the place has changed since then?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      The week before I went it was outside, I am not sure if they moved it inside because it is Fall or because the acoustics are better.

  28. La Bomba de Tiempo is a blast – especially in the summer. That’s when you will find the Konex bustling and busy with plenty of Argentine hippies – and the gringos will stand out less. The current Fall weather is a definite game-changer. As with so much of life – and Buenos Aires – timing is everything.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Well I guess that decides things, I’ll have to stick around for summer!

  29. Sounds like a fun night in the end. πŸ™‚ My friend’s Argentinian and blonde so you never know – you may have had a few locals there. πŸ˜‰

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      True not so much the hair in Buenos Aires but the clothes, lots of pyjama pants around.

  30. Christine says:

    I read this with a big smile on my face. I too fell under the “Bomba” spell when I lived there back in 2008. Sometimes you just have to let go and enjoy it. Although there weren’t as many tourist then, the ones I did meet I am still friends with so… πŸ™‚

  31. I’m glad you stayed and ended up having a good time!

    The hours kept by Argentinians is crazy though..I couldn’t keep up with having dinner at 1 AM and then partying until six every night!

  32. GRINGO PLACE!

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