The timewarp that is Uruguay

Trip Start Jan 08, 2010
Trip End Jun 21, 2010

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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Our Uruguay experience started in Colonia del Sacremento.  Colonia was just a 3.5 hour ferry ride from BA.  You can literally see the skyscrapers of BA from the Colonia shoreline.  I think the distance between the two is around 50km.  The old sector of the town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The old buildings are a mix of Spanish and Portguese influence.  This signifies the historic struggle between the two powers in this area.  The streets are all cobbled, which makes driving dune buggies and golf buggies around town quite an interesting affair.  This may seem a bizarre thing to have written, but the thing to do in Colonia, for tourists at least, is to rent a buggie and buzz around the streets.  Naturally we did likewise.  After an hour of buzzing through the town we felt like we had been operating jack-hammers on a roadworks gang.  An hour was definietly long enough.  Most of the fun came about from chasing other guys from our tour, usually the wrong way down one way roads.  Approaching intersections was always an interesting moment.  I can safely say (safe probably isn't the best word) we had no idea who was to give way to who.  But it didn't look like the locals did either.  We just had a policy of giving way to everyone. This seemed to work!
Montevideo was another kettle of fish. Everything is set in the 70's.  Apparently Uruguay has the highest standard of living of all South American countries. You wouldn't know it from walking the streets of Montevideo.  There are quite a few homeless people and a problem with minor crime by kids on the streets.  Within being in the city for about half hour we had our own police escort.  There are tourist police everywhere on account of the cruise ships that now frequent the city.  For lunch we went to a gigantic warehouse full of steak restaurants.  It was pretty hot going, as the climate outside was rife with humidity and inside the warehouse parrillas were burning red hot.  The food was fantastic but as always the quantity was too  great.  They simply do not know how to portion meals when it comes to meat.  In the future we are going to have to share meals.  However, the value for money is astounding with a lunch session including steak, sides of salad and fries, bread plus many, many beers costing  us  around $15 aussie each.  Due to the heat we camped out in the hotel for most of the night, when we should have visited the local clubs.  We found out later that it was actually hotter in our rooms that on the we should have gone out.  Oh well.
The next day we spent in some town in Uruguay (which obviously left a lasting impression on us because we cannot remember the name of it!)... we think it was Salto.  Anyway we spent the day at some water park to get relieve from the heat.  We had an awesome game of water basketball.  There were a few back injuries as a result but it was a great contest.

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