A day trip to Uruguay
Trip Start Feb 16, 2012
79Trip End May 03, 2012
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
I was still deciding whether I would head to Tigre in Argentina or Colonia in Uraguay today. Had breaky with Peter and Robyn at 9am as their taxi to the airport was coming at 10. I am so lucky to have met them and was really grateful that they included me in meals etc as it is way more fun than dining on your own! After our farewells I headed upstairs to sort out my backpack then came downstairs to talk to Phillipe on the front desk about my options. With his help I booked a return day pass ticket to Colonia del Sacremento and then jumped in a cab to the port. More stamps for my passport now - another one exiting Argentina and now one entering Uruguay.
The ferry was the fast one (1 hour) and was big enough to take cars on the crossing. I arrived in hot sunny Uraguay at around 2pm local time (1pm Argentina time) and started walking into the Barrio Historico (historic district) and instantly came across about 100 awesome photo opportunities!
Colonia was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and really appears to have been untouched by time. Established around 1680 as a buffer colony by the Portuguese against the Spanish and it has beautiful preserved colonial artistry down its quiet bougainvillia-draped cobblestone streets.
I had a lunch of empanadas and salad then took off to explore more. I climbed the spiral staircase in the Faro (lighthouse) and took photo's from the top - although it was very windy from up there and you felt like you might blow off the top! Negotiating the narrow spiral staircase, especially when others were coming in the opposite direction, was an interesting challenge!
There is a beautiful basilica Iglesias Matriz which is dated back to 1680 - so peaceful inside and I have included a photo or two.
I sat it the square Plaza de Lobo and had a coffee (interesting - very strong! I was scheduled to return on the 7pm ferry and at about 5:30 the weather started to turn - the skies became black and the wind was very strong. I wandered (well, practically blew!) down to the sea shore as the scene across the water was amazing - huge black sky. After taking a couple of shots I started to feel a few rain drops and thought I better start heading to the ferry wharf. I starting walking as briskly as I could because the rain started to come. At this stage it was coming in from the sea on a 90 degree angle so I stuck to walking beside buildings that could protect me. As I got closer to the wharf the rains really whipped in and I was almost blown off my feet - I have never felt wind that strong before. Within about a minute I was soaked - as was everyone it seemed!
I checked in and then went through customs to board the ship. When I was booking my ticket this morning there were no tourist class tickets left (damn shame!) so for about $10 AUD more I booked first class. So glad I did because as I boarded I got handed a glass of champagne and got to sit in really comfortable seats in a different section from the riff-raff! Just hoping the weather doesn't make the trip home to difficult - not sure that first class seats will make the trip any smoother! Fingers crossed and I will update when I get back to my hotel.
Trip back was fine although it was difficult to walk anywhere! When we got back to the port in BA it was raining - yep, raining. Thunder and lightning and rain - awesome. Had to walk in the rain to try and find a cab and got lucky. A man tried to steal my cab and leave me in the rain but the cabbie evicted him and came and picked me up. Lucky day. Got back to the hotel at 8 and decided I need to dry off and change. Think I might stay in tonight.
Another country now ticked off my list!