The perfect steak, almost

Trip Start Mar 07, 2009
Trip End Apr 08, 2010

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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

5th August – 10th August 2009

Hike across town and got the ferry to Colonia de Sacremento in Uruguay. The 3 hr stint was surprisingly luxurious and very enjoyable. The place we got to was nowt special though, its supposed to be rammed in the summer months but here it is winter and despite it not being too cold the place is deserted, still its what you make of it. We checked in to our hostel which was really nice and scoped the place out. It has nice cobbled streets,a pleasant sea view and a cool lighthouse plus loads of stray smelly dogs. Chowed down on some home cooked gnocchi that night and next morning took a walk along the local beaches. It turned into a bit of a hike in the end, as it always does and we checked out the campsite we intended to stay in but luckily we asked about it at the tourist info place who said it was closed. We assumed for the winter but by the looks of it the gaff had been unoperational for about 20 years, thanks lonely planet. So we didn't stay there long, walked back along the beach, fed the horse and got our bus ticket out of there for the following day.

The bus to the Uruguayan capital Montevideo was only 2.5 hours and again the bus was comfortable. I was keen to see the place with my own eyes after telling an impressionable you kid in Thailand that the place was a hole. His dad was none too pleased as he was about to be transferred their in his job as a diplomat and was trying to convince his kid it was paradise. I based my views on simply assuming it was a huge filthy slum of a metropolis because it was in South America but it was actually nothing of the sort, it was a small filthy slum pit but give it its dues, I was able to get the steak I had been dreaming about, about 3 inches thick of succulent sirloin, a bit over cooked for my liking but otherwise heaven on a plate. On the way back from the steak house a load of homeless guys, all quite large started off on one and I was like "here we go again" but after I said I had no idea what he was on about, he said, according to Ang, ah no problem he doesn't understand and backed off, which was nice, I must get a new coat, or rough it up a bit!

Saw a few museums that day including a photographic exhibition with some stunning stuff, but also some pretty naff pictures which I reckon I could better myself. Walked around the Rambla which is the coastal road, dodging all the dog crap on the pavements, the place is loaded with it, its supposed to be quite a well to do country as well as far as South America goes. Stayed a couple of days in all then got a bus to Salto in the West of the country.

The bus journey again was a pleasure. Its a pleasant change not to have to worry about the stuff going walkabout or having touts blitzing you as soon as you get off the bus. We even got a free coke and a wagon wheel! Got to Salto after dark and trekked across town about 20 minutes to our hostel. It was turbo expensive but this place seems to be that way though I cant see why, so we just took it. We had the place practically to ourselves though as it has been open only 3 weeks which was nice. The supermarket was next door and we had a microwave (a first on this trip) so we chowed down on some jacket potato and some pasty type things, and a tin of peas for vitamins before washing a crap film on our cable telly and bed.

Next morning we got a bus to what we thought was a natural hot springs but it turned out to be a kiddies water park with I suspect artificially heated pools. The bus back was 6 hrs later so we made the most of it and it turned out to be really good with a wave pool and several jacuzzi type things. Gave the slides a miss this time though, they looked a bit gay.

After that we went back for some micro curry and another jacket potato, got to make the most of it! And prepared to head back into Argentina the following morning.

We had intended to go to Rio in Brazil next but have decided against it, partly because I am getting the hang of Spanish a bit now ( I emphasize a bit), Ang speaks Spanish well so neither of us particularly want to learn Portuguese. Rio is about 1000 miles up the coast so though it sounds awesome it is too much of an effort but we were still gonna do it but we read the book about it some more and to put it in perspective, about Buenos Aires it warns you to steer clear of the non tourist streets of La Boca or you may be relieved of your valuables, which we found out to be pretty reliable advice. And thats all it says really, of Rio it says this:

  • Do not leave your hotel with anything you can afford to lose!

  • Don't take any buses after dark, take taxis

  • Don't take any old taxi, as most will rob you, take the expensive radio taxis, these are usually safe!

  • Don't walk the central streets or any beaches on weekends or in the evening!

  • Keep large wads of small bills to give up in the case of a robbery!

  • If you get robbed, hand over the goods as thieves will not hesitate to use weapons if provoked!
And on top of that Brazil is just about the most expensive place to travel in South America.

Forget it!
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