Street Tango In Montevideo.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Where I stayed
Che Lagarto Hostel Montevideo
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Uruguay  ,
Sunday, January 9, 2011

"That sounds like Tango music!" I exclaimed as we neared a park in the centre of Montevideo, Uruguay. The sound of it was very fresh in our heads as it was only the previous night we had been to a tango show in Buenos Aries. Sure enough as we got closer, we could see couples dancing the tango in the open air - average age 75?! What a delight to watch oldies dance the dramatic tango, totally in sync with each other. My guess is these couples had been together for just about forever and dancing the tango for pleasure together for over 50 years.

Moments like this happen totally by happy accident when travelling. We had arrived late in Montevideo the capital of Uruguay after a rather unsuccessful, troublesome day. Our booked taxi for 6.00am back in Buenos Aries did not arrive and we narrowly made it for our ferry departure to Montevideo. On arrival in Montevideo, we had taken a bus transfer, after the pleasant and uneventful ferry trip, to the very classy and supposedly beautiful Uruguay beach resort of  Punta Del Este, however it rained heavily and it was not possible to see if it lived up to its hype, although we were not particularly impressed. We then caught a bus back to Montevideo but got offloaded well before the city to a large car park, with makeshift tents set up. We found an "informes" sign and the lady got the message across to us that there had been a fire at the bus station! Further we would need to get on another bus that would take us to the station. We still haven't been able to work out exactly why our bus could not go in, but the transfer bus could? It was beyond our limited Spanish. 

On arrival at the bus station, we could indeed see there had been a fire and the station was not fully operational. We found a taxi to take us to our hostel, in a gorgeous old decrepit building, three down from the Raddison and then we set out looking for food (10pm and we were starving!) and had the happy circumstance of finding the street tango to watch.   

Our hostel was right on Plaza Independencia in the centre of the city. Staying in hostels is always an exciting hit and miss - what will it be like? Che Lagarto hostel in Montevideo was full of character, loads of stairs and massively high ceilings and doors.The electricity wiring would make any Aussie electrician have a heart attack. Power to our room came in through the balcony doors from another room!  It was hot and with no fan we sweltered, as we could not have the french door open, as the balcony was shared with other rooms. A peaceful sleep alluded us. We have had a bit of a run with noisy hostels and being on the main square, on a Saturday night, meant there was no possibility of quiet!

Next morning, though, we were up and ready to go see the sights, after our included breakfast. We walked many kilometers around the city and beaches and out onto the groin to watch the fisherman. As it was Sunday little was open, so we went into a supermarket to buy the ingredients for a picnic lunch, which we took to the park. When we were finished Avan was taking the left overs to a bin when he was approached by a homeless man who (and I am guessing here, as it was said in Spanish) politely asked if there was anything to have, before it went into the bin? Avan was a bit taken aback, but handed over the package as there was some left over bread roll and cheese, which we decided was not worth taking on the bus. Feeling a little pleased our food did not go to waste, we heeded off to the bus station at 5.00pm to catch a bus to Colonia, the other place we had chosen to visit in Uruguay.   
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