Enjoying Uruguay's Quaint, Historic Gem.

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

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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Monday, January 10, 2011

Take some cobbled stone streets, some beautiful historic buildings sitting on a peninsular and surrounded by the sea, a relaxed "no hurry vibe" with its people, and you have the recipe for Colonia and two days of a bit more relaxed pace for Heather and Avan. We even made time to get haircuts and massages.

We arrived from Montevideo by bus in the early evening and found our lovely little and reasonably priced, Posada (guest house) on foot. We dumped our packs and went out walking to discover Colonia, just as the sun was setting. From a distance we could hear some drums, so we followed the sound and found a group of drummers warming up for what looked to be a drum circle, complete with a fire. While we were listening and watching, a group of women and children started practicing a sort of a parade type dance.  We watched for some time and deduced that it was probably a rehearsal for “Carnivale” which is a big event in Uruguay, just as it is in Brazil.

Reasonably priced restaurants abound in Colonia and people eat very late. We sat down at an empty side walk restaurant at 9.30pm for dinner and by the time we left it was full of diners. We saw diners eating a “Parilla for two” which is a big dish of assorted BBQ meats very popular in both Uruguay and Argentina, and we decided we would try this the following night when we had worked up a larger appetite. Very cheap at around $7A each!

The next day we pampered ourselves with haircuts (very necessary) and for massages (very desirable), then did something quite touristy. We hired a funny bike like vehicle for two to pedal around the town sights. It was loads of fun and also hard work for our not so young leg muscles! At least our muscles were relaxed BEFORE the bike ride from our massages. Avans knee held up OK which was a bonus.

Our long awaited “Parilla” turned out to be a bit of an anti-climax as we had forgotten that we had read about the people of Uruguay love of eating ALL the animal. More than half of the big dish of meat was comprised of offal cooked in different ways and black blood sausage. We only attempted the meat we could identify! 

Our ferry to return us to Buenos Aries was booked for 11.15 am and we left our hostel in plenty of time to walk to the terminal. We arrived at Immigration and found out it was a VERY good thing we had left in plenty of time, as we had a problem! The ferry boarding passes also acted as immigration cards and needed to be presented to immigration to leave the country. I had thrown mine out earlier that morning at the hostel, not realizing its importance.  Adrenalin pumping, I raced outside to look for a taxi but there were none to be had, so Avan stayed at the terminal with the luggage while I raced all the way back to the hostel doing “scouts pace” (run 100 metres, walk 100 metres), breathlessly rushed into the hostel and said “Left documents in room - has it been cleaned yet?”. “No, no, here is the key” the receptionist said and I bounded up the stairs, unlocked the room and sure enough the rubbish bin was how I had left it. Deep inside was my boarding pass! Then “Scouts Pace” back to the terminal where a very worried Avan was watching out for me.

The immigration official smiled at me as I presented my tatty document and I saw at the next booth a young girl was waylaid, with the same problem. It was nice to feel that I was not the only one stupid enough to throw away my immigration card, to get me out of Uruguay!

Footnote: Historic Quarter of the City of Colonia del Sacramento is UNESCO World Heritage Listed.
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