The Full Montevideo

Trip Start Aug 24, 2010
Trip End Aug 23, 2011

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday 30th March

Montevideo was only a couple of hours bus ride away and after the short coach ride we had arrived. The route we took followed the coast for the most part.....from the bus we could see the difference between the urban areas and rural areas. The houses visible from the bus were much smaller, cobbled together abodes......corrugated tin roofs and all tightly packed together. Dust roads connecting the settlement that ran parallel to the main highway we were cruising down. Kids playing football, wild street dogs and plenty of mopeds were also visible. We passed quite a lot of farm land on our little journey too. It is going to be difficult to visit some of the shanty town like places because there won`t be any hostels in theses they aren`t generally of great interest to other is also another reason.

After arriving at the bus station we caught a taxi into the centre of Montevideo....Plaza Independencia and this was where we were staying. We paid for a dorm room but were upgraded to a private three bed room that overlooked the plaza....which was brilliant.  With the remaining hours of daylight we walked down to the port, around an indoor type food court that was stationed with an old bus station and had some food in a small cafe. We were advised not to be around that area once darkness fell.....the advice was taken and so we headed back to our hostel for the evening.

Thursday 31st March

We went and explored Montevideo.....which is split into the old town and then newer parts! We spent most of our time looking around the old town. Plaza Independencia that we overlooked from our hostel was the centre piece of Montevideo.....with a statue of Artigas riding a horse (he is considered the father of Uruguayan Independence). Underneath the plaza is a mausoleum which we quickly had a look at....we were also there just in time to watch the ´changing of the guards` type rigmarole. Surrounding the plaza was a very tall building, Palacio Salvo, which was once the tallest building in South America. We enjoyed a saunter around the city, which was pleasant enough to spend the majority of the day doing so.

Friday 1st April

It was April Fool`s day but no pranks were played. We caught the bus to Estadio Centenario, which was home to the first ever FIFA World Cup in 1930.......Uruguay won this world cup too! We looked around the football museum first, which was pretty comprehensive with plenty of info (most of which was in Spanish) but it did include the replica trophies of the two world cups that Uruguay have won. To my delight there was also a painting of an FA Cup game between Burnley and Tottenham Hotspurs. The chap that showed us around said he was a fan of Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers....obscure teams for a Uruguayan to follow! We then walked around the stadium itself.....there were no real rules about where we were allowed to go....just not on the pitch. So we just went where we wanted....even used the urinals! The ticket for looking around was also a replica of the original world cup tickets....a nice little touch. After all that hungry work we had a pancho (hot-dog) or two outside for the full football experience.

We went out for a drink later that night but it was so expensive for a beer that we shared some red wine and sat people watching sitting outside a restaurant. Everyone was sat outside enjoying a drink or two. We watched a live acoustic set later in a bar.

Saturday 2nd April

We left Montevideo and began our journey back to Argentina. We went back to Buenos Aires via Colonia del Sacramento, where we planned to stay a couple of days before heading much further south into Argentina.
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