Over The Water

Trip Start Aug 17, 2010
Trip End Sep 16, 2011

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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Thursday, October 14, 2010

In our time travelling across South America, we have crossed international borders by plane, bus, even walking ( Peru – Bolivia ) and now find ourselves crossing from Argentina to Uruguay by ferry ! The old Portuguese settlement of Colonia de Sacremento lies just across the bay from Buenos Aires, and is an easy 2 hr crossing by ferry – the best way to get across to Uruguay.

Customs is cleared at the Argentinean end, the ferry proves to be enormous with a full sized canteen counter which everyone seems to be over-excited about. Here we're introduced to a Uruguayan breakfast staple – the "medialuna" – yes, “half moon”, i.e. a croissant, but not the big butter “french style “ the Argentines eat, but small, lean breads. Good with the milky coffee the Uruguayan’s also have.

Colonia de Sacremento is an old, historically preserved Portuguese settlement – original buildings and roughly paved streets still intact – now full of museums, craft shops and cafes. A Portuguese settlement in Spanish Uruguay ? Yes, apparently the Portuguese snuck in on the end of the peninsula and established a contraband port right under the noses of the Spanish and used it for smuggling purposes for about 100 years until the Spanish annoyed at this took over the town and used it for Their smuggling purposes !!!

The “old” town is beautiful and has a fascinating degree of history locked up in it. The old city portal has been restored, and with the existing walls and moat allows one to see how the town was established.

Colonia has expanded with the “new” town resembling a typical weekend holiday destination – thanks to the expanse of beaches at the back of Colonia – a favourite beach escape for the people of Buenos Aires.

It was lovely to walk around it for the day and was a nice break after bustling BA.

Apparently Uruguay has become popular for its beaches – we will find out as we travel up the coast after our next stop – Montevideo !
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