Laid back Uruguay

Trip Start Feb 07, 2006
Trip End Aug 07, 2006

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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Thursday, March 9, 2006

Make sure to check out Andrea's Travel Blog for more stories and photos of our trip!

A 20 hour bus ride is enough to send anyone into a full body cramp, which was exactly how we felt when we pulled into the clean Montevideo bus terminal from Brazil.

We had planned to stop for a day or two in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, to check the city out. Not knowing of anything special about the place, we had low expectations.

The sleepy capital was very much unlike any other capital we´d visited in South America. Montevideo´s streets were lined with large leafy trees and the wide shady streets and old colonial architecture had a distinctive European feel.

The weather was very much cooler as well which was a nice treat.

We spent the first day walking around the city, shopping in local market for very stylish, and cheap, handy crafts.

We had checked into the local hostel and after a chat with a few backpackers, some of which has spent several weeks here, it was pretty clear that people came to Montevideo to escape the big cities.

¨What have you been doing here for 3 weeks?¨ I asked a backpacker watching the football game on the communal TV.

He laughed and smiled almost seeming embarrassed ¨Nothing man, just chilling.¨

So chill we did.

We only stayed for one day and headed off to Colonia, a small town nearby.

Quiet Colonia

Colonia, a small quiet town which was once enclosed within an old Spanish fort and was now a UNESCO site was ( thankfully ) only a short 3 hour bus ride away from Montevideo. The fact that we could walk from the main bus terminal to our hostel in the city center was a sure sign that this town was much smaller than any others we`d visited.

The hostel was an old building with 25 foot high ceilings and tall doors. Hardly posh digs but at 7$ USD we couldn´t complain about our 6 bed dorm.

Cobblestone streets and old-style buildings made for a pleasant walk around the city which we ended with a large cold beer overlooking the Atlantic as the sun set.

Excuse me, did you say ¨TravelPod¨?

Sitting in the communal room at the hostel the couple next to me were puttering around with the free Internet.

¨Maybe we should update TravelPod¨ I heard the Irish girl next to me say to her boyfriend.

I snapped my head over to see what they were doing. I guess it shouldn`t come as a surprise that many people in hostels and hotels all around us were updating their TravelPod but sitting right next to them and brought it home.

We chatted for a bit and talked about TravelPod while I grinned happily.

What to do in Colonia with 8 hours to kill

With 8 hours before our ferry to Buenos Aires (BA) we decided it was time for me to get a hair cut, a big one.

After going blonde before leaving for the trip, the only thing left to do was to shave it all off. Never having gone bald before, I was a little worried that I had some massive birth mark or something lurking beneath my hair which I´d never seen.

¨Number 1?¨ the barber asked in his rough English. The look on his face was disapproving, as if he´d just smelled something nasty. I didn´t care, I was determined to go all the way.

We stopped short of breaking out the razor blade and clean shaving my head but the quarter inch of hair left was short enough.

On the way out I stepped over the mounds of half blonde/brown hair surrounding my chair.

Outside, we inpected the damage.

¨It looks good baby!¨ Andrea encouraged.

Being my loving fiance, she had to say that, I knew that. So I quickly examined the doo in the reflection of a nearby glass window.

Although I kind of looked like an escaped convict, I agreed, it wasn`t that bad.

Every gust of wind tickled my newly miniature hairs and convinced me that this was the way to go in the brutal South American heat.

Why hadn´t I done this before!
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