Ferries, buses, taxis, buses buses buses

Trip Start Dec 29, 2009
Trip End Dec 24, 2010

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Where I stayed
Boulevard Sarandi

Flag of Uruguay  ,
Monday, January 11, 2010

Just a quick little update on montevideo....we only had one day here but it was a great day worth mentioning!

We had a 13 hour bus ride from Mendoza and arrived off the bus well rested but still with that 'ive been on a bus for 13 hours' kind of feeling.. we hoped in a taxi and got it straight to the ferry terminal where we were setting up shop to wait 5 hours for our ferry to uruguay.

we made a home in the ferry bathroom and used my amazing array of toiletries (elke i love you petal) to clean up and resemble some sort of normal human form... objective achieved to as much as you can in a ferry bathroom!

we played cards and planned our attack on south america up until we get to rio on feb 9th... montevideo, punta del este, puerto diablo, porto alegre (brazil), florianopolis, iguacu falls, illha grande, paraty, rio... wowsers. thats aloooot of blog entries for you all! arent you excited. yes i know you are!

after a ferry and a bus (and a siesta on the ferry sitting upright i might add.. amazing fiet i have never accomplished before) we arrived in montevideo. now this place is what i imagine south american cities would look like... utter chaos! taxis and trucks and horses and carts and horns horns horns... absolutely mad. when we got off the bus em and i just stood there absorbing the sheer noise for about 5 minutes. we then spent 20 minutes trying to get someone to show us where the local bus 187 was that would take us to our hostel. god. after our last bus experience i have to say we were apprehensive. and we had no coins, just the notes from the money changer at the terminal. eeek

we got on the bus and hesitatnly handed over our 100 peso note (its 16 pesos to an aussie dollar so its not as much as it sounds) .. and the bus driver looked at us blankly. oh GOD no not the coin machine again. we then saw a funny yellow machine which looks kind of like what are on the london buses... and this girl was looking at us with such an amused look on her face.... and there we were trying to slide our money into this what looked like a note slot.. anyway she just couldnt bear it anymore she burst into laughter, took our money and gave us change and a ticket. we must have looked so confused. so in argentina there is a bus driver and a coin machine, and in uruguay there is a bus driver and a money-ticket lady.... GOD who would of thought buses would be the one thing we get all muddled over. sheeeesh. anyway the bus was so rickety we were bouncing all over the shop with our giant backpacks and sweaty arms and legs we must have looked ridiculous. our bus driver kept stopping at every block and honking the horn, opening the doors ad shouting profanities at his friends he saw in the street. so weird.

we got to our hostel which was gorgeous and super central... in the old city down a cobbled street market. we wandered around, went and had an amazing fish and vegetable dinner (VEGETABLES!!! WOOHOOO! we were so excited not to have cheese and ham) and after a quick night cap went to bed

the next morning we got up late and went wandering around to the famed puerto mercado- the meat market. this was kind of like the fish markets in that its indoors.. you walk in and it is what we called boy heaven. bbqs and meat EVERYWHERE. from the ceiling to the ground just menus and rows and rows of hot plates with sweaty chefs in front of it cooking chorizo, beef, chicken, vegetables, racks and racks of ribs and rumps and blood sausage and pork and god knows what else. we wandered around half in shock half starving and half overwhelmed as to how we would choose what bbq we ate at. in the end it was easy as one maitreŽd gave us some free champagne-white wine (called a medio y medio... the local market drink) so we were easily bribed. this was a massive highlight of our trip and i cant recommend more that anyone who goes to uruguay takes one day to just stop in montevideo, have a look around and go to the meat market for lunch. its crazy. mind you, there is not much else in the city. we just wandered around and went down to the sea (which is brown... found out later its actually a river so its muddy.. phew), then went to dinner and ordered an antipasto of eggs, meats, cheeses and breads (got a hamburger, go figure) and then went to bed super excited for our upcoming 2 weeks on the beaches

we are now in our first beach town, punta del este so i will continue writing about that in the next entry!

lots of love


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