Uruguay..Tango...Elise´s House

Trip Start Jul 02, 2007
Trip End Jul 26, 2007

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Today and last night were amazing. Today Annabelle, Rachel and I (Elise was meant to go but is sick) took a ferry (Buque Bus) to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay. Colonia is a beautiful 18th century fortified town--a cross between Lisbon and what I imagine Havana is like--with lots of painted tiles, orange groves, bright, faded buildings, and Moorish architeture; surrounding the city are rugged, windswept beaches and palm trees. We spent the whole day exploring, talking, having lunch at a place with live music, taking in the city... While it is the coldest winter they have had here in 30 years, the sunshine was spectacular and we took a ton of photos, climbing the city´s fortified walls and darting down  side alleys...

Getting to Uruguay was a headache. We waited in many, many lines--information, check in, customs; it was a beehive of hundreds of folks elbowing, pushing, you name it. There were also a zillion in the 5 to 7 year old age bracket for some odd reason: all 5 t o 7 year olds found the need to yell and cry with abandon. Myself and the girls had gotten less than three hours sleep as we got home around three last night and woke up at 7. But we made it through Buquebus-romper room hell...some of the 5-7 year old demons ran up and down the aisles of the ferry hollering and there was a full music concert at 8am with a live band and dancers--somehow, we slept through all of it and when we we awoke we were in Uruguay

Last night was really neat as well--after four of us crashed Elise´s sickpad (which we do every day now and she doesnt seem to mind)--we went to an authentic milonga. It was dimly lit, brassy, with a carved wood bar, speckled mirrors...And an eclectric group of dancers manned the floor--all different ages and dress styles. There was the cool young couple--he with a mohak and her with a skimpy dancer's outfit. There was the souped-up grand dame
with the fake bronze tan, bun,  and the diamond studded shoes and her partner, the slicked back gentleman with the pointy beard in a full suit; there was the normal looking elderly couple in grey dancing with their eyes closed....trust me when i say they all were very talented dancers.  I love the way the men just sort of flip up their heels and how the women's feet never touch the ground. We drank cheap whiskey and the whole thing was a cool to watch...how in tune these couples were with the music, how serious and intimate yet light-hearted the dance is...there was a table of four men staring down our table of four women (one finally came over) but it was no place for amateurs to dance. It just amazes me that in this big city life of roaring traffic, skyscrapers, noise and industry there hides this older, more romantic, genteel culture...the city is interestingly paradoxical inb that way. There was such fun people watching...could have stayed there for hours.

Headed again to Elis´s house for dinner, again, and movies...she is very sick and has a community of space heaters inhabiting her studio (I think there are three) and was singing with the tv last night to the Cold Case song (we were all laughing as clearly she has spent a long time holed up in there with her tv). Perhaps to a hip hop club after, called Lost. I am off. Tomorrow I go to Salta for trekking, biking, rafting....!
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