Family in Uruguay

Trip Start Jan 10, 2008
Trip End Jun 03, 2008

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Well, after the heat and hustle of Buenos Aires, we caught the Buquebus ferry across the Rio de la Plata to visit our family in Uruguay. It was fantastic to see Uncle Phil & Auntie Beatriz waiting for us at the ferry terminal in Montevideo as Lola smuggled 2kg of Spanish Lomo ham though customs in her bag, despite the warning signs in English and Spanish!
We headed straight to their holiday home in Atantida (after stopping briefly for a chivito) where we were made to feel very much a home straight away. The holiday home itself was designed specifically for the family and is perfect for socialising- there is a fantastic patio area at the back of the garden which has both a huge BBQ and a wood burning oven. We had some real culinary treats out here over the duration of our stay. The photo you can see here is Uncle Phil taking stuffed fresh bread out of the oven during on of the many feasts.

Atlantida itself is a charming seaside town. The beaches are gorgeous and run the whole length of the town so you can always find a quiet spot for sunbathing or playing a spot of Teqo (like boules but with disks not balls). You can also see fantastic sunsets here although we havenīt got any photos of this yet (sorry mitch!)

One of the highlights here was the traditional Uruguayan BBQ. Rather than burning charcoal like we do in Europe, the heat comes from a big wood fire next to the BBQ which drops burning embers which are spread beneath the grill. The feast comprised 3 cuts of beef, sweet potatoes, vegetable bruchettes, sausages, jackets potatoes and loads of fresh salad. On this photo you can see Uncle Phil, Auntie Beatriz, our cousins Steven & Sabrina and Sabriīs boyfriend Juan, just before we started the feast.
We have also been taken out to see the interior of the country on some really interesting trips. We visited a restaurant which has a gorgeous pool in the middle of the contryside near Minas. The views were fabulous and we saw a couple of eagles circling overhead, possible disortientated by the glare from the very white body by the pool!
Another trip took us to a restaurant in a tiny village in the interior, 50kms or so north on Punta Del Este. The restaurant produce all of their own meats and pastas and you can actually see the livestock running around that will produce the next days dinner. The boys all had the lamb, which was out of this world and massive. The girls went for the pasta which was also extremely fine. Unfortuntely Beatriz couldnįt make this trip because she had a cold, but I am pleased to report that she is much better now.
Sabri and her friends convinced us that we should go out for a Uruguayan knees-up, dancing cumbia (South American dancing music) until dawn. The night started with drinks and dancing on the patio until 3am, when we would usually be in bed at home. We had a fantastic time and learnt some new moves! At 3am the night then changed gear as we headed to the club. It was heaving and everybody was loving the cumbia beat. We kept dancing until 5.15am when we decided to leave the youngsters to it. We were the 1st to leave!!!

After 2 weeks with the family we decided to give them a couple of days peace and check out Cabo Polonio. This resort is popular with locals, partly because it canīt be reached by road. The resort is isolated from the outside world by 10kms of sand dunes that you have to board a 4x4 sand truck to cross. It was a fantastic journey for us as we were greeted by a flock of birds flying alonside our truck, seemingly having a look at the latest arrivals.

One of the other attractions of Cabo Polonio is the sea lion colony, which is about 500metres from the shore. They are mightily impressive beasts, but they are in the habit of fighting to the death. The resulting corpses are washed to the beach where they rot and stink!

When we awoke and had breakfast to the stink of rotting blubber on our first morning we decided that 1 night would be enough it C.P. The beaches were beautiful and isolated, but hard to enjoy with that smell in your nostrils. We were back in the tranquility of Atlantida in time for tea!

The end of our stay in Uruguay came much too soon. We spent our last evening with the family in a lovely fish restaurant in Montevideo. On our way to the restaurant we saw an unforgetable street scene; A family of about 10 had taken over the pavement outside their house for a BBQ in a half oil-drum. They had taken everything into the streets- tables, chairs, kitchen stuff, the works. The best bit was that the Dad had even taken the TV out so he didnīt have to miss the football whilst eating.

Weīd like to thank Philip, Beatriz, Steven and Sabrina for making our stay in Uruguay truly unforgetable and for making us feel so welcome. To our family back at home- when are you coming to visit? Itīs amazing here!
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somagal on

que envidia cochinaaaaa
Hola! me estoy de muriendo de envidia cochina por los paisajes y barbacoas varias. Eso de que 'como en España en ninguna parte' va a ser una triste ilusión. Qué calladitos se lo tenían los uruguayos, ese paraíso...

A la familia se la ve muy feliz. Qué siga así el viaje.

Muchos besos!!!

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