Trip Start Mar 01, 2006
551Trip End Dec 01, 2007
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I found out later the facts about this town, which explained a lot of strange things I had seen: half of the city is Chuy, in Uruguay, the other half is Chui, in Brazil. When I say half-half, it is literal: an avenue splits the city along the border. That explained why there was such a big avenue. Note that it is called Avenida Uruguay on the Brazilian side, and Avenida Brazil on the Uruguayan side.
The whole town is duty free, and therefore there are loads of stores selling almost everything.
So you can cross from Brazil ti Uruguay and back, as you please. As pointed out on some website I read, if you wanted to call your neighbourg across the street, it would cost you an international call! And both castellano (espaņol) and Brazilian are spoken throughout the town.
We had looked for accommodation on the Uruguayan side, then eventually found a room on the Brazilian side, not knowing at all about the layout of the city. The lady at the hotel was speaking maybe in castellano, but with a strong brazilian accent, or maybe she was speaking in Brazilian, I have no idea... Both Piedad and I could understand about only half of what she was telling us, trusting that the other one had understood everything. But that was enough.
Back to the Uruguayan side (still unknowingly) for dinner, we had a memorable parillada (a little bit of every piece of the beef...), totaling definitely more than a kilo of meat, and we could not eat it all. We accompanied it with a good bottle of Tannat, a cepage that is grown only in Uruguay and in one place in France (Madiran).
Back to Brazil for the night.
And in the morning we got up early to go back to Uruguay and take the bus to Punta del Diablo.
Note that this was my second incursion in Brazil, which I have entered at its two most faraway points (I think): Oyapoque across St Georges in French Guyana, and now Chui across Chuy in Uruguay. Maybe I should try to reach the border in Bolivia too!