Uruguay for a few Days

Trip Start Oct 06, 2008
Trip End Apr 03, 2009

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

To give myself a brief respite from the incessant partying in BA, I headed across to Uruguay for a few days to try and take in some of the sights that fellow travelers had told me about, principally;

(i) Colonia de Sacramento
A beautiful old colonial town west of Montevideo. I landed here on a ferry from BA. Very important historical location where the Spanish and the Portuguese fought over who had access to the Rio Plata and eventually Buenos Aires. The Spanish won needless to say. A cute quaint town, it was beautiful at sunset and had a nice chilled out atmosphere in the evening for going out for a meal or a drink. Had heard quite a bit about it but I was a little disappointed by the sights. The historical part of town is absolutely tiny and the buildings while cute are few and far between. Still interesting for its history for an afternoon walking around. No more though.

(ii) Montevideo
Capital of Uruguay and home to 1.4 million Uruguayans. A nice manageable city to walk around in and tourist. The weather is fantastic, the people very friendly and food was reasonably priced and tasty. Has the Rio Plata on one side - with its brown, dirty looking water - and the Atlantic Ocean on the other which makes an interesting contrast. Not huge on dramatic sights, it has some interesting buildings, a funky mausoleum to an important Uruguayan liberator in one of the main plazas but the main thing I remember is, well two things actually; one was the arty feel to some of the museums - they have had some fantastic artists from Uruguay (not seen too many in the other countries and two; many, many beautiful ladies walking in the street. Worth cruising around for that solely.

(iii) Punta Del Este
The number 1 trendy beach area in Uruguay. I would have preferred to head to Punta Del Diablo a little further east but I was time pressed and wanted to take one in. Has some lovely beaches but its a bit Gold Coastish in Australia. For those of you who have never been there, donīt bother going now. Full of skyrise apartments and tacky gift shops. Punta Del Este is a bit classier than that but it just a more upmarket version. Lots of wealthy Argentines holoday here and you notice it pretty quickly in the prices. However, borrowing a branch in true Tipperary style, if you bring your own ham and cheese sandwiches on a day trip, then itīs not so bad at all.

In my very quick trip to Uruguay, I found it to be a sunny, friendly and relaxed place to be. Not cheap by South American standards, it is very reasonably priced for food and especially artesenial goods ( I bought some funky prints for my house for something like 2 Euro - not a bad deal if they make it home in the mail). Montevideo is a nice, manageable city and the girls there put up some of the strongest competition Iīve seen to BA so far.
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