Day 4 - Un Dia inolvidable!!!

Trip Start Apr 06, 2007
Trip End Jul 23, 2007

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Un dia inolvidable!!!
That was the slogan of the package we booked to Colonia Uruguay and boy did it live up to expectations. The ticket included roundtrip ferry, lunch and a tour of this old coastal town, funny thing is that it was 40 pesos less than booking a roundtrip ticket on the ferry...go figure
So I got up with the worst case of dry mouth ever, and of coarse I had no water in my water I figured no big deal I'll get it on the way to the port....NOOOOO!!!...Argentineans aren't up at 7am. None of the shops were open... and for a busy city it was pretty desolate this morning, almost ghost townish. Luckily though write before getting to the port we found a small cozy restaurant that was open for breakfast. It was now 7:30am and we needed to be at the port at 8am to catch our 9am ferry. Andrea in true andrea fashion decided last night that since it takes us 30 min in rush hour traffic to walk...yes walk... to the port that we should allocate an hour to get to the port at 7am, mind you there is not one soul on the roadways...and now that she is my wife I am obliged to listen... but the kicker was that she acted surprised when we got to the port in only 30 min.
Anyways after some much needed breakfast and hydration we went to get our ferry. At the customs checkpoint you need to pass through typical airport style security, and it being way to early I walked right through the machine with my wallet, camera, and plenty of loose change so the machine lit up like a Christmas tree and beeped uncontrollably. That definitely woke me up, when I turned around to see what I needed to do next, whether go through again or get checked I made eye contact with one of the security guards and his expression and attitude basically said ...and I quote " What the hell do you want can't you see that I am in conversation...Stupid Americans they always want to be checked at security" or at least that's what I understood by his look of death. So I just turned around and kept on going...Let's just say I felt less than safe getting on the ferry.
Once inside we decided to sit by the window for an ocean view...funny thing is that after writing the entry before this one, me and the girl next to me started laughing about how we thought the window seats would be so great, yet it was so bland and boring because the only view is the same one for 3 hours, which equals ocean. The family next to us turns out to be from California, not so surprising after I figured out that almost everyone on this ferry was speaking English as a first about a tourist trap. Anyways we got into a discussion about my parents and in particularly about my father's incredible story of getting to America...long story short I said something along the lines that " when my dad got here from Cuba" and the girl stopped me and said you mean Miami as the "here" right? And of coarse, I said yes, but then she went on to inform me that she had run into some less than intelligent individuals that had believed the when she told the story of her grandparents arriving here (united states) from Japan they thought that her grandparents had arrived in Argentina before continuing on to the United states. So that made us loose it laughing for about ten min, and then consistently throughout the rest of the day. Any mention of anyone saying "Here" made us chuckle like little schoolgirls.
That family turned out to be our best friends in Colonia, they were on our tour, ate at the same restaurant, and joined us for yet another great 3 hour ferry ride back to Argentina. Turns out that the daughter(Allison 17) is spending 10 months in Argentina courtesy of get this...Her Local Rotary Club...What a coincidence!...So her family and best friend came to visit her for ten days. She is hilarious, when we first met them it was just her and her best friend but subsequently as her family came back from different parts of the boat she kept telling them the same story about my dad's adventure to Miami and our trip, in like 5 min she knew my dad's story word for word and could outline our trip better than I could. I even got video of her repeating her self for about the fourth time. What is really incredible is that right before I taped her she had just finished explaining it and I thought to myself ...I should have gotten that explanation of our trip and my dad on video but that was probably the last one...NOPE I was wrong.  I plan on uploading it on youtube and posting the site of the video for everyone. It's hilarious.
Anyways after arriving in port we took a bus directly to lunch where I decided not to have the lunch that came with our tour because it was basically glorified chef boyardi. Andrea in an attempt to save money and prove me wrong decided to eat it anyway. I on the other hand got a new york strip for $5USD. Andrea then took a piece of my steak and gave up on the Chef. Andrea also took note of the silverware we were currently using and mentioned that she would love to have a set just Like that one so me being me and wanting to do anything to make her happy decided I would buy 12 sets from the restaurant. Andrea said that she wanted them new and not used so I spoke with the waiter and he assured me I could get them locally about 4 blocks away. Eager to make Andrea happy we took off to the location with 20 min before the tour began, of coarse the first place we went to did not have them and they mentioned that another store would surely have them. To make a long story short we ended up taking the tour and after looking for the other location with the knives but unfortunately they did not have the set andrea wanted.
The tour of the city was OK nothing incredible...the tour guide had a set script she had memorized...including jokes that need to be rethought or rewritten... and she would sneak off to get a drink and smoke at every place she gave us time to ourselves. The only really good picture I got which I am quite fond of is that of a pregnant woman with a 2 year old child...what makes it my favorite picture is that the woman was pregnant, smoking and pouring coke in the bottle of the two year old all at the same time...Who says parenting was easy?
Other photos I truly enjoyed were my bathroom pictures. I have a picture of a urinal trough and that of a whole in the ground that I guess is used as both a toilete and target practice...the men know what I am talking about.
The last memorable thing about colonia before we left is that we ended up booking a flight and hotel for Iguazu falls over the phone with the same company that we were taking the tours with because get this...they only have sales offices in Argentina yet there ferries sell tickets on either side...makes no sense to me but Whatever!! We ended up paying 24 pesos for a phone call that we should not have needed to make since we were calling long distance from Colonia, Uruguay to Buenos Aires, Arg. The reason for the call is that we need to give the airline and hotel two days advance notice...weird but the weirdest thing is that you can only book Iguazu Falls for a minimum of 4 days, 3 nights and that cost $800USD, including both plane tickets, but if you want just the flight for a two day or 3 day stay it is $500 each ticket... there is definitely some crazy math going on around here.
On the boat ride back they charged me $10ARG for taxes on the Uruguayan border but I only had a $5ARG bill and a $100ARG bill. The guy looked at me like I was crazy for asking for change and told me that it needed to be exact change, odd considering that they are collecting about $5ARG from EVERY PERSON ON THE BOAT!!! Anyways Kelsey (the best friend) lent me the $5ARG required to get on our boat so if your reading this THANK YOU!!! We later tried to return to her $5 by buying a beer on the ship but NOOOOOOO.....the ship did not have change, so I was given an IOU...who give's IOU's ...Anyways, we spent the next 3 hours chatting it up with our new favorite friends and we talked about everything from college and the educational system to the fact that I am bummed that I can't be in the states to see Teenage Mutant Nija Turtles the Movie. In the end we said our goodbyes at the port and Andrea and I went off to where else but my favorite restaurant for the third night in a row.Dinner was great as usual but they have yet to have Tongue. I have asked for it the past three nights because I am curious and been turned down every time. Tonight I made friends with the owner and he assured me tomorrow there will be tounge so I will let you know how that goes. After dinner we headed home to get some much needed rest ... only to find out that I did not book us for tomorrow night and they are booked so I need to be out of the hostel by 10am...I'm sure we'll figure something out ... but at least it's interesting. Anyways I know this was a long rant but Andrea and I love you all and would love to hear your comments. So don't be shy...good bad or ugly
Pictures to be attached soon...I'm tired so maybe tomorrow
Jose and Andrea
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kenandjuanita on

What a great idea!
WOW! I am really enjoying your trip! This travelpod is a great idea! Your stories are entertaining and the the pictures are beautiful. Thank you for keeping us all up to date, and what a wonderful way to help you remember when, what and where. I am glad you are enjoying yourselves, and I am not surprised Jose makes friends everywhere you go. Your wedding was beautiful, and everyone made me feel welcome. Thank you and Bless you. Be safe and have lots of fun.
Love to you both,

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