Urugauy Now Enjoying 21 Years of Democracy
Trip Start Aug 20, 2005
39Trip End May 26, 2006
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All that aside, the capital Montevideo is a lovely city. I noticed less of a police / army presence on the streets than in other South American cities. I must admit the wooden batons they were carrying could have double as a leg of chair! :-) Sure they had pistols, pepper spray and handcuffs but unlike say Lima or La Paz there were no water cannons or police in riot gear. Indeed this gave the city a relaxed feel :-) Funny how perceptions change. The city has an old and new section. The old section is down by the port and is full of old colonial style house built by Uruguay's Beef Barons. Sadly now they are in a state of decline but you can still see in some of wrought iron work and carvings a hint of the former glory. The new city is clean, some old buildings but have been restored, beautiful plazas and plenty of shops. Over all Montevideo has a nice ambience, so I would definitely recommend as a trip for a couple of days from Buenos Aires.
Uruguay borders Argentina, therefore it has the same grassland and great beef that the Argentineans have. The parrilas, which are like huge barbecues are great. They cook halves or quarters of chickens, steaks, chorizo sausages, blood sausage (almost like black puddings),white puddings, pork and beef ribs, obviously not full beef ribs but cut down to a manageable size and "Chuiclin" (forgive my mis-spelling) which is a cow's lower intestine
Beef is big business in Uruguay and they waste nothing. So you can have full size rugs of cow skins, funny Friesians, that's black and white moo-moos Audrey and Phyllis :-) look well as rugs. They turn the cow's hooves into mate drinking vessels, all sorts of leather wear and they even use their "Wampas", horns in English. Yep they make ornaments and drinking cups out of their horns. Truly unusual and surprisingly beautiful.
So folks that is all for now, I will just finish by saying Uruguay was a surprise! I actually met a happy and helpful postal staff there, the first time in six months! It's definitely a country I would consider re-visiting and if ye are in this neck of the woods pop in.