Montevideo and a small hiccup in Colonia

Trip Start Jan 11, 2012
Trip End Aug 09, 2012

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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Thursday, February 16, 2012

We landed in Buenos Aires after a pleasant flight from Ushuaia and headed straight to a ferry terminal to board the precise form of transport that one would expect to find at a ferry terminal. This particular watercraft was bound for Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay, country number 3 of our trip.

The 1 hour journey across the Rio de la Plata was quite hair-raising as we once again found ourselves sailing through The Perfect Storm. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but an Argentinean lady on board was so scared of the rough weather that she actually started crying. Whether she's just a bit of a pansy or we're just descendants of Christopher Columbus is an interesting debate, but the bottom line is that these intrepid Saffers ate that storm for breakfast. Or dinner, it was at about 7PM, so it was defintely more like dinner than breakfast, but storms are best eaten at breakfast time. Like bacon.

Although the storm failed to bother us as much as it did some of our fellow passengers, it most certainly threw a solid chunk of humble pie in our faces when we arrived at the dock in Colonia. The storm can't take full credit for the humble pie though, the lion's share has to be attributed to the luggage handlers that chose to ignore the torrential downpour when unloading all the luggage from the ferry. Rain + non-waterproof bag = wet clothes. Rain + non-waterproof bag belonging to Donna = wet clothes + RAGE! A fairly justifiable rage though, have a look at the photo for proof. Oh, in case you were wondering, all those wet clothes were hung up in a hostel room that we shared with a few cockroaches.

Our guidebook has been a tremendous source of information for the majority of our trip. The opinions expressed in the book are generally objective and the descriptions of the sites have mostly been very accurate, Perito Moreno glacier  being a good example. The description of Colonia del Sacramento, however, could not have been less similar to our experience of the town. We were expecting "picturesque cobbled streets", "a gorgeous view of the Rio de la Plata", "a major tourist attraction". Whether it was the dirty hostel, the cockroaches, the wet clothes or the "gorgeous" view of a river of mud, our experience of the town wasn't quite as pleasant as anticipated. As such, we briskly moved on to our next stop, Montevideo, Uruguay's capital city.

The capital was not dissimilar to your average city of similar population. Apparently it is one of South America's most livable cities, in which case it is highly unlikely that we will be settling on this continent on a permanent basis, although we have yet to rule out joining an Amazonian tribe that eats piranhas and anacondas for breakfast. That said, Montevideo was actually rather pleasant and the local Uruguayan people lived up to their reputation as being very friendly and laid-back. We spent 5 days here and thoroughly enjoyed indulging in some of the creature comforts that we miss back home, particularly smashing a big box of popcorn at the movies. Otherwise we trolled some of the malls, bought nothing, ate a whole lot of unhealthy food, sampled some Uruguayan vodka, explored most of the city centre on foot and Warren finally cut that ginger mop.

Our lack of any interesting photographs correctly suggests that our time in Colonia and Montevideo was not what one might describe as exciting, nevertheless we still enjoyed the hospitality of the local people and also enjoyed taking some time out of our otherwise extremely stressful lives. Choosing whether to wake up at 7, 8, 9 or 10 can become quite taxing on the mind, you know.

With our bodies and minds recharged we were eager to get back on the bus and head east to beach country. We had only heard good things about Uruguay's beaches and this time around our experience most certainly lived up to the hype...
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Melinda on

so good to hear about the next always a good laugh too :). been thinking of you all day Don - happy happy birthday! biggest hug and hope drinks and sunshine on the beach made for a special day. miss you both very much x x x x

The Italian Yogi on

I hope you left some ginger in the hostel...? Nice job!

Thabi @ nab on

hey Don! You definitely are living-la-vida-loca! Hope you had a great and memorable birthday yesterday!


Heather on

Oh so envious!!! Ice cold Brazilian beer sitting at a street cafe - life is good!!
I look forward to the next episode. Travel safely and have a wonderful time.
Lots of love to both of you xxxx

Heather on

Sorry - I am ahead of myself - I have to assume it was Uruguayan beer - not Brazilian!!
Sorry - blonde moment!!

Stacey on

Sooo amazing to be on this journey with you!
Loving every minute of it.
Enjoy guys and looking forward to the next stop.
Love you, be safe!

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