Arriving in Montevideo

Montevideo Travel Blog

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JB Boonstra

For a reason I`m not quite sure of, I decided to go with Nicole Tocci to Montevideo, Uruguay instead of going with everyone to Mendoza for the break. Friday afternoon, as soon as we picked up our passports/visas from the Brazil Consulate, we had to run a couple blocks to the Boquebus office. Boquebus is a company that goes to several cities in Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil by ferry and bus. Nicole and I went to buy our tickets to Montevideo only a couple hours before our departure, but luckily they weren`t sold out. We bought tickets to take a ferry to Colonia, Uruguay and then a bus to Montevideo. After purchasing the tickets, we hailed a cab and rushed back to the residencia where we proceded to pack, book a hostel in Montevideo over the net, and check our email all at a feverish pace. We finally got everything we needed to get done and were ready to leave. We took the subway to the general area where we knew the port was and then hailed a cab. Nicole and I were both a little stressed because we were still in the cab at 7:10 and the boat was supposed to leave at 7:15! When the cab finally pulled up, I threw some money at him and jumped out. Nicole and I rushed the check-in counter who gave us our tickets, then we had to wait in line to get our bags screened and our passports stamped. When we finally made it through, it was about 7:25. We rushed down the ramp to the boat, hoping we hadn`t missed it. We both had forgotten that we were in Latin America. We had enough time to get on the boat, go to the bathroom, find a seat, AND get something from the cafeteria before the boat even began the pre-departure safety lecture.

   The boat ride took about an hour and was pretty fun because there was a constant rocking back and forth. It was quite conducive to sleeping, so Nicole and I both dozed off. When we awoke, we had arrived in Colonia. Everyone was getting up and shuffling out, so we followed. Although we were following the crowd, we had no idea if we were going in the right direction. We didn`t know if these people we were following were going to Montevideo! Every one began pileing onto a large bus like they knew what they were doing. But the bus had no markings! Nicole or I had no way of knowing this was the bus we needed. Then, I looked around us and everyone had the same tickets as we did, so I chilled out a bit. I could have asked someone, but I didn`t want to look stupid.  We got on the bus and began the 2 hour journey to Montevideo. I was disappointed because I didn`t get to see any of the countryside since it was dark outside. Maybe on the way home.

   Nicole and I arrived at the bus station in Montevideo and were about to hail a cab to the hostel, when I realized that we only had Argentine pesos. We hadn`t changed our money! So, avoiding a potenial disaster when we told our cab driver we only had Argentine money, we went back inside and changed our money. Uruguay uses pesos also, but they are worth significantly less than Argentine pesos. 1 Argentine peso is about 8 Uruguay pesos; that means that the US dollar is worth about 24 pesos here!! It`s pretty weird seeing newspapers for $20, even though that`s less than a dollar. So after getting the correct money for the country we were in, we hailed a cab and took it to our hostel. The hostel is quite nice. Most everyone speaks english and is very friendly. There are people here from all over the world! It`s great chatting with them. I think I`d like to work at a hostel someday. Tomorrow Nicole and I are going to go look for the local market they have on Saturdays according to her little tourist book, so I`ll write about my impressions of the city in my next entry.

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photo by: aliciaaa