Charming day in Uruguay

Colonia del Sacramento Travel Blog

 › entry 14 of 17 › view all entries

Gone to Uruguay for the day and it was fantastic! I arrived at 10:30 to check in and go through customs. We boarded about 11 and set sail around 11:30. There were tons of people, lots of tourists as well as locals onboard and I snoozed a bit, lulled by the rocking.

I decided to walk, I had a map the downtown area is very small. And so glad I did, it was peaceful beyond belief. There were more mopeds than cars and more dogs than cars on the road. It was like I descended unto heaven on earth. Quiet. No hurry. Sunshine. Fresh air. Lots of old buildings in disrepair, some nice restaurants set up seating right on the street.

Lots of photos from the day as there were trees and flowers and nice people! I even had someone stop their car for me when I crossed the street! This has NOT been my reality the last 6 weeks, more like I'm gonna run you down.

So I found myself relaxed to a place I havent quite seen in awhile...

Going into a nice restaurant that looked as though you were going into someone house, over looking the rio, I saw the prices and thought at first they wanted 275 argentine pesos for a sandwhich! Alas, no. This is Uruguay, hey the have their own money!

I enjoyed a very messy sandwich with a fried egg, a thin slice of carne, jamon, tomatoe, lettuce, mayonaise, oh yes and the very lame excuse for bacon. Oh and a "salad" with shredded carrots, tomatoe, lettuce and onion with olive oil and salt. Darn, I forgot how they make salads here! The sandwich was big, messy and tasty, sure I had covered most of the animals at the top of the human food chain with it. The view was superb and lots of couples smooching at the surrounding tables, I studied the map since I only had 3 hours on land before I needed to return to the port.

I paid the bill with Argentine pesos, after she converted it. The change was given some Uruguay and some Argentine, making it impossible for me to know how much I'd gotten back. I tipped her 2 AR pesos, which would have been less than $1 us dollar but a lot in Uruguay. Turns out the US dollar is 21 to 1 UR peso. I learned that when I entered a touristy shop except that it had beautiful amethyst crystals in the window and cool Uruguay stickers. I had to go in even though I was dead tired of the constant barrage of stores in Buenos Aires. So glad I did!

I did my best with speaking to him in espanol and I learned that he used to live in Atlanta though his English wasnt that good. He explained where the crystals were from, on my map, being the northern regions of Uruguay close to Brasil.

They were stunning, the quality was excellent, and for a tiny fraction of what we pay in the states.

I made my purchase after he explained about the conversion. It was getting time to start walking back to the port so I meandered down a quiet street, the trees just glorious. I was just drawn to go into a hotel called "Posada del Angel" and it was so peaceful there. The gal greeted me and told me had no room. I said oh I'm just looking for the future, when I come back. She invited me to have a smoke (everyone smokes here except me :) in the backyard. Ok. The only being in this marvelous yard with lawn chairs and a sparkley clean pool was a grey cat sleeping in the shade. He had "play with me!" written all over his face. So we cuddled and purred for awhile.

His name I learned is Morro. Lovely place, the rates about 65-75 a night, usd.

I was on a roll talking and meeting people, I forgot how friendly and at ease people are. Haha, yes I've been in BA long enough. There was some kind of a parade in the streets, kids making a lot of noise, cars following beeping their horns.

Alas I return to the ferry terminal. It is undergoing construction, big time. There is only 1 place to check in and that is for the other ferry company. I approach 4 people speaking good ole straight English, maybe they know. 2 from New York, 2 from Washington DC, we gabbed and swiped advice on visiting various places. It was nice to be with fellow Americans and we talked about how traveling makes one appreciate their country more.

And to realize that everyplace has its problems.

We boarded early which was a good thing as for some reason the overhead person says something like "all argentines can go to the front of the line" well yes of course because they are the most important people in the world, tee hee. All was going well with customs until they asked for the boarding stub from this morning. Huh? I'm speechless cause the only thing I can think of to say is "WHY?", not now. Luckily it was sitting on the bottom of my purse, I handed it over.

The other Americans and me all sat together though apart, only seats per section. A friendly man, who managed to communicate his good sense of humor to me in no time, sat down next to me, giving up 3 seats to a family.

We immediately started talking and he spoke very good English. A painter, had been to New York, SF and lived near Tampa for 6 months. He's been divorced 4 times (He' Latin!!! his words not mine), 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren. Nice sweet person and he's very interesting. H'es come back from his cottage on the beach in Punta del Este. We talk about the sound healing I do, my espanol (its improving!) and tons of things. We shared some good laughs on that hour ride. Coincidently, he spends Sundays in San Telmo and that is on the agenda for me too! I've not had a Sunday in the San Telmo market yet! I learn he has his car on the ferry, this always makes me thrilled, I rode this way once from Vancouver Island) and he offered to give me a ride home.
I live really close and I tell him that and accept anyways. Yes, I got in the car with a stranger. It was the perfect ending to the day. I was all smiles as we drove off the ferry and literally into the sunset.

Tomorrow we go to the market. And with my new nice Bohemian Argentine friend, I couldn't think of a better way to spend my last Sunday here!

cmgervais says:
I was so surprised by the cards stopping for pedestrians too! Colonia is so sweet.
Posted on: Oct 05, 2008
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