ACROSS THE RIO DE LA PLATA
Colonia del Sacramento Travel Blog› entry 9 of 24 › view all entries
COLONIA, URUGUAY :
It seems that this American world
Is waiting for that girl
For the stars to shine in her eyes,
For its wind to caress her,
For its flowers to have someone
To pick up the essence of their souls,
And the currents of its great rivers,
Someone to listen to and love its vague songs.
Tabaré - Juan Zorrilla de San Martín
Colonia is a peaceful old town, which is reasonably small so it is easy enough to walk around, explore and take pictures of the Portuguese colonial buildings and streets.
I stayed at a hostel not far from the port, which charged $US9 for a 4 bed dorm. Over the three nights there, people from other countries in the room included Canada, Czech Republic, Ecuador & Finland. Most were moving onto either Buenos Aires or Montevideo (2 hours by bus). Being winter, the place was fairly quiet. The staff at the hostel could speak minimal English, and something somewhat peculiar occurred after I paid for the third night's accommodation in advance (on the second day). An hour or so later, the woman day manager came to my room saying she had been counting cash in the office, and could not find the $US10 note I gave her.
A point to mention is at all times when any payments were to be made, this woman was extremely clear and inflexible with her procedures, even to the extent of being a tad rude. However, this could have all been attributable to her weak communication skills. Perhaps, she was also just a bit forgetful. I didn't pay any more attention to this incident until I went to check out next morning. A different woman was on duty. When I handed in the room locker key, she said that no deposit had been paid for the key, and showed me where this had been written in Spanish.
While walking down to the port, I could understand what had occurred at the hostel, but wasn't too perturbed. Once at the boat terminal, I went to the immigration counter and the Uruguay official asked for my entry ticket into Uruguay. I didn't know what he was talking about. As earlier mentioned, there was no stamping of visas on arrival at this port. I was shown my return boat ticket, and told that I had to produce my ticket from the inward journey or pay a fine. This guy's English became very good when I asked how much? He quickly responded with "five thousand five hundred" referring to Uruguay currency.