Porto Alegre to Uruguay
Porto Alegre Travel Blog› entry 2 of 6 › view all entries
We got up around 08.30, had a nice big breakfast and hit the road. Our intention was to reach the outskirts of Punte del Este in Uruguay (around 650 km). Leaving Porto Alegre we got caught in a bit of traffic. We eventually found the road to Uruguay. Nothing special although when we were around 200 km from the border the road was literally straight all the way with very few cars and beautiful scenery. At one point the road went through some marshlands that are inhabited by these funny otter-ish looking creatures. They were huge! We drove very slowly because it was very sad to see the carcasses of these run over animals rotting at the side of the road.
The border crossing into Uruguay was a bit of a nightmare. Mainly because there was no information about how to go about doing things. So we drove up to where the guards were standing and they just waved us through. Laughing at how easy it was we drove on before thinking it was a little strange that we wouldn’t have any exit stamp in our passports. So we turned around and went back to get our exit stamp from Brazil. Then we drove off and into Chui (the border town). After a few minutes we realised we had no entry stamp into Uruguay so again we turned around and then drove back to the Brazil office where they told us that the town was in no-man’s land and the Uruguay frontier was about 4km away. So we went straight there. When we arrived at the Uruguayan check point, the guard checked all of our papars were in order and then asked to see our Carta Verte. We had literally no idea what he was talking about so he explained that we had to go back into Chui, which was located between the two frontiers and buy this Carte Verte from a money exchange shop or a petrol station. Unlucky for us all the ATMs were closed and we had very little cash left. We managed to find a guy who sold us some currency and a place to buy the Carta Verte just before the office closed. Thank goodness we didn’t have to stay in that funny border town (for those of you who have read our last blog through Laos, we are not big fans of border towns). Armed with all the correct documentation we rocked back to the Uruguayan border. Got our entry stamp into Uruguay and were subjected to a very lacklustre search of the car. The whole ordeal lasted about an hour and a half and it was getting dark.
The roads in Uruguay were perfect and with very little traffic. So we sailed south admiring the stunning scenery around us. Uruguay is far less jungly than Brazil.We arrived into the outskirts of Punta del Este and found a lovely steak house (Lo de Ruben, Santa Teresa 846, Maldonado, Tel: 223 059). We ate steak and had a very nice local wine. By that stage it was late and we checked into the only hotel with available rooms (San Fernando Plaza Hotel, 25 de Mayo 810, Maldonado, Tel: 00 598 42 24 24 01). It actually turned out to be a really nice hotel.