First week in my ten week trip around the south, of South America.
I arrived in Buenos Aries, but my bag stayed in Houston for 24 hours. My plan was to go immediately to the ferry and on to Montevideo, saving Buenos Aires for week 2 to when my parents will be arriving (tomorrow morning October 9 to be specific). Rather than let my bag “issue” slow me down I continued to Montevideo. I hopped on the “Tienda Lion” luxury bus service to down town for 140 pesos ($16-ish) when arriving at the city center bus terminal the company divided us into similar distinatations and then took the small groups in private cars. There was another girl going to Montevideo and we quickly bought Buque Bus boat/bus tickets and cleared customs to get on a boat departing 10 minutes after our arrival at the terminal. Whitney is from Colorado and we had been on the same flight from Houston, smartly Whitney is a savvy traveler had her backpack in carryon size. We chatted through the one hour boat ride and 2 hour bus ride, time flew by. Even without luggage my trip was off to a good start.
Montevideo was cold, windy and felt like a run down version of Spain. The Mercado Del Peurto is in the less-than-desirable cuidad vieja, but the market its a must see for the “Parilla” grilled meats experience. There are about 6 different grill stands and corresponding restaurants. I ate there both days, two different places – Roldos and El Palleuqul – both were good, but El Palleuqu was better and always packed.
Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) United did not fly to Montevideo so they coordinated for Aerolinas Argentinas to fly my pack on the next flight, the next day. The fortunately part is that rather than pay for a taxi I took a local bus to the airport and back getting an 3 hour round trip-tour of the more modern outskirts of Montevideo. The flight was delayed so I spent an hour at the airport, but it had free wifi (Houston, seriously third world airports have free wifi!) I only had 2 days in Montevideo the weather was crappy, I wasn’t feeling very well, my bag got lost, so really I didn’t do or see much outside of lunch at the Marcado Del Puerto. The city is lively on the weekends and this weekend was a political holiday of some sorts so there was a lot of festivities
(Link to Video of male belly dancer) coming soon
Four days ago I took a COT 1st class bus with wifi (again Houston, the bus has free wifi!) from Montevideo to Punta Del Este. One of my dearest friends called her friend in Uruguay, who graciously offered to pick me up and let me stay in their beach house. They warned it was not quite shoulder season and most of the town would be boarded up and closed, they weren’t joking. The near by village La Barra I could imagine packed in the summer sun, but now was simply empty.
Yesterday the sun came out, the temperature reached over 70 and the locals sprang into action. This morning I woke up to the sound of lawn movers and weed whackers. On my walk to La Linda Bakery in the next town of Manatiales I noticed everyone was starting to prepare for re-openindg. Gardeners, cleaners and property managers, all hard at work preparing houses for their summer residents. Business owners are making repairs, repainting and taking the boards off the windows. It’s been a treat to watch this seaside community spring to life, and now I want to revisit in travel week 10 (first week in December) to see Punta and La Barra heading into peak season – which technically starts December 26th.
The past three days at Manatianles beach have been absolutely delightful. Everyday I workout, take a walk, eat a large lunch at 2pm, then spend the afternoon on the patio studying. I couldn’t be more thankful for my gracious hosts Margo and John, for letting me stay in their beach home while they tend to a busy spring on their Uruguay farm, follow the farm on their blog http://lapiccolinauy.com