Colonia cobble stone and ouch on those blisters

Trip Start Dec 07, 2010
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Trip End Jan 14, 2011


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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Expediciones itinerary was headed ‘a luxury day’.

First, let's see if the pick up works … 7.15 am as arranged became a 7.30 am pick up but no problems even with the Hotel Wilton breakfast service starting way after its advertised 7 am. The fast ferry doesn’t leave till 8.45 am and somehow the hundreds of people queuing were processed in time.

The fast catamaran took just an hour to cross the River Plate to Uruguay. Being an hour difference we arrived at 10.45 am local time.

The local city tour was well organised with Eugenia from Bequebus and her English speaking tour group.

First a 5 km drive to the beaches. Playa San Carlos (beach) was the destination to see this dilapidated tourist complex built in the beginning of the 20th century. A drive by the Moorish style old bull ring which was only used for 2 years till the government banned bull fighting. The neighbouring casino is now a polytechnic / university. A 10 minute stop by the beach and the old wharf structure was more interesting to me.

Then back to Colonia which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. I was expecting cobble stone streets and sure enough they were jarring on my now blistered feet.

Founded by the Portuguese in 1680, Colonia was used as a smugglers port of British goods across to the Spanish colonies in the 17th century.

While I am trying to ‘humanise’ my photos, today it was a still photo study day so I had time to practice ones patience to have many of the photos WITHOUT people in them.

I‘ll later put the photos by the below text as it takes time. For now here the running order of my walk:

The Barrio Histrorico (old town) with its narrow streets is centered round the Plaza Mayor. A film crew was using part of the old town as their set.

Puerto del Campo restored city gate and drawbridge.

Calle de los Suspiros or Street of Sighs. I have yet to work out why it is one of Colonia’s most photographed street. Perhaps you can see something that I can’t. I did take a few photos in this short street!

Museo Portuguese (1720).

The ruins of Convento de San Francisco appears to be holding up the Faro lighthouse.

The pink Case Nacarello is next to the Musee Municipal are both mid 18th century Portuguese residences.

Kapok is what life jackets and bedding use to be filled with. They grow like cotton on trees and while no longer economical to harvest, apparently kapok is still used in Britain.

The bougainvillea and jasmine were out in full bloom.

Iglesia Matriz (1680 - oldest Church in Uruguay) white washed, blue lit nave and arched aisles dark jacaranda wooden pews.

The old houses are now cafes, art galleries, antique and souvenir shops. Yes, some of the cars had seen better times.

I didn’t know that lunch was 3 courses so had piled up my entrée plate expecting it to be it! I wasn’t the only one in our group who got caught out. The beef had seen better days. The 620 ml bottle of Heineken was only NZ$5 or US$3.80.

Was it a luxury day? Certainly not, but a pleasant break from the hustle and bustle of BA. Soon it was time to leave. Back in BA at 5.30 pm and my pre-arranged pick up was awaiting me.

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