A beautiful morning

Trip Start Oct 16, 2012
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129
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Trip End Apr 20, 2013


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Flag of Uruguay  , Soriano,
Thursday, April 4, 2013

We awoke to a shroud of mist covering the river and the surrounding countryside. It was beautiful and picturesque, as the land on the opposite side of the river was invisible to us and hidden behind a veil of white cloud. I busied myself whilst the water was boiling on the camp stove, and took lots of photos of the mist covered river and the silhouetted trees. Kory was putting the sleeping gear away and awaiting a fresh coffee, before he wanted to emerge from the tent into the cold, foggy morning. We are both quite surprised to realise that my stint of waking up as the sun rises and jumping out of the tent straight away to get the morning started, has continued since the end of Peru, which is now two months ago.

The little campsite had been exactly what we needed, as it was quiet and secluded but had hot water and toilet facilities.   Although obviously they aren't at the same standard that you might expect at home.   In Argentina and Uruguay, we have regularly had the choice of a squat toilet (hole in the ground) or a dirty Western style toilet bowl, that invariably never has an actual toilet
seat on it.

As we left the campsite (which cost 126 pesos or $12 at the extortionate conversion rate that we were given yesterday) we cycled through the main plazas to find the highway again. We stopped at a few more banks at the other side of town, but again, they all rejected Kory's card. We made our way to the highway, knowing that we had about 100km to cycle to make it to a small town called Cardona.

The cycling was fairly tough going, as there were continuous rolling hills, through the agricultural land. If you could see a cross section of our route for the day, it would be a constantly wavy pattern; ascending and descending a couple of hundred meters every kilometre or so. It was fairly slow going, but we found it a lot harder than we should have. It was nothing compared to what we have done over the past five months, the road was fairly quiet, we had a large, wide shoulder, the road was tarmac and we only covered 100km. However, we are like children in the last week of school term or workers when you know you are on your last day of work before a
holiday. Basically, we just want to get to Montevideo now and to start our time off to relax. We are shutting down before our holiday, but we still have 300km to cycle and the rolling hills aren't making it easy for us. We are also approaching Montevideo with mixed emotions as we know it is almost the end of this adventure and it will bring us closer to having to say goodbye.

As we arrived in to Cardona we were pleasantly surprised to see that one of the banks that Kory had already tried to take money out of  numerous times, actually allowed him to complete the transaction. We were really happy to have money in our pockets again and to know that Kory's card wasn't completely broken or something. We headed to the picnic area that we had seen on the way into town, and asked the guy if it was possible for us to camp there. He said that he just had to sit and guard the toilets, so couldn't give us permission, but thought that it wouldn't be an issue. A local lady joined the conversation, and seemed really excited to meet us and chat and told us to come to her house if we had any problems. Every here seems so friendly and helpful.

We set up our camp and were amazed to see that the old guy stayed stationed outside the toilet block all evening. He was still there at 1am when Kory got up to empty his bladder, and we couldn't for the life of us work out why he needed to stay there watching the toilet block with such dedication. In a way it felt nice though to know that someone was up and about and keeping half an eye on our tent and bikes.
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