Uruguay

Trip Start Sep 07, 2010
1
5
47
Trip End Sep 01, 2011


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Saturday, September 11, 2010

ROB:

Saturday 11-09-2010
After a very long day checking to the MALBA Museum and the BA Zoo we thought we'd try to check out a Tango show. There are several of these around the city, our hostel offered one for around AR200 with dinner but that was pretty steep so we found one just down Av de Mayo for AR40 + dinner.  We rocked up at the time we were told and it was booked out unfortunately.  We were with another couple fro Florianapolis, Brazil who knew a great traditional Arg grille room down in San Telmo, close to Palermo…which we found was a friggin long way to walk.  

he dinner was great and at the local price so we were pretty happy with it, although I, as usual decided to stray from ordering something tried and tested and got these lesser quality beef medallions drowning in a sweet liqueur, it was average for about AR32 Everyone else got what I was wishing I had ordered, a nice juicy slab of steak, so I didn’t miss out anyway

One funny thing I’ve noticed is that BA seem to have held on to those old fashioned carbonated water dispensers, you know the ones you would see in a clown skit on TV where two clowns would use those jugs of water with a thumb lever and squirt water at eachother… probably not but ,meh.  Anyway, if asking for water at a restaurant, that is probably what you’ll get, agua con gas, agua sin gas is just tap water, or bottled water obviously.

So it’s pretty safe to say we’ve sampled the Arg steak, and we love it.

The website to book the ferry ticket to Colonia was surprisingly easy, and worked very well, in English too.  I say surprising because these things tend to be very unreliable and the English versions just don’t seem to work (see Aerolineas or LAN websites and see how far yu get booking a plane ticket).

A boat there and back ended up costing us AR300 each.  Sadly we booked these before we found out that another company (There are 3) does a return ticket for approx AR169 return, plus breakfast, plus a guided tour of the City (FAIL).

The night before we met an Australian chick who was going to Uruguay on the same boat as us, so we teamed up and got our hostel to book us a taxi at 7:30am to take us to the Buqebus Terminal for immigration The taxi company rang back saying there are delays due to a demonstration and the taxi might be late.  We were told that it would be quicker to go down and get a taxi ourselves.  WE got one easily enough but soon ran into said demonstrations, that actually turned out to be a marathon that literally blocked off one side of Av de 9 de Julio from the other, and this was the case for the whole length of the Avenida…but our taxi driver was persistent, and racked up a Ar20 fare before giving u[ and telling us to jump out, cross 9 de Julio and get a taxi on the other side.  Um, this turned out to be easier said than done.  Naturally there were no taxis except for a semi un-marked one that zoomed off after giving us the finger.  So a 13 block run from the Av which is practically the centre of the city down to the Buqebus terminal got us to immigration with little time to spare.

There was nothing special about the ferry, although it had a duty free shop with a lot of normally-expensive-but-much-less-in-a-foreign-country-and-tax-free-alcohol, such as $41 Petron tequila, and $55 Grey Goose 2L.  Didn’t grab any cos we’d have to carry it, and we’ll surely see it later on at other border crossings.

Upon arrival at Colonia we we're glad we didn’t decided to book a night’s accommodation as originally planned and took the advice of everyone to stay only one day, but also wished we hadn’t bought our return ticket for 7pm.   Erin (our newest travel buddy) had a return ticket at 4:30, we were eventually able to change our tickets to come back with her, but not without a AR70 extra charge each, money well spent.

It’s not that Colonia is a crap place, the opposite is true, it is just very small, and no more than one afternoon or half day is required The old City is UNESCO world heritage listed (there is a sign) and has all the things you would expect an old colonial town to have, a cannon, a big stone wall, old historic cottage houses, a light house that you can climb up and get a great view from, cobbled stone streets.  It’s a really nice place, especially if you are craving some quiet from BA.

We stopped and had lunch at a generic Uruguayan restaurant and grabbed an omelet (Erin and I), and Jess got a creamy pasta thingo, with coffees and hot chocolates.  I think we really picked a winner (not a booger) with this place as everything was top notch.  We left a ridiculous tip to the cashier’s confusion/delight.   But the place was great, and the price was modest.  Everyone warned us that Uruguay was very expensive, but aside from seeing a $5 coffee on a menu earlier, everything was very reasonable.  

After more walking and feeling tired we decided to kill an hour and a half by downing a bottle of wine.  We stopped at a place on the main drag and asked for the house Cab Sauv.  Surprised, after drinking Arg wine for so long that we were served with a Uruguayan bottle, after one sip we we’re extremely impressed, the waiter gloated and raised his eyebrows agreeing-ly as if to say, ‘we’ll , no shit gringos.’  Yep, this wine was better than anything we’d had in BA!  

Tomorrow, 18 hours on a bus.
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