First World Cup Winners

Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
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Trip End Apr 29, 2007


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Flag of Uruguay  ,
Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The stadium where they won it is in this city, we were going to see it but we ran out of time.


Once again we didnt prebook accomadation, our first choice Hostel was booked out, but we found somwehere on second attempt.  Che Lagarto - not yet finished, and not my favourite hostel ever, needs more bathrooms.  Room was rather cramped, but apparently our first choice was even worse.  Phew!  Fortunately our room mates were South American chicas, first Chilean and then Argentinian, but more on them later...

The location is quite magnificent, our balcony looks out over Independencia square, with its numerous impressive buildings and a big tomb in the centre.  In fact from my bed I can see the old theatre, palm trees, River Plate and a whole load of traffic.  At night this traffic includes dustbin men using a horse and cart!

Rat was exhausted and spent the day in bed, I had a walk around the modern town.  I attempted to go up a high building, but it was a bit intimidating and there was no signage in English, so after pressing a few lift buttons and looking silly in the foyer I gave up.  Rat finally awoke and then we watched the football.  Spurs v Arsenal.  It ruined my day, and I threw a bottle of water on the floor in disgust.  The lid came off and it made a mess.

Restaurants dont seem as varied or cheap as in Argentina.  We could nay find a Tenedor Libre, so had to settle for steak alone.  They charged for bread which I found quite outrageous.  I used to be wary of the ´free' snacks at start of meals, but after so long without problems Id accepted that they are free in most of the world.  Not so here!  The waiters didnt speak a word of English throughout the meal until the end, when they seemed to know how to say.  "Bill doesnt include tip"  This riled me a bit as well, I felt like not tipping just to spite them!  Alcohol to was much more expensive than Argentina, we went home very early that night.

Rat slept for a large portion of the next day, whilst I tried to sort out our next destination.  Prooved tricky as its holiday season over here and availability for buses and hostels is tight.  Doesnt help when I dont speak Portuguese either.  Time difference is only 2 hours from home, sometimes I wish I was just back home!

One evening there was a BBQ at the hostel, it sounded like fun so we signed up - however come 11pm it became apparent that they didnt actually want guests there, it was more a kind of birthday party for staff members....   The manager actually told me off beacause I didnt speak Spanish, he said everyone that comes to South America should.  He has a point, but you dont expect the boss of an international hostel that advertises in English to have such an attitude.  Whenever we went to the bar to buy a drink we were made to feel less than welcome, a real put out for them!  And then they ran out of beer and made us drink wine as you arent allowed to bring your own in.

Eventually the food arrived at somepoint after midnight. We shared a table with our room mates Bernadette and Mrs Osmer, and some American kiddie.  Later a group of us left for bar street and the Prancing Pony.  By this time we were well lubricated with booze, and it was all a bit more friendly.  Boss fella even came up, shook our hands and was pleasant.  In fact from this point on he was really nice.  Most strange! 


Rat and I got seperated and I went off clubbing opposite, before returning home at 6ish.  I opened the dorm door to a horrific site involving Rat and Mrs Osmer in a rather compromising position.  Uuuugh!!!  Quick exit, before returning later.  Bernadette had the same problem, but eventually all dorm buddies were in bed.  However what with the rustlings from below and the mesmorisingly, beautiful Bernadette on her bed a mere 50cm across from me, getting to sleep prooved pretty difficult.

Latin Americans seem so good at not getting much sleep.  In Oz most people layed in bed all day and we were the most active, but over here people seem to go to bed as late as 8am, but still get up at 10am.  Such stamina!  Maybe after nine months of it they wouldn´t be so good.  I dont know.

So, after much sleep we got up and explored the Ciudad Vieja (Old city), saw a few old squares with nice buildings and a rather impressive bank.  Porto Mercado is a market near the port modelled on a British railway station, which is now used to house loads of BBQ restaurants and bars.  On Saturday afteenoons it is apparently the best pick-up place in town.  However we went late Friday afternoon and it was far from buzzing.
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