UMPA

Trip Start Oct 06, 2004
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68
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
Red Hostel

Flag of Uruguay  ,
Sunday, June 19, 2005

I remember reading a Donald Duck magazine many years ago, where Huey, Dewey and Louie discussed ways to remember capitals around the world. They always mixed up the Paraguayan and Uruguayan capital, and hence came up with UMPA. Short for; Uruguay, Montevideo, Paraguay, Asunción. After reading the magazine, I have for some reason always wanted to visit the capitals of these two South American countries you hardly ever hear about in the news. Well, in fact I just read in a Norwegian online newspaper that Asunción is considered the cheapest big city in the world. After spending a week there, I think they are probably right (where else can you buy a personal pizza and drink at Pizza Hut for US $1.75). Tokyo is the most expensive city, and Oslo (the capital in my country) is the 10th most expensive (I am surprised it's so far down on the list, after cities like Copenhagen and Moscow).

While I really had a good time in Paraguay and it's capital city, I didn't really give Uruguay and Montevideo much chance. I only stayed in the country for three nights. One night in Colonia del Sacramento and two nights in Montevideo. I would have liked to see more of the country, for example places like Punta del Este and Punta del Diablo, but it's not really the season for surf and beaches. I also planned on staying a bit longer in Montevideo, but after a rainy and cold weekend I decided to go back to Argentina. The relatively small (1.3 million) and laid-back capital has a nice setting along Rio del la Plata and Bahia de Montevideo, although the center looks a bit rundown in my opinion. So during my two days visit, I probably spent just as much time in my hostel (Red Hostel) as outside walking the streets. Matt (an Australian backpacker I met) and I walked around most of the city during the Saturday siesta, and hardly have I ever seen a more quiet big city. We ventured back out at night, and found the city completely transformed. People everywhere, walking up and down the main avenues and bar streets. We had a few beers in a couple of quiet bars, but didn't really sample the nightlife properly. It looked pretty good though, as it's not often I have seen so many bars and people concentrated in such a relatively small area.

It's Sunday morning now, and later today I'll take the boat back to Buenos Aires in order to try and catch a ten hours night bus to Córdoba. Argentinas second biggest city. I probably won't stay for very long, as I am getting a bit tired of big cities now. Need some nature and adventure again very soon.
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