South America

Uruguay

By on March 24, 2016

Last week we caught the ferry to Uruguay from Buenos Aires. We arrived in another Unesco listed town called Colonia, it is both cute and quiet…and so so humid. We spent the day wandering around the old streets and along the brown river coast line—despite what it looks like on a map it is in fact a river, not the ocean that separates Argentina and Uruguay. We were also lucky to just catch the sun setting over the ocean— not something you can do from the east coast of Australia—as we were walking to a microbrewery for dinner. Also lucky because it killed some time til 8pm when restaurants and brewery opened!

The next day we got ourselves on a bus to Montevideo, the capital. Again it was pretty quiet, particularly after coming from bustling Buenos Aires. We spent our first day or so walking the old city, which is crumbling in parts but has some lovely architecture and plazas. We managed to meet up with a friend’s boyfriend and his brother for a drink, it was nice to learn some things first hand and compare notes. We also ate at what we have termed (borrowed from Ron Swanson) a meat tornado—that is every animal appendage you can imagine barbecued in front of your face on a massive, hot, circulating grill. You sit at the bar and they pull the meat right off the grill and onto your plate. If I (Elle) was a different vegetarian this would be a nightmare, but I enjoyed a tornado-baked potato while Adam tucked into a selection of wheel sausages and chorizo.

On our last day we hired some bikes to ride along the coast to Pocitos, a popular beach-esque area. We made it there against the strong winds that permanently seem to sweep across from the river and stopped for a break on the lawns overlooking the water. We found some lunch and cake and made it back again in record time thanks to the tail wind.

Just before we boarded the ferry from Uruguay back to Buenos Aires, we bought a bombilla—a cup and straw apparatus for drinking a very Argentinean and Uruguayan tea called “Yerba mate”. They love the stuff here and tout the health benefits, it is good for everything and has more caffeine than coffee…I think it might also have something else in it based on its popularity and the fact that they never seem to put it down (on the bus, driving, working, walking down the street—they will always have a bombilla full of yerba and a thermos to top it up tucked under their arm). On arrival back in Argentina we went to buy some yerba for the bombilla with a loose memory of some recommended brands. When we got back to our apartment we realised the one brand we remembered and bought was the strongest one, that we were warned against…needless to say it wasn’t overly pleasant.

We’re here in Buenos for another week to enjoy Easter (Obama is in town) until we fly up to Iguazu falls and into Brazil. We’ll be mostly relaxing so probably no update for a little while.

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