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Our route:

16.11.04:
  • Barra del Chuy

    17.11.04 - 19.11.04:
  • NP Santa Teresa

    20.11.04 - 22.11.04:
  • La Paloma

    23.11.04 - 24.11.04:
  • Piriapolis

    25.11.04:
  • Colonia

    26.11.04 - 29.11.04:
  • Mercedes



  •   Uruguay
    On this page, we (will) describe our experiences in Uruguay. Apart from the travelogue for this country you will also find a number of links to useful sites, ranging from general information to embassy homepages.

    Written by: Dorrit

    The first thing I notice after crossing the border into Uruguay is that everyone is carrying a hot water bottle and a mate bowl. Mate (a kind of bitter green tea) is the national addiction of the Argentines, Paraguayans and especially Uruguayans. Everywhere and at any moment of the day you can see people drinking mate, even when they are driving a car you can still see them use one hand to pour hot water into their bowl of mate.

    Of Uruguay we mainly see the coast, which is very nice and quiet and a popular holiday destination for Argentines and Brazilians. We start with Barra del Chuy, directly at the Brazilian border which is - due to the distance to the capitals Montevideo and Buenos Aires - still very quiet and clean. We take a long walk over the empty and deserted beach along beautiful sand dunes and an old red and white light tower, the pride of the little fishing village. It all looks a lot like Scheveningen beach in the 19th century, even the cloudy sky and the rough sea look Dutch.

    Fortaleza Santa Teresa In the national park annex army base Santa Teresa we stay a couple of days to finish the website, a task that really needed doing since we started to receive emails from people asking if we were really still in Romania. The dogs take this opportunity to roll around in a sea lion that died a couple of weeks ago and return covered in a thick and sticky black layer of rotting slime. We have to wash them three times with soap before it goes off, but the sickening smell of rotting fish stays with us for at least a week. We visit the well preserved fortress of Santa Teresa, built by the Portuguese to defend the area against the Spanish, only to be taken over by the Spanish within a few years and serve as defence against the Portuguese for the rest of its active existence. Then we move on to La Paloma, a town that is rather dull before the summer season starts, but which has a nice light house dating from the 19th century and a beautiful and deserted beach where we take long walks with the dogs. Punta del Este, THE seaside resort of southern South-America, where the rich and mighty go on holiday, is a bit of a disappointment: concrete flats and an average coast. Time to move on to Colonia del Sacramento. On the way there we see many old cars rotting away in farm yards. And I mean really old: 1920s, 30s and 40s. Once or twice we see a garage where tens of these old-timers are waiting to be restored and exported, after all they are worth a lot in Europe and North-America.

    Oldtimers anyone? We drive through the centre of Montevideo, Uruguay's capital, a very quiet and modern city of 1,500,000 inhabitants (which is still half of the population of Uruguay) where we somehow don't feel the urge to stop. Colonia, our next stop, is really nice to see. This fortified town was built by the Portuguese to serve as a bulwark against the Spanish, that had settled on the other side of the Rio de la Plata in Buenos Aires. However, within a few years it was taken over by the Spanish and served as a defence against the Portuguese until Uruguay gained independance. Where had we heard that story before... It is a beautifully restored 17th century town that has a very European feel. We walk along the cobblestone streets and admire the old houses, city walls and little pubs with their inviting sidewalks, where saxophone players play jazz and tango music.

    resting his lazy bones The last stop in Uruguay is Mercedes, a town at the Rio Negro, where we can swim in the river and BBQ with Daniel and Ines (who we keep running into :o) Here we stay for a few days to rest from our enervating stay in Uruguay (all those tiring beach walks..) before we return to Argentina.


    Dorrit





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    Our top 3:

    1. Colonia

    2. Barra del Chuy

    3. Santa Teresa