Saturday, January 11, 2014

A change of pace...(Slightly) Uruguay!!

A new country was to be visited.  Very exciting.  Infact, we wanted to be far away from the millions of people in the metropolitan region of Buenos Aires, and we wanted a little bit of peace and quiet.  My 30th birthday was quickly approaching, and we wanted to be somewhere nice.  Another beach sounded great, but we passed Puerto Madryn a while ago, and we're already heading North in one sense or another...

We had been talking to several people along the way about Uruguay, the small South American nation, that's squeezed in between Buenos Aires to the South, and Brazil to the North.  We had heard they had some incredible beaches, and it had been a while since we really had time to relax.

We booked a boat to Colonia, Uruguay, which is literally right across the bay from Buenos Aires, and the price was great.  350 Pesos AR / person, one way, what we wanted, and we planned on spending the night in Colonia, and maybe a day.  The price was good, and we jumped on it.

Leaving the hostel in BA, we grabbed a taxi, and headed to the boat dock for 'Colonia Express' which does frequent back and forth trips to Uruguay.  We walked through the fairly easy customs/immigration lines of both countries, and were in a boiling hot waiting room of restless travelers.  Most were Argentinians looking to spend the week away, on vacation, but besides us, there were  maybe 2 more backpackers.

We finally boarded the boat, which was a massive Catamaran, and the inside was literally just like being in a huge jumbo jet, with very straight-forward seats and a couple tv screens to keep you entertained.  We disembarked from port BA, and slowly taxi'd out into the Atlantic bay offshore to a mild wind blowing right at us.  As we slowly picked up speed, some stewards and stewardess' came and made their rounds, handing every person 2 barf bags "just incase..."  We kind of laughed, and didn't think much of it, but 15 minutes into the crossing would prove differently...

Not even joking, 80% of the passengers began vomiting like kids at the carnival, who just went on the 'gravitron.'  It was one of the most disgusting things I've ever witnessed, and while neither Danica, nor I were sea-sick, the smell of fresh vomit coming in a 360 just 'bout made us hurl.  I wouldn't joke about it at all, but the video selection that they were playing right in front of our faces, was 'Planet Earth,' the beautifully made British series of amazing nature scenes...But, the scenes unfolding in front of every already vomiting person, were that of Penguins, regurgitating food into their offspring's mouth.  Wow, I literally laughed out loud at the irony.

We made it across the channel, as you might have guessed, but without any fresh air of any kind...I've never seen so many mothers and fathers and grandparents running for the exit of a beautiful boat, so quickly.  It was understood.

We were in Uruguay, and we also didn't realize that the small country is on a different time zone from AR...One hour later, so our search for the hostel we had booked and dinner, was a late night operation.  The next day, we would spend walking the town, and enjoying what we could, before hitting up Uruguay's capital, and largest city, Montevideo.

An Uruguayan salad, from a pizza place....Unbelievable!
 Colonia was really nice.  A small coastal village with a lighthouse and beautiful little marina full of sailboats, with a slight outline of the massive Buenos Aires in the distance, across the bay...

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