Colonia del Sacramento   4 comments

Apologies for the long delay in continuing our travel blog – but daily life has well and truly taken over after our return to Europe…

Now, as sort of a Christmas present, I have promised Johannes to try and finish our report by the end of this year and thus here is the next instalment – the result of our efforts to include Uruguay in our South American journey.

 

 Monday 24th November 2014

Today we finally travel to Uruguay. The ferry doesn’t leave until 9 o’clock and so we can still enjoy our desayuno promoción (breakfast offer) at the confitería ‘My House’, where the waiter already greets us as regulars. Our heavy luggage we’ve left with our lovely hostess at the Hotel Maipú, and with our daypacks only we leisurely stroll to the port. Unfortunately, the weather forecast is not the best for our excursion – typical, the whole week looks fine apart from the day we have chosen for our mini-cruise…

One day, when we’re rich and famous, we’ll take a more classy boat…

 

… but for now, one of the Buquebus vessels will do

 

Bang on time and out of the puerto we sail

 

The impending rain doesn’t really bother us; we’ve been very lucky with the weather on this trip and won’t start complaining now.

 

Skyline Buenos Aires – click on the photo for the full-size panaroma

Ok, we won’t then…

 

For the outbound journey we have chosen the slow ferry that takes three hours to get a feeling of proper travel to a different country.

 

Finally – Uruguay, ho!

 

First impression – very nice!

 

All immigration and customs formalities have already been taken care of on the Argentinean side of the river, so we can walk straight into Uruguay.

 

¡Usted está aquí! – You are here.

The tourist information office is near the old train station

 

Mind you, we may have to wait a while for the connecting train…

 

The ferry is certainly a safer bet nowadays

 

Pretty quickly we find a nice B&B close to the Barrio histórico (historic district) that accepts credit cards, as we are still contemplating how much Uruguayan cash we actually need.

 

It’s raining on and off – as you can see in the photos…

On the Plaza de Armas

 

Basílica del Santísimo Sacramento

 

Uruguayan Magnolia Tree

 

On the Plaza Mayor

 

Portón de Campo – the old City Gate

 

Well fortified and defended…

 

… there was a lot to protect

 

 

El Faro – the fully functional old lighthouse

 

Here you get beer colder than the heart of your ‘ex’…

 

On Calle San Pedro

 

 

Paseo San Gabriel

 

We do like a good map!

 

Calle de las Flores

 

Obviously…

 

 

Vintage cars are quite a common sight in Colonia

 

Nicely recycled windmill

 

The Marina

 

Calle Rivadavia

 

 

All this sightseeing makes us hungry but we still haven’t obtained any local currency that we could spend. Uruguay values the Argentine peso much less than Argentina’s own government, since the official value is hugely inflated. So we would get only half of our money’s worth if we wanted to exchange Argentine pesos for Uruguayan ones –xe.com gives us a middle rate of UYU 2.80 per AR$ 1.00 instead of the UYU 1.40 you see below!

 

On the other hand, the locals appreciate the US$, and in one shop I get a new decal of Uruguay for my bike that is priced at UYU 30 for US$1! That’s not a bad exchange rate, and so we pay for water and snacks with the few US$ notes we have still left and even get some Uruguayan coins back.

After a long-ish survey of the local gastronomy we find that 1) you pay for the fact that Colonia is a very popular tourist destination, 2) you pay for the location (dependent on your distance to the river), and 3) not every business accepts credit cards. We are slightly reluctant to let anyone fleece us in the culinary prime spots, and so we settle for a sort of posh fast food restaurant…

And then, finally, after dinner the rain has stopped…

And we follow the recommendation of the South America Handbook to enjoy the sunset over the Río de la Plata…

Buenas Noches, everyone…

Posted 22 December 2015 by Pumpy in Argentina, The 2014 Rucksack Trip, Uruguay

4 responses to “Colonia del Sacramento

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  1. Thanks for following up!

    Roger aka Chip Seal
  2. Lovely to hear from you again Ella , it doesn’t seem like a year ago you did that trip . Hope you and your family have a great Christmas and much happy travelling in 2016 !
    Love Sandra 🌲🌲🌲💃🏿

    • Thanks, Sandra, it’s just crazy how time flies! High time then to plan the next adventure… 😉

      Your Christmas card arrived yesterday, thanks very much. Wishing you and all the family a Merry Christmas, too. See you in January! Love, Ela xx

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