Published: December 5th 2006December 4th 2006
Trapped inside a skeleton key house....I am writing about the beauty of Colonia, Uruguay.
Another change of plans. That is a reoccuring them when traveling. Living life on a day to day basis. Swift, free, sometimes confusing. The weather in Buenos Aires was rainy and dark. A dismal day in Argentina. "Early" in the morning i was setting out for another passport stamp (I definately need it since my old passport somehow disappeared). Another glimpse of the world. i was meeting four strangers for the days event. A friend of a friend. The amorphous nature of friendships while traveling is splendid. After travelling on the subte, getting turned around during my first steps of the road (I get disoriented when i don't know where the ocean lies), dodging traffic on a thickly auto packed road filled with typical Buenos Aires drivers, i made it to the Buquebus station. It was perfect time. As soon as I walked into the door of the station I heard my name. Intros were completed, short backgrounds were told, we checked in and got ready to go on the days adventure. The day of traveling with strangers started. I was on a different pace of
traveling after being on my own most of the time in a land where I knew enough just to get by. I would be able to converse in native tongue and have conversation throughout the day. Plus, it was four more girls trying to make a decision. Its a reminder of the simplicity of one.
The Buquebus (boat you take from Buenos Aires to Uruguay) reminded me of a cruise ship or Las Vegas, either way it was touristy and I was on the tourist class. The entrance was full of stores, red velvet, and christmas lights. It was pure retro. The tourist class was packed, many of the seats were full, I found a place somewhere in the middle. The hour boat ride went by quickly because it was full of intro chat and exchanging info about Argentina.
After the mass exit we stepped into Uruguay. Jumped in a Taxi to take us closer to town. The weather was beautiful, one of those perfect temperature blue sky kind of days. Colonial Uruguay had an enchanting, relaxing, beauty. It was a small coastal city that was compoased of many brick built that were slightly weathered from the ocean's
The first stop was a nice lunch with a crazy waiter that wore all different types of hats and buttons, almost a TGIF resteraunt looking guy. He was entertaining. The restaraunt was beautiful, with wooden roofs and view of a small plaza out of the window. Food and more food was ordered. The lunch was long and filling. I had a pasta dish.
There was only a couple hours of walking time. It was down cobblestone streets, through back roads, on the sides of run down buildings, around the water. It was a type of place you could retreat to with some good friends for a a little while just to take it easy. There were not a lot of people on the streets. It was an excellent contrast to Buenos Aires.
The river/delta/ocean was brownish, it looked like a plume of silt/pollution had flown from the river...called La Plata. On the horizon it appeared that the water faded to a lighter more attractive color. I do not know about the water quality, but there were people fishing in it. Another reason I needed to learn spanish.
Walking continued...passed some school children with white smocks,
passed some tourists, around a lighthouse with remnants of an attached building. More walking...through streets lined with huge trees that created a tunnel of shade no matter where you stood, passed beautiful blooming flowers. Three of the girls rented a golf cart. I abstained and let my feet to the work.
More feet alternating ground patting to a local artisan craft market. I purchased my first South American souvenirs. All were made by hand. The market allowed me to communicate some spanish. I let the sound of my gringo accented elementary spanish flow from my tongue and my ears understood the responses of local spanish speakers. I continued to wish I knew more words and the sequence that they went.
A little more walking...in case you couldn't guess...this portion was around dismantled buildings and grounded boats, more water, and local businesses. I found places that I could see sitting and watching the world go by, writing, chatting with friends and lovers. It felt as if you could watch the time disappear and then appear again. I hope to write there one day.
Then time ubruptly ended. We hopped from a cobblestone street into a taxi and back
to the Buquebus--thick lines--heated hallways--clamor of tourist--and into a retro seat. An hour later the noise of Buenos Aires penetrated our ear drums. I was standing in a long hot line to get through customs. Then out to find a taxi and on to the evening's adventure.
There are more photos below