A tiny slice of freedom in a tiny slice of Uruguay

Published: March 22nd 2023
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Greetings from Uruguay! We are still in the port for some unknown reason (we were scheduled to leave hours ago) and so I’m blogging with a gigantic headache from the wine I drank today. Let me back up for a bit… we arrived in Uruguay probably around 9am. It was high-70s and humid today. We took our time but we also took our waiter’s advice and decided to explore on our own. We walked off the boat and straight until we arrived at an open air market of sorts. It was a long row of shops and outdoor vendor setups. Overly touristy possibly but safe. Lots of local traffic too. Definitely an ex-pat area but this area specifically was probably more of the hippie ex-part area… ganga for sale in brownies and other sweets and bongs too (with locals buying) and a few other little clues here or there of maybe some more progressive mindsets. We walked up to the top of the main hill/street and we stopped and bought jars of the caramel that we had been told we had to try. We got a fantastic exchange rate here so we bought several items. Kamie stopped and hugged a tango dancer. I can’t believe he let her put that hat on him (see pics). Eh. Overall, they were decent tango dancers. We’ve seen at least four couples of tango dancers at this point on this cruise. There were police or military standing around at some of the corners in a protective way. I’m not sure how it happened but I think Kamie wanted to smoke and I wanted to checkout the local grocery store (I love to do that) so I walked into “Frog” (that’s their little grocery store) and Kamie sat outside on a bench in front of the store. I didn’t feel like anything in the store surprised me or was a ”good deal” which is odd. There was a large supermercado just down the way which we didn’t go inside so that’s probably where the deals are for the locals. When I came outside of the store, Kamie had made a friend and this guy was sitting on the bench next to him talking…and talking… and talking… and I found my own bench and ate part of a caramel cone I bought at the grocery store. It was like a chocolate dipped ice cream cone but full of caramel instead of ice cream. It was okay and I saved it for Kamie to try. The caramel here is not incredibly sweet. When Kamie finally decided to join his wife again he said: “That guy spoke great English. He’s a Uruguayan but he lived in Fort Lauderdale for 7 years working on a ship. He said he was going to get paid today but they told him sorry… you won’t get paid until Monday now… so he was going to get a bottle of wine and get drunk before he had to go home and tell his wife he had no money today.” I gave Kamie the side eye. That guy was a swindler/beggar is what that guy was… an American living in Uruguay for a not-so-great reason more than likely. We kept walking down the street and bought more items and then we ran into the other English speakers on the ship – a couple from Queensland, Australia that boarded in Rio.. Telly and Trudy (you can’t make this stuff up) and they told us where the open market fire pits were and that we had to go try the Uruguayan barbecue. South Americans call anything cooked
Our buffet breakfast to shareOur buffet breakfast to shareOur buffet breakfast to share

Those mangos were SO sweet! We loved them
over an open flame barbecue - no sauce or spices is needed or required. Kamie really wanted to go try this famous beef. We found the indoor/outdoor fire pits and it was a sight to see if nothing else. Our waiter on the ship had also recommended we try the meat from this area. Some lady at a busy restaurant pulled us in and the next thing we know, we are at a table with a full bottle of red wine and two rib eyes on the way. I still wish I would have ordered the chicken. Anyway, the swindler recommended we try the tannat wine so that’s what Kamie ordered. I think the swindler is an asshole. I knew better but I went along with it. We were brought some bread with two different types of sauces. One was mayonnaise based which I didn’t try. The other was bell peppers in olive oil with some spices I didn’t like. We weren’t in the mood for bread which is not normal for us. We thought the steaks were going to be amazing. They brought us our plates and he ordered medium rare and I ordered well done. They were both
Pic of the pizza areaPic of the pizza areaPic of the pizza area

It was the only pic I got dangit
cooked the same - medium rare. The steaks were grissly and barely edible. We really had to cut around and find full pieces that were chewable. The cut was terrible. Kamie said he would put a USDA certified steak from Wal-Mart (not even the butcher) up against these steaks any day. He wasn’t wrong and we were in the popular/busy restaurant. At least we tried the steaks and had a good experience and that is all that counted to me. The wine was good. We were sitting outside(ish). I was feeling great because we’d gotten some neat souvenirs and we had such a “free” day of exploring on our own. I drank more wine than Kamie. I suppose I had three glasses and he had two. I know we emptied the bottle and I hurried to empty my final glass before we left as we had been sitting there for a good hour or so before we finally ate (a bit) and left. We sauntered back to the boat in a good mood and I was a little giddy that we had a good day and we didn’t pay a penny for an excursion. I’m such a happy cheapskate. Our meal for two with the bottle of wine and tip included came out to 58 US Dollars. Once we were back onboard and put up our souvenirs, we were walking around the ship and I don’t know why but I got another Pink Panda (Strawberry syrup, Coconut Milk, and Rum). Life was good because I was inside the A/C and we were going to fly back to the USA the next night. Then my head started aching. Then my head was pounding. I couldn’t think straight. I rarely get headaches. I forgot to pack Aleve or Tylenol or anything like that and the ship won’t open their shops until the ship is out of Uruguayan waters so they can sell items tax free and I have a pounding headache. I drank too much wine today. Kamie and I walked down to the “hospital” onboard and it was closed unless it was an emergency. The only thing I had in our luggage was a travel size Advil PM which I had bought to take on the plane ride home just in case I couldn’t sleep again and they knock me out completely so I had nothing I could take. I drank as much water as I could find. They put four bottles of water every morning and every evening in our cabin and I always drink all four. I drank every drop of water in our cabin and then we decided to eat dinner at 7:30pm and I drank water and ate a little dinner and my headache finally disappeared. Those damn tannins. I have always known tannin wine is not the best wine and leaves me with a headache. Sorry to those of you who may or may not be getting that wine as a souvenir now. HA I feel like we should have stayed with the Cabernet Sauvignon but whatever. It was fun until it wasn’t.

We again left our port several hours later than scheduled and we were treated to some gorgeous evening sunset views. Tomorrow, we will leave this ship and explore Buenos Aires, Argentina for most of the day.

PS - Kamie said I have to tell that I was a little tipsy and tonight we tipped our room butler, our housekeeper lady, our waiter, and the matre d' at the restaurant. I had the money for the butler and we were walking down the hallway and I gave it to the wrong guy. Kamie was so pissed at me! LOL He was like "are you a drunken racist that you think all asian guys look alike?" I was like noooooooo.... that guy went in our room and he has NEVER been inside our room before so I don't know what happened?! I can't even believe I am admitting this on this blog. We did go ahead and tip our real room butler the next morning the same amount we had planned to tip him all along.

Additional photos below
Photos: 51, Displayed: 28


Kamie and his new buddyKamie and his new buddy
Kamie and his new buddy

I just liked the dog

23rd March 2023

That sucks about the tip
So what was it about the caramel? How is it different from caramel here? That pic of Kamie is one of my all-time faves :) So fun!
23rd March 2023

I don't know. It's not as sweet. If you would get to work on time, you'd find out. LOL

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