Montevideo Chillin

Published: July 4th 2014
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I got up, packed, and ate some breakfast while I waited for a cab to the airport. I shared the cab with Phil from Germany and got to my flights. It was a little difficult this time because of the language barrier and there were so many people, but not as bad as when I missed my flight because of customs. I saw the beginning of the Mexico v Netherlands game before I boarded the plane. Got through customs easily, exchanged money, and waited outside for the bus. The Uruguayan peso is really inflated and things are just as cheap here as in Brazil. $1 is the same as U$22. Also, it was freezing in Montevideo. Around 50 during the day and 40 at night, plus the wind was blowing since its a coastal city. I refused to out my jacket on so that I could acclimate. My bus finally came after about 30 minutes, but when I went up to the door the driver didn't let me on the bus and drove off! After a few minutes of watching other people get in buses I figured it was because I didn't flag him down prior. I waited for about 45 minutes for another bus, but it didn't come. The sun was setting and it was getting cooler so I put my hoody on and got a cab to my hostel. The hostel was in a nice part of town. I could walk around at night without much worry as if I were in Goldsboro or Raleigh. There were 4 beds in my room, but no one was in the others so I had the room to myself. The place had a nice, homey, cabin in the woods kinda feel about it. They only had one TV and it had "turn the TV off and live your life," written in paint on the screen. The place was very drafty and not very energy efficient. Almost all the doors and windows either didn't close completely or didn't seal when they were closed. I watched the Greece v Costa Rica game streaming with one of the hostel employees. The game was intense. It went to extra time and then penalties! I was pulling for Costa Rica. After the game I walked around the area and did some grocery shopping. While chilling at the hostel I met David who is a history professor at a community college in San Diego. He travels a lot for research and has been traveling in South America for 6 months and has 1 more left. He went to Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Argentina. He couldn't take off that long for research or vacation so he's been teaching online classes every weeknight at his hostels. I met a Rio local and chatted him up about NC and what to do in Montevideo. 3 girls from Cali who had been traveling SA for 3 months came to the hostel to get a room. I chatted with them about Buenos Aires for a while. They ended up getting a bus to Brazil at 5am so they decided not to stay the night and went around the city the rest of the night.

I woke up early to go on my tour in Ciudad Vieja, but I was way too tired to get there and then walk around all day, so I went back to sleep and skipped it. I went to a local restaurant called "lo de Pepe," upon recommendation from the hostel staff to try the chivito, which I've heard so much about. This thing was huge? It was a steak sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, boiled eggs, pickles, ham, cheese, and bacon. I tried eating it with my hands, but halfway through I had to switch to knife ad fork. I watched all of France v Nigeria and cheered for Nigeria. I walked back to the hostel for a bit and then walked across town to the bus station to buy my ticket to Colonia for Thursday. I saw a few monuments and a lot of awesome architecture. There was a statue of the Pope in front of a huge cross outside of the bus station. Apparently he came in the 1900's and held a mass in the streets there and proclaimed the cross put behind him, just for the mass, was now a monument. So the Uruguayan government had to make it a permanent monument out of obligation. Damn, what a boss power move from the Pope. After buying my ticket I walked back to the hostel, made dinner, and chilled the rest of the night. A conversation about Greenland sparked my interest and I looked into going there.


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