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Published: November 8th 2017
Just a one hour boat ride across the river from Buenos Aires we found ourselves in Uruguay, which in a lot of aspects is the small brother of Argentina. Both countries are very modern and have a very European feel. The Uruguayans speak with the same accent we find a bit difficult to get used to and they eat the same (or more) amount of beef from the asado which we love. In summer half of the people in the country are actually from Argentina (on holidays) . We find the Uruguayan people a bit more friendly and live is clearly a bit more relaxed than their neighbours, travelling around the small country has been smooth and easy although again as in Argentina a bit expensive.
Landing in Colonia we spent a few days wandering around this very old city, with old Portuguese and later Spanish buildings and streets. From Colonia we took a bus to Montevideo, the capital and the city where about one third of all Uruguayans live. Montevideo has a lot of interesting and sometimes beautiful architecture, a topic we both don't
know anything about. But we were quite eager to walk around and looking up the whole time learn about and see the differences between the neo-classical, the art-deco, neo-gothic and the eclecticism buildings. We also rented bicycles to bike the coastal road to check out all the large and small beaches of Montevideo.
We wanted to see the other side of this country as well, although it is very easy and convenient to stick to the modern 'holiday' coast as many travellers do. We loved the views of the landscapes during the bus ride to Tacuarembo and ended up in a totally different part 'el campo'. Also this rural area of Uruguay is quite modern and developed so we did expect to see more farmers in 4WD pickups than gauchos riding their horses but we were treated to a very gaucho experience by one of the guys we met at the (one and only) best grill restaurant of Tacuarembo. Although he was getting a bit drunk at the moment he invited us to his 'estancia', the next morning he was still as friendly and welcoming so he took us (with his 4WD pickup truck) to some kind of rural
lodge (posada del campo). Just a few kilometers outside the town but immediately remote and surrounded by farms, land, cows (or actually oxes, the castrated bulls bred for meat) and horses. We explored the grounds a bit both on foot and horse riding through the fields making all other animals nervous.
Back on the coast we spent a few days in Punta del Este, this is the most popular beach resort town in Uruguay, where in high season the jetset from Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil fight for an expensive spot at the beach. At the moment it's still spring and low season so no problem for us to find an affordable place to stay and a spot on the almost deserted beaches. We are making our way northwards along the coast and have after Punta del Este, stayed in La Barra followed by La Paloma, where we are now chilling and relaxing inside in a lovely B&B because spring in Uruguay also means some cloudy and rainy days (very European).
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