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Published: March 6th 2014
So finally in the Spanish speaking world again! Feels nice to have an element of control over understanding people yet strangely feels like just being in Spain (except with a much harder variety of spanish to capture). Our bus journey in total was around 20 hours, from Florianopolis to Porto alegre in Brazil then down the coast to the Eastern tip of Uruguay. Surprisingly the bus journey was fine, the Uruguay bus was amazing, we didnt know you got fed on it, or definately wouldnt have spent our last 50 reals on a Frango meal (chicken, but we have been caling it Frango as its much catchier). We ended up getting served yet another Frango! Uruguay has signalled the start of a "detox" for me, looking back over the last weeek or so in Brazil we spent far too much money on lanches which has resulted in an expanding waistline and an empty purse - so no good.
Just as well because it is extortionate here. I nearly ate a chocolate muffin (which of course i wouldnt eat as ive stopped my chocolate binge) which i thought was free at the hostel, I then saw it was over 2 pounds
something! Punta del Este is called the Monaco of SA, and found out the prices here are 50% more expensive than elsewhere in the contry! We have been walking everywhere and the only money we have spent has been at the supermarket. If I told you we were on the Spanish coast and showed u pics, you would beleive me. It is so European I cant beleive it. I think it started out here as a coastal town and has gradually expanded, most of what you can see is luxury houses/high rises along the coast, and lots of yachts etc.
I would say at this moment in time that Uruguay is much wealthier than where we have been, however it is early days and we are in a rich part so will see what the rest holds. The weather here is like being back home (but warmer!) in the sense that one minute it has been pouring down with rain, the next the sun is out and then its raining an hour later. The first day we got here was a write off, yesterday was ok in parts and today has been much better. Temperatures much lower than Brazil,
ranging from between 22-24 daytime. Its a really comfortable temperature and it has been nice not sweating all the time and able to wear some clothes that were out of the qustion in brazil.
The hostel here is great. There isnt breakfast provided unfortunately but otherwise its been one of the best we have stayed at. There is the main hostel but we are in another house down the road, it is basically just a bungalow and is more like being in s a shared house than a hostel. There is a big yard (I sit writing this on a hammock!) with eating areas, hammocks and the other hostel area has a pool, bar etc(which we couldnt afford to buy from!). I thought i'd escape the mozzies here but alas no.
We are having to work what is called the "blue market". We are one week off from buenos aires where we settle for a month, and though they operate th peso there, it is low in value(I dont really understand the economics) but basically we need to withdraw everything we can in USD and change it to pesos (tripe your money). We have 300 dollars a day
limit but we have been having to take out every day. The money is mad for me here to understand. I had just got used to converting 4 reals to the pound and here it is 37 pesos to the pound. When you go to the supermarket and they quote you nearly 1000 pesos it takes a bit of getting used to.
As for what I've been doing here, pretty much wandering around and going to the beach when we see a break in the sky! Either that or sunning myself in the hostel garden. There arent many sights except the huge hand coming out the sand, and everything else seems to involve money, so just pottering about but the temperature has been glorious when it has been out. I should also add that we took Gary to a barbers! He said his hair was needing cut so we managed to explain to the guy what he wanted and everything worked out well, thankfully.
For those who didnt know, the Uruguayan president is the one who lives in a farm, drives an old banger and donates 80% of his wages to charities here. A champ, in other words!
Heading to montevideo, the southernmost capital in SA, tomorrow and excited to see what its like and hopefully sample some of their food! They also have various beaches so fingers crossed the weather behaves!
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