What a relief

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December 14th 2006
Published: January 9th 2007
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Colonial del Sacramento, UruguayColonial del Sacramento, UruguayColonial del Sacramento, Uruguay

Charm, charm, and more charm
With only a few days left before we fly to Ushuaia, and having done everything in Buenos Aires that interested us, we were ready to visit the surrounding areas. We had wanted to visit Uruguay and there were ferries that took you across the river (Rio de la Plata) to Colonia del Sacramento, an old smugglers port in Uruguay.

So, leaving the Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires in the morning, we went to the boat station to find that the only boat bound for Colonia was not leaving until late in the afternoon and wouldn’t be arriving in Colonia until around 6 o’clock or so in the evening. We also found that the return boat from Colonia back to Buenos Aires was in the late morning. We had made the wrong assumption that there would be boats every few hours. Considering this was going to be just a day visit with one overnight, we were bummed out to find out the boat schedules would limit our time even more - just the evening and early morning. Originally when we had contemplated visiting Uruguay, we had wanted to spend a few days exploring the coast, but now we would only have a few hours in one city of Uruguay.

Crossing the Rio de la Plata felt like crossing an ocean. It is big and brown. At one point there was no land visible on either side. When we got off the boat, it immediately felt quiet and peaceful. What a relief after Buenos Aires. The people were very laid-back and friendly. Lots of locals were getting around on foot or by bike. It all had a very beachy feel. We loved it.

We arrived in time to see the sunset and we wandered around town, soaking in what we could of the place - lots of historic buildings (old Portuguese architecture) and structures at every turn.

We got up early the next day to do another tour of the city. The remains of the fortress during the Portuguese era were really fun to see. Unfortunately our boat was leaving before any of the museums opened so we missed them. But we did get to see a fabulous whale skeleton and the fort, which was used to protect the town during the Portuguese smuggler era.

Uruguay, we can’t wait to go back.

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