Starting the week-end in Colonia...


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South America » Uruguay » West » Colonia del Sacramento
August 25th 2012
Published: August 28th 2012
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Another week-end...another opportunity to go discovering our surroundings. This time we headed North, by boat and bus, to Uruguay. And yes, this is already country 40 for Leslie...



We spent our Saturday mainly in Colonia de Sacramento...and on the road and water...



There are two main options to reach Colonia from Buenos Aires...the slow boat, or the fast boat. The first takes just over an hour, the second nearly three hours, and obviously, the second is the cheapest. We were not in a hurry, so I decided we would give a try to the slow boat.



Why people do come to Colonia....because the place is cute...obvious...to do a visa run...to visit the ATM...and to shop heavily in the duty free shop on the boat!



Colonia is a pretty small place...a day is more than enough to get around the old city...or to be more accurate, three hours is more than enough. The sun was back...but temperature had dropped solid to around 12 degres...and for us...as well as for the Portenos...this is freezing! In spring, I believe I could stay hours on any of the terraces of the old town, just baking under the sun and enjoying some people watching. This Saturday, it was more about...let's walk to keep warm!



This place is seriously cute...from the old cars....to the funny buggy you can rent to go around (we walked!). From the cute Iglesia Matriz...to the water front where you can find all the evidence that there has been a lot fo rain the last few weeks....and that it was high tide. Don't forget, Colonia is still sitting "on a river"...the Ocean is few/many miles away. The colors of the water was exactly the same as in Rosario....brown...not that we would wish to go to swim in this once the summer is around! Tiffany and Leslie loved the fortified walls....this is a great place for kids simply to go around...and to "hide and seek" a little...



So I booked the 9.30 slow boat. We took the collectivo to the Buquebus terminal in Puerto Madero...and arrive there at 8.30. And these guys put us on the next boat, at 8.45...which was a fast boat...good deal indeed! The ride is smooth and comfortable...and they have a huge duty free shop. I would normally not even bother commenting on a duty free shop, but here it's pretty interesting, specially on the way back to Buenos Aires. And yes, on the way back, they cancelled our slow boat, and put us on another fast boat...nice!



With the "funny" exchange rate in Argentina, the duty free shop is technically one of the cheapest in the world...didn't bring enough cash with me...but whatever, I have no intention to open a "bottle shop" at home...and I've got what I need for other duty free shopping necessities. It was kind of funny when I asked the limit on alcool....they look at me with a smile...not because of my crappy castellano (well, maybe)...but because the limit is actually...and this is per person...6 bottles of wiskies...and no limit on everything else...speaking about opening a bottle shop...I never saw so many people in a shop at the same time, it was mad!



People here also visit the ATM...as no ATM will give you USD in Argentina...and here you have a choice of urugayan pesos...or few green bills...



Next interesting point, Argentina gives 90 days to most nationalities while entering as a tourist...so many do actually trip to Colonia for the day to have another 90 days stamps on their passport. Well, that's not really an issue for us.



We could have slept in Colonia, but we didn't and I'm happy we didn't. I guess the town is a ghost place once the day trippers are gone...specially in winter. So by mid-afternoon, we made our way to the bus station...next stop...actually a shopping stop (that's a funny story coming next)...Montevideo!



Coming soon, I just have to upload the pics!


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28th August 2012

Wow Leslie has traveled more than us
Glad you continue to keep busy on the weekends. Loving Iceland, Greenland and the Faroese. On to the Shetland islands at the beginning of next week. Time is going too quickly.
28th August 2012

Climbing on Walls
Glad the kids enjoyed Colonia--it really is a kid-sized town. Maybe they'll like the long beach in Montevideo or the little port area, but as you said, it's a big city--good luck!

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