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Published: October 3rd 2012
Colonia del Sacramento
Drinking the famous Mate tea
We left Buenos Aires by boat to cross the river into Uruguay. Our first stop is at Colonia Del Sacramento part of the old quarter is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site the town is lovely with wide streets lined with trees and not a lot of cars. We checked into our hostel where the staff were friendly and unpacked our few belongings into our locked wardrobe. This is our first experience of shared accomadtion a little nervous as what to expect, we were the only guests in the room for the time being.
We explored the old part of the town most of the streets are centred from the Plaza Mayor lots of interesting shops selling colourful ethnic objects of art. Visited the Bastion del Carmen this was once a governors home but later converted into a factory with a tall red brick chimmey it produced soap and gelatine products. Now it operates as atheatre with a small outdoor museum dedicated to its history.
After spending 2 days relaxing we took a bus to Uruguay's capital Montvideo this is a two and a half hour trip the counrty side is flat with a lot of fields with cows
The famous tea drunk by almost every person in Uruguay. It looks like grass cuttings and it does not taste much better, give us PG Tips any day
grazing, the ground is very water logged due to being close the the Rio Delta.
Monetvideo has less of a hectic pace of life than Buenos Aires, the old port Ciudad Vieja has lots of free and interesdting art galleries and museums. The main tourist area is around the Plaza Independencia where the is the burial site of the freedom fighter and thier national hero general Artigas leading. In the oldest square in Uruguay plaza constitucion is a beauitfull Spanish building Cabildo this was once the town hall and then a prison, but is now a museum. Off the plaza is an art gallery dicicated to Uruguay's famous artist Joaquin Torres Garica he specialised in avant-grade art during the 1920's and 1930's in Europe before returning to Uruguay to set up a art school the peices shown were interesting and different.
We walked to the old city port Mercado del Puerto where the old meat market is built in the style of a 19th century British railway station with an old style station clock, here a lots of grill restaurants selling all types of meat steaks sweetbreads, the intestines from the cow chitterlings, kidney,sausages and black pudding these
Bastion del Carmen
The red brick chimney is part of the old factory were they made soap and gelatine products in the 1880 it is now a small museum
are part of their famous mixed grill which is popular here and in Argentina, the meat is cooked on a charcoal grills in each restaurant the sight and smell is amazing every restaurant was full most people were eating some form of grilled meat if not their mixed grill. We settled for grilled steak, I don't fancy the entrails of the cow, not yet anyway ! !
We spent two days in Montevideo before travelling on an overnight bus to Porto Alegre in Brazil. The bus had semi laid back seats which were quite comfortable, after an hour into our journey the conductor switched the lights off and everyone settled to sleep. We woke up at the Uruguay/Brazilian border 5 hours later where the conductor got our passports stamped out of Uruguay and into Brazil this took almost 45 mins before stting off again to travel to Porto Alegre which took another 6 hrs. At Porto Alegre we were luckily enough to catch the next bus to Florainopolis which took another 6 hours but the journey was comfortable cheap and went smoothly.
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